Penn State to celebrate artist Judy Chicago's career throughout spring 2014

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Since 2011, Penn State has housed the Judy Chicago Art Education Collection, one of the most important private collections of archival materials on feminist art education. In honor of Chicago’s 75th birthday in 2014, and in celebration of the Penn State School of Visual Arts’ relationship with this pioneering artist, educator and author, the University will host a symposium, exhibitions, lectures and other events highlighting Chicago’s work, throughout the spring 2014 semester.

Judy Chicago will give the keynote speech at the symposium on April 5, calling for a re-conceptionalization of studio art teaching in higher education. Registration for the symposium, “Planting a Feminist Art Education Archive,” is open now at http://judychicago.arted.psu.edu/news-events/events/symposium/registration/. A full schedule of the Judy Chicago at Penn State events is posted at http://judychicago.arted.psu.edu/judy-chicago-at-penn-state/.

Born in 1939 in Chicago, Judy Chicago rose to fame in the 1970s and is best known for her monumental work "The Dinner Party" (1974–79), the breathtaking, triangular table that is a symbolic history of women in western civilization and is now in the permanent collection of the Brooklyn Museum. "The Dinner Party," is the centerpiece of the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art at the Brooklyn Museum. Chicago created three major collaborative projects afterwards: the "Birth Project," "Holocaust Project" and "Resolutions: A Stitch in Time." She continues making thought-provoking art in new media today, including her work in glass since 2003.

Karen Keifer-Boyd, professor of art education and women’s studies at Penn State, was instrumental in Chicago’s interest in Penn State and is coordinating the spring 2014 series of events. She says Chicago’s autobiography, "Through the Flower: My Struggles as a Woman Artist," helped her make sense of her undergraduate experience at the Kansas City Art Institute in the 1970s. “(The book) showed me that I was not alone and there was a feminist pedagogy on which to build. I found throughout the past 30 years and continue to find my strength, in large part, from Judy Chicago as role model and in the past decade as mentor. I noticed Judy Chicago does not give up,” she said. “My commitment is to an art education that builds agency and empowerment for all through research-informed, content-based art and critical reflective dialogue. These practices are integral to Judy Chicago’s feminist art pedagogy in her teaching projects, and in her large-scale artworks and the process of their making. The spring 2014 events, including a survey exhibition of five decades of Chicago’s artwork, on display at the Palmer Museum of Art, and the Judy Chicago Art Education Collection of her 11 teaching projects, on display in the Special Collections Library, will offer experiences that connect Judy Chicago’s content-based art to the approaches she developed in her teaching.”

Chicago’s teaching projects, the focus of the Judy Chicago Art Education Collection, include archival material from the Fresno Feminist Art Program (1970), Womanhouse (1971–72), New York Feminist Art Institute (1980), SINsation (University of Indiana, Bloomington, 1999), From Theory to Practice (Duke, 2000), At Home (Western Kentucky University, 2001–02), Envisioning the Future (Cal Poly and the Pomona Art Colony, 2003-04) and Evoke/Invoke/Provoke (Vanderbilt, 2005).

The Judy Chicago Art Education Collection is housed in the University Archives in The Eberly Family Special Collections Library, 104 Paterno Library. It includes videos, photographs and notes on Chicago’s teaching projects. The collection includes the online "The Dinner Party" Curriculum Project, developed by Marilyn Stewart, Peg Speirs and Carrie Nordlund, under the directorship of Marilyn Stewart, and in collaboration with Judy Chicago and Constance Bumgarner Gee, given by the Through the Flower organization (TTF) to Penn State’s College of Arts and Architecture for stewardship by the Art Education program.

The spring 2014 symposium is co-sponsored by Through the Flower, National Art Education Association Women’s Caucus and the following units at Penn State: School of Visual Arts, Palmer Museum of Art, The Eberly Family Special Collections Library, Institute for the Arts and Humanities, College of Arts and Architecture’s Research and Graduate Studies Office, John M. Anderson Endowment, HUB-Robeson Galleries, Department of Art History and Department of Women’s Studies.

For a complete listing of events, visit https://sova.psu.edu/events/judy-chicago.

For more information on the Judy Chicago Art Education Collection, visit http://judychicago.arted.psu.edu/.

Last Updated October 25, 2013