“ART AND POLITICS”: SHEPARD FAIREY (OBAMA “HOPE” POSTER CREATOR) MEETS STUDENTS AT “SANTA FE UNIVERSITY OF ART AND DESIGN”

Launched in 2011 by the Santa Fe University of Art and Design, Artists for Positive Social Change  is a “university-wide series of events, lectures, and performances that highlights one high-profile issue, artist or genre each year.” Inaugurating this five-year initiative, 2011-12 was the year of hip-hop and saw Public Enemy descend on the SFUAD campus for a free concert.  The school hosted a graffiti workshop alongside classes in writing rap lyrics, hip-hop music and breakdancing. The goal was to distill hip-hop as a significant form of communication, as an art form that at its inception “gave voice to voiceless people.” This first year of Artists for Positive Social Change also proved that SFUAD is kinda cool.

Now in its second year, the theme is “Art and Political Activism.” Behold Shepard Fairey, who came to campus last Sunday night (February 17, 2013) for a Q&A with SFUAD’s graphic design department chair, David Grey.  During the week of February 18, Fairey will also designed and painted a permanent outdoor mural on the school campus. This is the artist whose 1990s Andre the Giant sticker went viral before viral meant on the Internet.  It was a different kind of dissemination, one grounded in street art.  He created the sticker while attending the Rhode Island School of Design where his tendencies toward punk, skateboarding and other countercultures were sometimes disparaged by professors.  Fairey admitted that he never thought he’d be taken seriously as a fine artist. If he had, he alleged, it might have paralyzed him.

In 2008, Fairey designed Barack Obama’s Hope Poster, the very icon of Obama’s grassroots energy.  That poster is why Fairey typifies this year’s “art and political activism” theme.  Its impact was immense and although not officially affiliated with the presidential campaign, it alone must have mobilized hundreds of thousands of voters. In Fairey’s words, he is making art for the world he wants to live in.  That alone is inspiration for SFUAD artists.

The Hope Poster’s imagery evolved from yes, an AP photo, but also its subversion of visual culture. In all of his work, the artist pulls from Russian Constructivism, pop art, hip-hop, punk, skateboarding, and artists like Warhol, Lichtenstein, Rauschenberg, and Barbara Kruger.  He raids the cultural image bank and riffs on it, appropriating elements to change the way we see things and ideally even think about things.  ‘Fair use’ copyright battles aside, Fairey asks us to “consume with discretion” and on his website http://www.obeygiant.com/about sites Heidegger’s account of Phenomenology to “enable people to see clearly something that is right before their eyes but obscured.”

If one thing was clear from listening to Fairey talk, it’s that he knows his culture.  From band trivia and blogging to politics and economics, this guy knows what’s up and he probably has an opinion about it.  He quoted Led Zeppelin, wore a black Ramones t-shirt, spoke openly about “selling out,” patience, his process and how it’s changed with time and the Internet, and when prompted, admitted to being arrested 16 times.  The Greer Garson Theatre was packed with students and community members who lined up for a Q&A that could’ve lasted all night.  Luckily, students have the opportunity all week to ask Fairey questions as he painted an indelible public artwork on the SFUAD campus.

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PUBLIC ENEMY TO PERFORM AT SANTA FE UNIVERSITY OF ART AND DESIGN

Concert is part of the university’s Artists for Positive Social Change series

  

Santa Fe University of Art and Design (Usa) will bring the internationally renowned hip-hop group Public Enemy to campus Saturday, April 28, 2012. The daylong event will kick off with a community conversation with frontman and lyricist Chuck D. and producer and bassist Brian Hardgroove and will culminate in a live Public Enemy concert that will be open to the public. The concert will close the university’s first yearlong Artists for Positive Social Change series.

It’s especially important to give our students direct access to the artists,” explains David Scheinbaum, chair of the Photography Department and the force behind the Artists for Positive Social Change program. “We have asked highly respected artists to talk to our students about what they do and how they do it. The conversations between the artists and the students are the backbone of the program.”

Formed in 1987, Public Enemy is known for hits like “Fight the Power” and albums like Apocalypse 91… The Enemy Strikes Black and How You Sell Soul to a Soulless People Who Sold Their Soul??? In the early 1990s, the group pioneered the crossover between rap and rock by partnering with thrash metal band Anthrax on “Bring the Noise,” a genre-busting single that paved the way for the rap-metal sound.

Over the past two decades, Public Enemy has continued the conversation about black rights in America and has advocated maintaining hip hop as a musical form that belongs to the people who listen to it and make it, and not the record companies who release and promote it. Getting Chuck D involved in this initiative will really make the difference. This is a place where people have real questions and can start a conversation,” said Hardgroove. “Santa Fe University of Art and Design is the only campus I’ve been introduced to that shows an interest in feeding the artistic heart.”

The group is also politically and socially active. It launched the website Public Enemy Africa in January 2011 to encourage creative dialogue among hip-hop and rap artists in African communities. The website offers a forum for posting artist profiles, music, videos and event dates to encourage the expression of regional and community cultural politics and concerns. Public Enemy Africa is a digital soundboard and cultural bridge to promote dialogue and, hopefully, to redirect the center of African hip-hop and rap music back to African communities,” explains Chuck D, who is a frequent lecturer and speaker and hosts a regular radio show on WBAI in New York City called “… ANDYOUDON’TSTOP!”

Public Enemy’s mission for positive social change epitomizes the goals of the series. “Chuck D is very serious about art and education,” Scheinbaum says. “Public Enemy is committed to its art and its message, often in the face of adversity. It’s the perfect group to represent our program’s emphasis on positive social change.”

The Artists for Positive Social Change series for the 2011–2012 academic year is focused on the genre of hip hop as a major influence on today’s culture and social fabric, highlighting hip-hop artists who push the boundaries of their medium. Since September, several artists, including Hardgroove and Bukue One, have visited campus to deliver lectures and workshops.

 Details about the concert and community conversation will be published early in 2012. For more information about Artists for Positive Social Change, please visit www.santafeuniversity.edu

Public Enemy picture from:

http://www.publicenemy.com/

 

ABOUT ARTISTS FOR POSITIVE SOCIAL CHANGE

Artists for Positive Social Change is a groundbreaking, university-wide series of events, lectures and performances that highlight one high-profile issue or genre. For the 2011–2012 academic year, the series focuses on hip-hop music as a major influence on today’s culture. It highlights hip-hop artists who serve as the voice for youth culture today, bringing positive messages of social responsibility through the multidisciplinary aspects of their medium: music, lyrics, graffiti and breakdancing. Prominent hip-hop artists will visit campus to give lectures, participate in panel discussions, perform their music and meet and talk with students.

To learn more, visit:

www.santafeuniversity.edu/CSFSite/CSF/About/ArtistsForPositiveChange

 

ABOUT SANTA FE UNIVERSITY OF ART AND DESIGN

Santa Fe University of Art and Design, in Santa Fe, New Mexico, provides a unique interdisciplinary curriculum that combines practical experience with core theory to prepare graduates to become well-rounded, creative problem-solving professionals. SFUAD offers a small-size class environment led by faculty members who are practicing artists, passionate about education and committed to involving students in meaningful projects beginning in their freshman year. The curriculum is designed to inspire creativity, passion and outstanding performance in contemporary music, creative writing, performing arts, art, graphic design, moving image arts (filmmaking and video production), and photography. With its diverse international student body and opportunities to study abroad, SFUAD encourages students to develop a global perspective on the arts. The city of Santa Fe also offers an international artistic experience as one of the world’s leading centers for art and design, home to thousands of artists working in all media. Santa Fe University of Art and Design (formerly the College of Santa Fe) is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association, www.ncahlc.org

 

HIP-HOP GOES TO UNIVERSITY

Bukue One led Workshop on Graffiti Art at Santa Fe’ University (Artists for Positive Social Change program)

Hip-hop artist Bukue One led a workshop on graffiti art Sept. 13 at Santa Fe’ University of Art and Design. The workshop was part of the university’s 2011–2012 Artists for Positive Social Change series, which focuses on hip-hop as a major influence on today’s culture and highlights hip-hop artists who push the boundaries of their medium. Bukue One, a leader in the world of hip-hop music and graffiti art, is globally recognized for his innovative and influential work, commitment to positive messages, and contributions to social change in his community.

Bukue is an artist who maintains a very high standard of ethics in his work and is aware of his responsibility as a performer,” said David Scheinbaum, chair of the Photography Department and leader of this year’s series. “As a university, we wanted to bring to our students not only talented figures to emulate, but also artists who consciously and creatively bring a positive message to our youth. Bukue does this through his music, his art and his own engagement with community and kids.”

Bukue, a performer and graffiti artist as well as the manager of hip-hop artist Del the Funky Homosapien, led a workshop focused on how to create a “burner,” or a big wall of graffiti. Bukue explained how to select optimal lettering, color and layout for large surface graffiti design. The workshop included the creation of a graffiti project on a wall near campus.

Forrest Thomas, owner of Thomas Properties, generously allowed our students to use the back of his building at the campus exit for the graffiti workshop,” said Linda Swanson, chair of the Art Department. “Together, Bukue One and workshop participants created a graffiti image of the letters ‘SFUAD’ there. This is a wonderful example of neighborly collaboration, and we appreciate Forrest’s trust and commitment to our school’s project. We were thrilled to acknowledge this collaborative effort and the significance of the project by placing a plaque about the Bukue One graffiti workshop and Forrest Thomas on the wall alongside the art.”

In addition to the workshop, Bukue gave a private concert to students, faculty members and staff, giving students the chance to see him at work both in an academic setting and as a performer on stage.

Having Bukue at the university was a unique experience for our students and faculty members,” said Scheinbaum. “He brought not only a wealth of practical knowledge but also a passion for and commitment to bringing about positive changes for society.”

* * *

University of Art and Design Santa Fe University of Art and Design, in Santa Fe, New Mexico, provides students with a unique interdisciplinary curriculum that combines practical experience with core theory to prepare graduates to become well-rounded, creative problem-solving professionals. The curriculum is designed to inspire creativity, passion and outstanding performance in contemporary music, creative writing, performing arts, art, graphic design, moving image arts (filmmaking and video production), photography, business and education. Its location, in one of the world’s leading centers for art and design, provides a perfect setting for learning in a city where creativity and innovation are central to the community. For more information, visit www.santafeuniversity.edu.

Santa Fe University of Art and Design (formerly the College of Santa Fe) is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association, www.ncahlc.org.

 

 

ARTISTS FOR POSITIVE SOCIAL CHANGE

Santa Fe University of Art and Design launches annual series to spotlight genres and artist s who have had a positive impact on society.

Santa Fe University of Art and Design announced the launch of Artists for Positive Social Change, a groundbreaking, university-wide series of events, courses, lectures and performances. Each academic year, the university will focus on the exploration of a specific genre that is relevant to society and the artists within the genre that have respectfully and fearlessly pushed the creative boundaries of their profession. Led by Photography Department Chair David Scheinbaum, the first annual Artists for Positive Social Change series for the 2011–2012 academic year will focus on the genre of hip-hop as a major influence on today’s culture and social fabric as well as work of hip-hop artists who push the boundaries of their medium. The year of hip-hop will begin in September and end with a three-day capstone symposium and performance on campus in May 2012.

“This program broadens the real-world relevance of our curriculum in an innovative way,” Scheinbaum explained. “So much of teaching is theoretical. It’s important to teach theory, but it’s even more important for students to meet the players and see what it’s like to lead lives in artistic professions. This series brings artists to campus who have had a major impact on their chosen fields by pushing the respective boundaries and have exhibited excellence and creativity in their approach to ethics, creative ideas, professionalism, quality.”

 

Scheinbaum chose the subject of hip-hop to launch the series for personal reasons. “My personal photographic work is steeped in hip-hop,” he said. “For the past 12 years, I’ve photographed hip-hop artists with positive messages.” He led the development of the

Artists for Positive Social Change series in part as a way to share his experiences with an audience larger than his own classroom. Elements of hip-hop culture, genre and practice will be discussed in courses in every department. Series-specific courses will include the study of rap lyrics as poetry in the Creative Writing and Literature Department; a course on the production of music videos through the Moving Image Arts Department; a series of workshops and performances in the Contemporary Music Department; and a study of the “art” of hip-hop culture, including graffiti and dance, through the Art and Theatre departments.

 

Performance is another exciting component of the program. A yet-to-be-announced roster of hip-hop artists will visit the campus to give lectures, participate in discussions, perform and—most importantly—meet and talk with students. In May, students will have the opportunity to attend a three-day capstone event that features guest lectures by academics and scholars and concludes with a performance by a prominent hip-hop group.

 

“Many of the artists I work with have a strong sense of social responsibility,” Scheinbaum said. “That’s an overriding theme of this first series. Hip-hop music often addresses community issues and social responsibility. These artists are a voice for this generation and bringing them onto campus is an exciting way to offer an innovative, motivating curriculum to the students.”

 

Future series will draw on artists from different disciplines, including poetry, theater and film. Scheinbaum said, “This program will epitomize our teaching: artists who are pushing the boundaries, sticking to their ethics and producing work of quality and relevance.”

 

ABOUT SANTA FE UNIVERSITY OF ART AND DESIGN 

Santa Fe University of Art and Design, in Santa Fe, New Mexico, provides students with a unique interdisciplinary curriculum that combines practical experience with core theory to prepare graduates to become well-rounded, creative problem-solving professionals. The curriculum is designed to inspire creativity, passion and outstanding performance in contemporary music, creative writing, performing arts, art, graphic design, moving image arts (filmmaking and video production), photography, business and education. Its location, in one of the world’s leading centers for art and design, provides a perfect setting for learning in a city where creativity and innovation are central to the community. For more information, visit www.santafeuniversity.edu

Santa Fe University of Art and Design (formerly the College of Santa Fe) is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association, www.ncahlc.org