Social & Studio conversations:
Jeanne van Heeswijk and Sue Bell Yank

Social & Studio conversations:
Jeanne van Heeswijk and Sue Bell Yank

Moore College of Art & Design

Left: Jeanne van Heeswijk. Right: Sue Bell Yank. Courtesy of van Heeswijk, Yank, and Moore College of Art & Design.
September 8, 2015
Social & Studio conversations: Jeanne van Heeswijk and Sue Bell Yank

Tuesday, September 15, 2015, 6:30pm–8pm

Moore College of Art & Design
20th Street & The Parkway
Philadelphia, PA 19103

T +215 965 4000

Join us for an evening of stimulating conversation when Dutch visual artist and curator Jeanne van Heeswijk is joined by writer, producer and arts educator Sue Bell Yank to talk about van Heeswijk’s practice, focusing on the relationship between space, geography and urban renewal. Presented by Graduate Studies at Moore’s Social and Studio Practices department, this is a rare opportunity for you to hear directly from the artist, who currently lives and works in Rotterdam in the Netherlands.

Jeanne van Heeswijk is an artist who facilitates the creation of lively and diversified public spaces, typically from abandoned or derelict sites. Her socially engaged art practice generates new forms of encounter while challenging bureaucratic conventions and acquired rules. She trained at the Jan van Eyck Academie in Maastricht and the Academie voor Beeldende Vorming in Tilburg, had her first solo exhibition in 1991, and has since exhibited at venues worldwide, including numerous biennials. Van Heeswijk’s projects distinguish themselves through their strong social involvement, often among hundreds of participants and over an extended period of time. She sees herself as a mediator who generates “interspaces,” contexts and crossovers within which new relations are established between groups of people and institutions. These connections lead to public improvements, self-organization of local groups, self-sustaining enterprises and a stronger community identity. For example, in her Freehouse–Market of Tomorrow project of 2008, van Heeswijk sought to revitalize Rotterdam’s Afrikaandermarkt. Working with vendors, artists, designers, and local shopkeepers, she developed a detailed sketch of the ideal market of the future, devoting more attention to diverse high-quality goods and services, and new skill-based collaborative projects. While drawing up the master plan, van Heeswijk challenged government regulations that were preventing vendors and the community from establishing sustainable sources of income. Some of these proposals were then implemented in the new governmental plan. The renewal of the market is ongoing, but it has once again become the “beating heart” of the Afrikaander district. Van Heeswijk’s artistic practice presents a transformative contribution to the design world: in her vision, art actively works in shaping society, and the ultimate artistic production lies within the evolution of the people involved in the process. She is currently developing a project with the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Sue Bell Yank is a writer, producer, and arts educator. Formerly head of Academic Programs at the UCLA Hammer Museum, she is co-founder and editor-in-chief of the arts education website, and works in online digital education for Oprah Winfrey. Yank has a deep-seated investment in socially and politically engaged art that can be traced back to her years as a public school teacher in Lynwood and South Fairfax. She is currently an advisor for the Asian Arts Initiative’s Social Practice Lab and the granting organization SPArt, and was a curatorial advisor for Creative Time’s Living as Form exhibition (2011). Her writing has been featured in exhibition catalogues, UCSD’s Social Practice journal Field, the Liverpool Biennial journal Stages, n.paradoxa feminist journal, Journal of Aesthetics and Protest, the Huffington Post, KCET Artbound, and various arts blogs, including her ongoing essay blog entitled “Social Practice: Writings about the Social in Contemporary Art.” She has been a lecturer at California College of the Arts, Otis College of Art and Design, UCLA and USC.

Moore College of Art & Design is dedicated to excellence in art and design. Founded in 1848, Moore is the first and only visual arts college for women in the United States. Through its undergraduate bachelor of fine arts degrees for women and its coeducational graduate programs, Moore cultivates creativity, promotes scholarship and prepares its students for professional careers in the arts by emphasizing critical thinking, problem solving, risk-taking, and strong communication skills. Moore is dedicated to producing graduates that distinguish themselves as leaders in their fields. Moore’s Social and Studio Practices department was inaugurated in the summer of 2015 to incorporate two new graduate degrees: the MA in Social Engagement and the MFA in Community Practice that would expand on the work developed by the MFA in Studio Art program established five years earlier. The program is unique in its fusion of making, research and concern with the subject of place in contemporary art.

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Moore College of Art & Design
September 8, 2015

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