MSUToday
Published: June 11, 2018

New program studies race through art

Contact(s): Ryan Kilcoyne College of Arts and Letters office: (517) 884-4478 kilcoyne@msu.edu

A new program on campus will introduce students to different perspectives about race by using art and design. The Critical Race Studies Residency Program in the College of Arts and Letters will bring an artist-in-residence and a designer-in-residence to campus with the goal of enriching the life of student experiences and the greater community by facilitating practices of inclusion through art and design. The program is part of the Department of Art, Art History and Design and is supported through a $750,000 gift from Michigan State University Federal Credit Union.

The Critical Race Studies Residency Program is designed to empower artistic creativity that drives cultural transformation through a shared engagement with creative practice. The true impact of this program creates opportunities for shared experiences that embody the core values of MSU to cultivate diversity, create a positive environment and embody inclusiveness with passion and determination.

Appointed to the inaugural positions were:

  • Artist-in-Residence: Alejandro T. Acierto, sound and media artist
  • Designer-in-Residence: Karen Hampton, textile artist

As part of their residency, Acierto and Hampton produced substantial public projects that engage in critical approaches to diversity and inclusion through creative practice. They each mounted solo presentations of their work, taught two courses in the Studio Art and Apparel and Textile Design programs and participated in outreach to the community throughout the year, working in some of MSU’s most publicly accessible spaces, such as (SCENE) Metrospace, MSU Union Art Gallery, Broad Art Museum and Kresge Art Center, as well as locations in the greater Lansing community.

During the next five years, these one-year residencies are poised to catalyze connections across the Department of Art, Art History and Design, the College of Arts and Letters and the community to further critical discussions of race on MSU’s campus.  

Read more about the artists

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