February 17, 2015

Artists Making Cities: A Panel Discussion and Workshops on Creative Placemaking

The Princeton Atelier at the Lewis Center for the Arts, in conjunction with the Princeton-Mellon Initiative in Architecture, Urbanism, and the Humanities, presents “Artists Making Cities: A Panel Discussion and Workshops on Creative Placemaking” on February 24. A panel discussion by three artists working in different ways to revitalize cities will take place from 4:30 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. at Betts Auditorium in the School of Architecture on the Princeton campus. Workshops with the artists will follow from 7:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at 185 Nassau Street. Both events are free and open to the public.

Internationally active artists Adam Horowitz, Lou Pesce, and Emily Scott will discuss “creative placemaking,” the set of practices in which art and culture work intentionally to help transform a place. It is a growing movement in which artists shape and reshape cities, treating urban space as their material. The creative placemaking process may involve a wide range of arts practices – gardens and storm water management projects, installations, or performances – to revitalize urban ecosystems and neighborhoods. With the emergence of creative placemaking, artists have now taken their place alongside professional architects, designers, planners, environmentalists, and community activists as major players in the efforts to remake contemporary urban environments to be more equitable and sustainable.

The panel and workshops are part of a spring Princeton Atelier course entitled “Performing Environmental Stories,” which encourages students to design interactive artistic projects that encourage audiences to experience, perform, and reimagine environmental problems and solutions. The course is co-taught by artist/writer/historian Jenny Price, Princeton’s fall 2014 Currie C. and Thomas A. Barron Visiting Professor in the Environment and the Humanities, and Kelly Baum, Princeton University Art Museum’s Haskell Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, both of whom will moderate the artist panel.

adam horowitz


Horowitz is Chief Instigator at the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture and a self-proclaimed “projectician.” As a performer, musician, and researcher of intercultural exchange, he has worked with ensembles in Europe and in South America, presenting original work in forests, churches, public plazas, and living rooms, as well as traditional theaters. He served as Co-Executive Director of Bowery Arts + Science, and has worked with numerous organizations at the intersection of arts, education, and social change, including the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market, Ashoka, and the Future Project. Horowitz was a Fulbright Scholar in Colombia and is an Artist in Residence at the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics at New York University.

lou pesce

Pesce is a team member at the Metabolic Studio in Los Angeles, a group of individuals who work together across a range of investigative platforms from photography to agriculture, transforming resources into energy, actions, and outcomes. He received his B.F.A. from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and a M.L.A. degree from the University of Florida.

emily scott

Scott is a postdoctoral fellow in the Architecture Department of The Institute for the History and Theory of Architecture at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich (ETH) and co-founder with Price of Los Angeles Urban Rangers, a group that develops guided hikes, campfire talks, field kits, and other interpretive tools to spark creative explorations of everyday habitats in their home megalopolis and beyond. Her interdisciplinary scholarship focuses on artistic practices that illuminate pressing ecological and geopolitical issues, often by blurring with other forms of thinking so as to effectively engage its world audience. She is currently completing a co-edited volume on contemporary art and land use politics. Her recent writings have appeared in Third Text, Art Journal, Cultural Geographies, and the exhibition catalogue for “Ends of the Earth: Land Art to 1974.”

Price is the author of “Thirteen Ways of Seeing Nature in L.A.” and Flight Maps: Adventures with Nature in Modern America. She conducted such projects as Public Access 101: Malibu Public Beaches and Downtown L.A. Trail System. She has exhibited in shows including the International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam, Performing Public Space at La Casa de Túnel in Tijuana, and the traveling We Are Here Maps Archive. A resident artist for the Mellon Tri-College Creative Residencies in 2012-13, she also designed Nature Trail as a commission for Laumeier Sculpture Park’s permanent collection in St. Louis, Missouri. A 2005 Guggenheim fellow and two-time National Endowment for the Humanities fellow, she was the 2011 Anschutz Distinguished Fellow in American Studies at Princeton and a 2013 Visiting Fellow at Stanford University’s Bill Lane Center for the American West. She is currently co-creating Play the L.A. River as a co-founder of the public arts and humanities collective Project 51 and working on a new book, Stop Saving the Planet!—& Other Tips for 21st-Century Environmentalists.

Baum has been working as a curator and scholar for almost 15 years and has published widely and organized dozens of exhibitions, including “Nobody’s Property: Art, Land, Space 2000-2010”; “Felix Gonzalez-Torres: Untitled”; and most recently “New Jersey as Non-Site,” for which she received a Warhol Curatorial Research Fellowship. In addition to overseeing the Art Museum’s Sarah Lee Elson, Class of 1984, International Artist in Residence Program, she serves as a curatorial adviser to Princeton’s campus art committee.

The Princeton Atelier was founded by Princeton Professor Emerita Toni Morrison and is directed by Paul Muldoon, Princeton’s Howard G.B. Clark ’21 Professor in the Humanities and Professor of Creative Writing. This unique academic program brings together professional artists from different disciplines to create new work in the context of a semester-long course. A painter might team with a composer, a choreographer might join with an electrical engineer, a company of theater artists might engage with environmental scientists, or a poet might connect with a videographer. Princeton students have an unrivaled opportunity to be directly involved in these collaborations.

The Princeton-Mellon Initiative works with a wide range of departments, programs and schools across the campus. Its programs include interdisciplinary courses with project-based outcomes; a visiting research fellowship program that brings together scholars, architects, critics, curators, artists and filmmakers to explore interdisciplinary perspectives and new pathways of thinking; and public programs, workshops, and events that spark debate around architecture and cities around the theme of “Cities of the Americas: Architecture, Society, Politics, and Culture.”

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