Visiting Artist Lecture March 17
Co-sponsored by Museum of Contemporary Craft
Elissa Auther is an associate professor of contemporary art in the Department of Visual and Performing Arts at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs. Her book, String, Felt, Thread: The Hierarchy of Art and Craft in American Art (University of Minnesota Press, 2009), examines the innovative use of fiber in American art and the impact of its elevation on the conceptual boundaries distinguishing "art" from "craft" in the post-war era. Auther has also written about and published on, among other topics, the criticism of Clement Greenberg, the history of decorative, artist produced wallpapers, and the film installations of Isaac Julien. She is the co-editor of the April 2007 special issue on feminist activist art for the National Women's Studies Association Journal. Her scholarly work has been supported by major research grants from the J. Paul Getty Foundation, the Smithsonian Institution, and the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum and Research Center, among others. In 2009 she was awarded the University of Colorado's President's Diversity Award for a multi-year series of lectures and workshops for undergraduate students that highlighted the work of underrepresented minorities in the areas of contemporary experimental music, visual art, performance, and curatorial practices. This project was co-organized with her colleague in the Department of Visual and Performing Arts, Valerie Brodar. In addition, she co-directs "Feminism & Co.: Art, Sex, Politics," a public program at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver designed to explore feminist issues in popular culture, social policy, and art through creative forms of pedagogy. Her new book, The Countercultural Experiment: Consciousness and Encounters at the Edge of Art, is co-edited with Adam Lerner and focuses on the diverse visual expression of the American counterculture.