An internationally celebrated artist, curator and art critic has selected award winners in a recent department of art faculty exhibition at Kansas State University. Robert Storr’s visit to the university also included a public lecture.
Storr toured the “2011 K-State Department of Art Faculty Biennial,” which was on display at the university’s Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art from November 2011 to mid-March 2012. He selected works of art from the exhibition to receive awards.
The winning art and artists, all department of art faculty, include:
• “Pick your Plan (Fairfield)” by Mike McMann, best of show.
• “My Brother’s Room” by Lynda Andrus, first place.
• “Microwave Safe” by Dylan J. Beck, second place.
• “Root Nerve” by Geraldine Craig, third place.
• “Almost Cured” by Nancy Morrow, fourth place.
Storr also delivered a lecture to students, faculty and community members. Luke Dempsey, senior in fine arts from Creve Coeur, Mo., said the lecture was an excellent reminder that art is based on not only talent, but dedication to the fundamentals.
“He gave students a perspective that encouraged hard work to tackle the difficult world of art,” Dempsey said. “We hope, as artists, we can change the future of art and humanity for the better.”
Other students said it was beneficial to have a renowned artist speak directly to students about the academic art process.
Megan Burke, senior in fine arts from Olathe, said Storr’s speech used a positive tone to discuss the realities and difficulties that face students when they leave the university.
“He said that the most important things to have when we graduate are unshakable convictions with which to take on the world,” Burke said. “While the art itself is important, he suggested that a fine arts degree prepares us for far more than just making work; it prepares us to observe and respond to the world with clear ideas that translate into good artwork. It was inspiring to be spoken to so frankly, and will push me further in my work.”
Storr is currently the consulting curator of modern and contemporary art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the commissioner of the 2007 Venice Biennale—the first American invited to assume that position.
Storr received a bachelor’s degree from Swarthmore College in 1972 and a master’s degree in fine arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1978.
He was curator in the painting and sculpture department at the Museum of Modern Art in New York from 1990 to 2002.
He has written numerous catalogs, articles and books, including “Philip Guston” and the forthcoming “Intimate Geometries: The Work and Life of Louise Bourgeois.”
Storr has received several awards, including a Distinguished Contribution to the Field of Art Criticism Award from the American chapter of the International Association of Art and the Lawrence A. Fleischman Award for Scholarly Excellence in the Field of American Art History from the Smithsonian Institution’s Archives of American Art.