Exploring Social Practice

September 24, 2015 - October 22, 2015


Transformer proudly presents:

Exploring Social Practice:
How Transformer’s E12 Artists Interpreted Social Intervention Mentorship from Design Studio for Social Intervention     

September 24 – October 22, 2015
American University Katzen Arts Center Rotunda    

The 2nd exhibition in Transformer’s four-part
Do You Know Where Your Art Comes From? series 
in collaboration with American University’s Visiting Artist Program

Exhibition Opening Reception:  Thursday September 24, 6–8pm 

Exploring Social Practice at American University’s Katzen Art Center Rotunda furthers current contemporary art dialogue on how to approach and pursue social interventions and social practice work, by sharing outcomes from Transformer’s summer exhibition series E12: Social Practice Labs. The 12th year of Transformer’s Exercises for Emerging Artists program – a peer critique & mentorship program created to support DC based emerging artists at critical points or crossroads in their professional growth and creative development – E12: Social Practice supported DC based artists Amy Hughes Braden, Kunj, Joseph Orzal, and Margo Elsayd in pursuing social change and social engagement through their individual artistic disciplines. 

Beginning in late May 2015, the E12: Social Practice artists worked with Design Studio for Social Intervention Co-Founder Kenneth Bailey, to expand their understanding of cultural tactics used in social interventions, learn methodologies for exploring cultural contexts, develop relevant cultural symbols, and generate ideas that build on these symbols to create powerful social interventions. With this mentorship, and the additional mentorship support of E12 DC Lead Mentor artist Patrick McDonough, as well as Transformer curatorial staff, the E12: Social Practice artists developed artistic actions through a variety of design elements. 

Through an ambitious series of comprehensive, ten-day long Social Practice Labs at Transformer, the E12: Social Practice artists creatively engaged community in critical thinking on topics of femininity, visibility, critical pedagogy, and urban planning.“Transformer is honored to have the opportunity to share the outcomes of our E12: Social Practice work within the university setting, further engaging audience on both evolving social practice approaches, as well as the socio-political issues the E12 artists pursued in their individual labs.” – Victoria Reis, Co-Founder, Executive & Artistic Director, Transformer.

A collaboration between the Studio Art Program at American University, Transformer, and DS4SI, Exploring Social Practice is the 2nd exhibition in Transformer’s four-part Do You Know Where Your Art Comes From? series, being presented over two years at the American University Museum and the Rotunda of the Katzen Arts Center. Curated by Victoria Reis, Executive & Artistic Director of Transformer, in collaboration with Tim Doud, Associate Professor of Art and coordinator of the Visiting Artist Program at American University, Do You Know Where Your Art Comes From? highlights various contemporary platforms artists and arts organizations have initiated to develop, create, and present art, and investigates current and future models of art organizing.

Exploring Social Practice Public Programs:
(all programs take place within the American University Katzen Arts Center Rotunda unless otherwise noted)

Opening Reception
Thursday, September 24
6:00 - 8:00pm

Join Transformer, American University, Design Studio for Social Intervention, and the E12: Social Practice Artists as we celebrate the opening of Exploring Social Practice. Beginning at 7pm, Lori Lobenstine, Co-Founder, Design Studio for Social Intervention will share remarks on making meaning and creating change in the public sphere through the integration of social justice strategies with art, design thinking, and social practice. 

What is Social Practice?
Tuesday, October 13 - 6:30 - 8:00PM
A Conversation with Kenny Bailey, Co-Founder, Design Studio for Social Intervention
Patrick McDonough, Artist and Professor, American University.

Thursday, October 15
Obento Boxing: Personal Tactics for Social Practice

Afternoon Master Class: 2:30 - 4:00pm 
Evening Master Class: 7:00 - 8:30pm 

Studio Room 246; 2nd Floor AU Katzen Arts Center Rotunda

Organize what's in your head, obento box style! Everything we do requires us to set up our own tools and systems for thinking and creating. Take the time to step out of your personal, artistic, social or daily practice to see, sort and share your tools and ingredients through these two Obento Boxing Master Classes led by Ayako Maruyama, Creativity Lab Design Lead, Design Studio for Social Intervention. Participants interested in a hands-on lab that takes light and delicious inspiration from Japanese washoku principles are welcome to join in a reflective exercise unlike any other. Feel free to bring a tool you use in your practice, however that prompt speaks to you.

EXHIBITION HOURS: 9 am - 5 pm, Sunday – Saturday

Image credit: Nick Pimentel