Inaugural Appointments Set for Critical Race Studies Residency Program

MSU’s College of Arts & Letters has established a Critical Race Studies Residency Program that will bring an Artist-in-Residence and a Designer-in-Residence to campus for the 2017-2018 academic year to enrich the life of the greater Lansing community by facilitating practices of inclusion through art and design as part of the Department of Art, Art History, and Design.

Appointed to the inaugural positions are:

  • Artist-in-Residence: Alejandro T. Acierto, sound and multimedia artist
  • Designer-in-Residence: Karen Hampton, textile artist

“The Critical Race Studies Residency Program is designed to empower artistic creativity that drives cultural transformation through a shared engagement with creative practice,” said Christopher P. Long, Dean of the College of Arts & Letters. “The true impact of this program creates opportunities for shared experiences that embody the core values of MSU to cultivate diversity, create a positive environment, and embody inclusiveness with passion and determination.”

Michigan State University has boldly embraced inclusiveness as a core value through which to enrich community life.

Christopher P. Long

As part of their residency, Acierto and Hampton will produce substantial public projects that engage in critical approaches to diversity and inclusion through creative practice. They will each mount solo presentations of their work, teach two courses in the Studio Art and Apparel and Textile Design programs, and participate in outreach to the community throughout the year, working in some of MSU’s most publicly accessible spaces, such as (SCENE) Metrospace, MSU Union Art Gallery, Broad Art Museum, and Kresge Art Center, as well as locations in the greater Lansing community.

Alejandro T. Acierto, Taft’s own, 2016 Screenprint on brass, surface mount transducer
Alejandro T. Acierto, Taft’s own, 2016
Screenprint on brass, surface mount transducer


These residencies are poised to catalyze connections across the Department of Art, Art History, and Design, the College of Arts & Letters, and the community to further critical discussions of race on MSU’s campus.

“Michigan State University has boldly embraced inclusiveness as a core value through which to enrich community life. But the real power of this value to transform communities lies in the manner in which it is put into practice,” Long said. “The Critical Race Studies Residency Program is designed to create an institutional structure of support for publicly engaged approaches to diversity and inclusion through creative practice for all.”

Alejandro T. Acierto

Acierto’s work considers the breath, the voice, and the processes that enable them as materials to reflect on themes of belonging and affinity. Within a conceptual-based practice, he employs sound and sonic thinking that are invested in interdisciplinary investigations to make installation-based projects, sculptural gestures, and sounding time-based performance works. Through various modalities, his art projects consider how the breath and voice are mediated through technology, material objects, history, and the body.

Alejandro T. Acierto



Acierto comes to Michigan State University from the University of Illinois, Chicago, where he recently completed his M.F.A. He also holds a Master of Music in Contemporary Performance from Manhattan School of Music and a Bachelor of Music from DePaul University. This year, he presented solo exhibitions at the Sub-Mission and Roman Susan in Chicago and will present new performance works at the Art Institute of Chicago later this fall.

Karen Hampton

Hampton responds in her work to the under-representation of black and brown histories in the American historical record. Based in ethnographic research techniques, her artwork is steeped in oral history. She views herself as a vehicle by which ancestral voices can transcend history and remain as historical memory. The canvas of her work is coarsely woven cloth that is aged and imbued with conceptualized images and text from a forgotten part of the American story. Viewing her artwork as a form of resistance, she tells quieter American stories usually buried in the everyday experiences of family life.

Karen Hampton (left), Journey to Freedom (right)
Karen Hampton (left)
Journey to Freedom, a historical narrative that chronicles Hampton's great, great grandfather’s story. (right)


Hampton comes to Michigan State University from Los Angeles. Her recent solo exhibition, “The Journey North,” traveled from the Ruth and Elmer Wellin Museum of Art, Hamilton College, to the Honolulu Museum of Art. She holds an M.F.A. in Textile Design from the University of California, Davis, and a B.A. in Humanities from New College of California in San Francisco.

More Info

Events associated with these residencies will be announced in the fall. Further information about the Artist/Designer Residency in Critical Race Studies at Michigan State University is available from the Department of Art, Art History, and Design.

The residency program is part of the College of Arts and Letters’ Critical Diversity in a Digital Age initiative. Learn more here.


 

Header Artwork:

Alejandro T. Acierto
Introduction (unknown subjects)

2016
framed archival photographs, silk, air
​36in x 48 in