Five new senior faculty members to bring diverse skills to the USC Roski School

The internationally renowned group of artists, thinkers and teachers complements the school’s roster of outstanding existing faculty

August 04, 2016 Stephanie Weiss

Suzanne Lacy, Edgar Arceneaux, Keith Mayerson, Kori Newkirk and Patty Chang will join the senior faculty ranks of the USC Roski School of Art and Design beginning in the 2016-17 academic year.

The diverse and internationally renowned group of artists, thinkers and teachers complements USC Roski’s roster of outstanding existing faculty, and confirms the school’s commitment to continuing the highest quality of education for its students. The group hire also signals the school’s dedication to playing a key role in the broader Los Angeles, national and global art communities.

The scope and nature of the hire is part of an ongoing strategic mission to broaden the school’s offerings, including establishing USC Roski as a center for research and practice in lens-based and time-based arts and strengthening its commitment to public art practice, while maintaining excellence in traditional 2-D and 3-D media.

“Leveraging our enviable position in a major comprehensive university — the only major research university that boasts six independent art schools as well as schools of social work, [USC Price School of] Public Policy and the [USC Dornsife] College of Letters, Arts and Sciences — has been a strategic goal since 2013,” said USC Roski Dean Erica Muhl. “We are steadfast in preparing our students to thrive in a more complex art world.”

These highly accomplished artists represent the most exciting aspects of cross-disciplinary practice, traversing pure aesthetics and social activism. Vice Dean of Art Nao Bustamante said, “I can’t wait to collaborate with the incoming artists. As part of the USC Roski community, they will have an integral role in continuing to shape the vision of the school moving forward.” These hires will continue the school’s tradition of excellence, while breaking new ground in visual arts pedagogy, practice and research.

Suzanne Lacy
Suzanne Lacy (Photo/Courtesy of Suzanne Lacy)

Suzanne Lacy

Suzanne Lacy is an internationally exhibited visual artist, social activist, educator, writer and feminist whose body of work includes performances, video and photographic installation, critical writing and public art with a focus on social and urban issues.

A member of the historic cohort of Judy Chicago’s Feminist Art Program at California State University, Fresno and later CalArts, where she studied with Allan Kaprow, Suzanne Lacy not only produces activist and community-driven art, but pioneered feminist art education and social practice programming at premier institutions throughout the state.

She was dean of fine art and director of the Center for Fine Art and Public Life at the California College of the Arts, chair of fine arts and creator of the MFA program in public practice at Otis College of Art and Design, and a founding faculty member at California State University, Monterey Bay.

Over the last 30 years, Lacy has published numerous pieces of critical commentary and lectured widely. Lacy’s work has been on display at the Tate Modern, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, the Whitney Museum and the Bilbao Museum in Spain. Lacy has been appointed to fellowships with the Guggenheim Foundation, the Henry Moore Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Edgar Arceneaux
Edgar Arceneaux (Photo/Paul Lovelace Photography)

Edgar Arceneaux

Los Angeles artist and filmmaker Edgar Arceneaux has made an impact in the art world for over a decade. His work links local, community-based interests with broader international dialogues in contemporary art.

Recently, Arceneaux was honored by Performa with the 2015 Malcolm McLaren award for his play Until, Until, Until… He has had solo exhibitions at: the Galerie Natalie Obadia in Paris; the MIT LIST Center for Contemporary Art; the Museum for Gegenwartskunst in Basel, Switzerland; the Hammer Museum; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit; Witte de With Museum in Rotterdam, the Netherlands; the Lentos Art Museum in Austria; and the Studio Museum in Harlem.

Group exhibitions include the Whitney Biennial, the Shanghai Biennale, the Los Angeles Public Art Biennial, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, the Orange County Museum of Art, The Kitchen in New York and the Museum Ludwig in Germany.

A former United States Artists Fellow, Arceneaux was co-founder and director of the Watts House Project for 13 years and has held teaching positions at CalArts as well as Otis College of Art and Design.

Keith Mayerson
Keith Mayerson (Illustration/Keith Mayerson)

Keith Mayerson

Keith Mayerson has created lush, thought-provoking paintings for two decades, portraying historical and literary figures, pop culture icons, family snapshots and urban landscapes which invite the viewer to interpret each composition from an individual perspective.

His tremendous output, much of which can be seen his 100-piece solo exhibition My American Dream has been displayed throughout the country.

Mayerson’s work has been featured in the Whitney Biennial and is currently on display in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Whitney Museum, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Columbus Museum of Art and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Cleveland.

Kori Newkirk
Kori Newkirk (Photo/Sharon Suh)

Kori Newkirk

Kori Newkirk, visiting assistant professor of art, rose to prominence over 15 years ago with provocative multimedia paintings, sculptural installations, video and photographs. His work engages both the personal and political realities of being and resonates with underlying social implications that speak to issues of self, memory, identity and place.

Newkirk’s solo exhibitions include the MCA San Diego, MCA Cleveland, the Studio Museum in Harlem, the Art Gallery of Ontario, LAXART, the Fabric Museum and Workshop, Locust Projects and Deep River. Group exhibitions include the Whitney Biennial, the Dakar Biennial, the Serpentine, the MCA Chicago, the Hammer Museum, and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles. He has been awarded grants and fellowships by FOCA, Art Matters, The Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation, the California Community Foundation, The William H. Johnson Foundation and the Joan Mitchell Foundation.

Prior to coming to USC, Newkirk held a dual appointment at Otis College of Art and Design and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Patty Chang
Patty Chang (Photo/Courtesy of Patty Chang)

Patty Chang

Patty Chang interdisciplinary artist working in performance, video and installation. Using her own body as a platform for artistic expression, Chang’s art is intensely physical, interacting with objects, posing and performing in ways designed to elicit commentary on gender, language and race.

Her work intentionally pushes boundaries, forcing audiences beyond comfort to contend with conceptual and political issues of the objectification of women and their representation in art history and popular culture.

Chang has exhibited and performed at institutions across the world, such as the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Hammer Museum, the New Museum in New York, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, the Hamburg Kunstverein in Hamburg, Germany, and the Moderna Museet in Stockholm, Sweden.

In 2009 she was named the Guna S. Mundheim Fellow of Visual Arts at the American Academy in Berlin, and she is a 2014 recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship. Her work will be featured in the Shanghai Biennial in fall 2016.

About USC Roski: The USC Roski School of Art and Design is a unique, supportive environment for creativity, experimentation and collaboration in the visual arts. The school encourages interdisciplinary approaches to studio art, design, curatorial practice and critical studies. With equal emphasis on making and thinking, the USC Roski School prepares artists, designers, curators and writers to contribute in new and meaningful ways both to their fields and to society at large.