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Civic Studio presents exhibition: Envisioning Art in Public




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Civic Studio presents Envisioning Art in Public

Civic Studio presents Envisioning Art in Public /Amber Stout

Art in Public book launch, lecture, and symposium

Art in Public book launch, lecture, and symposium /Amber Stout

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Civic Studio will present Envisioning Art in Public, an exhibition focused on art and its public function on March 18th, 2011 at the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts. Projects in the exhibition aim to visually interpret a range of topics about how art is treated (conceptually and practically) and the necessary and complicated relationships between art, government (politics) and the marketplace (economy). 


The exhibit is presented in conjunction with visiting scholar, Lambert Zuidervaart, who will return to Grand Rapids for a book launch, lecture, and symposium organized around his new book, “Art in Public: Politics, Economics, and a Democratic Culture.” The exhibit will be on display in the Front Street gallery at UICA during the symposium on Friday, March 18th, 2011 and will remain on display through Friday, March 25th during the UICA’s regular open hours Tuesday-Saturday Noon-10pm and Sunday Noon-7pm.


Christie Westmaas, a GVSU Art major and student in Civic Studio, will be presenting her work alongside five other classmates. “This event is exciting not only for its relevancy to current times, but also its progressiveness. It’s a great opportunity to set the stage for a continued dialogue following the symposium, and I’m thrilled to take part in it!”


Envisioning Art in Public is part of a larger series of events initiated to engage “Art in Public: Politics, Economics, and a Democratic Culture:

Book Launch and Lecture by Lambert Zuidervaart
Thursday, March 17, 2011 7:00 pm
Cook Auditorium, Grand Rapids Art Museum
101 Monroe Center
Co-sponsored by the Art and Design Department at GVSU and the GRAM


Friday, March 18th 1-4pm
Theater at Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts
41 Sheldon Blvd
Co-sponsored by the GVSU Department of Art and Design and School of Communications, Civic Studio, and the UICA


For more details about the Lecture and Symposium visit the project website at:


Lambert Zuidervaart is the past Board President of the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts and is now a Professor of Philosophy at the Institute for Christian Studies (ICS) in Toronto. These public events are organized to acknowledge the contributions Zuidervaart is making with his work, and recognize their connections to our city.

Civic Studio is a public art project and course offered as part of the Visual Studies emphasis in the Art & Design Department at Grand Valley State University. Founded in 1999, the studios have been organized eight times in different locations within the city of Grand Rapids, Michigan. The project aims to expand the relevance and utility of art in everyday public life through researching, interacting and participating with the local community. The current project site is the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts, where the focus is on the neighborhood and the dynamic organizational, physical, and cultural aspects of organizing art in public.  To view past projects by Civic Studio, go to



Visual Studies is a new studio program in the Art and Design department at GVSU. There are six studio courses in the emphasis area that are offered to both Art and Non-Art Majors. Art Majors may select Visual Studies as their emphasis area in the BFA Program or take the courses as electives. The curriculum reflects interdisciplinary approaches used in contemporary art practice including the use of digital media, and context as a primary consideration in visual works. The Visual Studies program equips artists with the technical, conceptual, political and social skills needed for effective cultural work.

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