SFAI to Confer Three Honorary Doctorates

SFAI to Confer Three Honorary Doctorates

San Francisco Art Institute

May 8, 2007
SFAI to Confer Three Honorary Doctorates
San Francisco Art Institute

San Francisco, CA 94133

800 345 SFAI / 415 749 4500


SFAI Awards Three Honorary Doctorates at 2007 Commencement

In recognition of their outstanding contributions to contemporary art, culture, and thought, San Francisco Art Institute will be conferring honorary doctorates upon Stuart Hall, Joan Jonas, and Kynaston McShine at its 2007 Commencement on Saturday, May 19th.

Born in Kingston, Jamaica, Stuart Hall moved to England in 1951 where he attended Oxford University. One of the founders of New Left Review in 1960, Hall was its editor until 1962—a two-year, twelve-issue period that proved to be as influential on “new left” thought in England and abroad as it was distinctive in the journal’s varied history. After coauthoring with Paddy Whannel The Popular Arts in 1964—in which the title concept was, effectively for the first time, made problematic for academic studies—he became a central figure at the Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies at the University of Birmingham. In 1968 Hall became director of the Contemporary Cultural Studies unit. The 1970s saw him edit or contribute to a number of seminal works in the cultural studies movement: Situating Marx: Evaluations and Departures (1973); Resistance through Rituals: Youth Subcultures in Post-war Britain (1976); On Ideology (1978); and Policing the Crisis: Mugging, the State and Law and Order (1978). From 1979 to 1997, when he retired from teaching, Hall was professor of sociology at the Open University. A major force in political, cultural, and intellectual life in Britain since the 50s, Hall is considered one of the principal founders of the discipline of cultural studies. He currently sits on the Runnymede Trust’s commission on the future of a multi-ethnic Britain.

A pioneer in the fields of video and performance art, Joan Jonas was born in New York City. After receiving her BA in art history from Mount Holyoke in 1958, she studied sculpture at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts from 1958 to 1961 and earned an MFA from Columbia University in 1965. Jonas quickly expanded beyond sculpture and started experimenting, in the late 60s and early 70s, with multimedia and multigenre productions, which are considered essential to the development of contemporary art in a number of areas—from video and performance to conceptual art and theater. Her work has been exhibited at major venues in the US (MoMA; the Whitney; the Berkeley Art Museum) and across the globe (Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Staatsgalerie, Stuttgart; Documenta XI, Kassel). In 2005 and 2006, she presented The Shape, the Scent, the Feel of Things as a site-specific performance at Dia:Beacon—a piece she revisited in the spring of 2007 as a five-channel video installation at Yvon Lambert, New York. A recipient of numerous awards and honors, Jonas, professor of visual arts at MIT, is also known as a dedicated and inspirational teacher. In her most recent work, she explores the relationship between new digital media and performance. She is currently developing work for a show that will open in September 2007 at MACBA.

Kynaston McShine was born in Port of Spain, Trinidad. He received a BA from Dartmouth College in 1958 and did graduate work at the University of Michigan and the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University. From 1968 to the present, McShine has worked as a curator at the Museum of Modern Art in New York (currently, he is chief curator at large). In 1970, McShine put together MoMA’s epoch-making exhibition of conceptual art, Information. Since then, he has organized or curated an array of innovative and thought-provoking exhibitions there—among them, Marcel Duchamp (1973); Robert Rauschenberg (1977); Joseph Cornell (1980); Andy Warhol: A Retrospective (1989); The Museum as Muse, Artists Reflect (1999); Edvard Munch: The Modern Life of the Soul (2006); and, with Lynne Cooke, Richard Serra Sculpture: Forty Years (upcoming). He initiated the Projects program in 1971, which has been devoted to experimental work by younger artists, and was responsible for the inaugural installation of The Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden when the museum reopened in 2004. He has written or contributed to numerous exhibition catalogues and books of art criticism; has taught at Hunter College, the School of Visual Arts, and Yale University (among other colleges); has been a member of a number of advisory boards (among them, Documenta, Kassel) and boards of trustees (among them, Alliance for the Arts, New York); and has worked in the capacity of a voluntary consultant for many institutions.

San Francisco Art Institute

Founded in 1871, SFAI is one of the oldest and most prestigious schools of higher education in contemporary art in the US. Focusing on the relation between thinking, making, and learning, SFAI’s academic and public programs are dedicated to excellence and diversity.

SFAI’s School of Studio Practice offers a BFA, an MFA, and a Post-Baccalaureate certificate in Design + Technology, Film, New Genres, Painting, Photography, Printmaking, and Sculpture.

SFAI’s School of Interdisciplinary Studies offers degree programs in History and Theory of Contemporary Art (BA and MA), Urban Studies (BA and MA), and Exhibition and Museum Studies (MA only).

SFAI’s Summer Institute offers a low-residency MFA degree program, the City Studio Pre-College and Teacher Professional Development programs, as well as studio and interdisciplinary courses for credit and noncredit. Intensive courses range from one- to eight-week sessions and include studio disciplines, art history and theory, study/travel, and more.

For more information about this event and other programs at SFAI, please go to http://www.sfai.edu or call 415 749 4500.

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