January 20, 2003
ART, COMMUNITY AND ACTIVISM
Noted Art Critic, Author
and Activist Robert Atkins
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
To Present Two Talks at Smith on Art and Social Crisis
Editor's note: For a 300-dpi
black and white photo of Atkins, e-mail Mhobbes@smith.edu.
NORTHAMPTON, Mass.-New York-based art
historian Robert Atkins, a founder of Visual AIDS, the group
that originated Day Without Art and the Red Ribbon campaign,
will present two slide lectures at Smith College.
The lectures-which are free, open to the public and wheelchair
accessible-will take place in Graham Hall, Brown Fine Arts Center.
"From (Mass) Media to Metaphor: AIDS and Its Representations"
will be presented at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 4. Topics Atkins will
address include artists' portrayals of the AIDS crisis; the relationship
between AIDS-art and post-September 11 art; and the impact of
mass media on independent and critical voices.
"Art, Social Crisis and Free Expression" will be presented
at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 11. In it, Atkins will consider the tradition
of community-based and political art in the U.S., as well as
artists' use of the Internet in pursuit of social change.
An open forum to discuss issues raised in Atkins' lectures will
be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 12, in Wright Hall Common Room.
In addition to founding Visual AIDS, Atkins is the initiator
of the noted Web site "911-The September 11 Project: Cultural
Intervention in Civic Society." A former columnist for The
Village Voice, he is currently working on an anthology of his
writing titled "Eye /I Witness: Art Writing as Activism,
Criticism and Reportage." A contributor to more than 100
publications throughout the world, he has received awards for
art criticism from the National Endowment for the Arts, Manufacturers
Hanover Bank and, in 2001, the first Penny McCall Award in the
Visual Arts for independent writing and curating.
Atkins is the author of the best-selling "ArtSpeak: A Guide
to Contemporary Ideas, Movements and Buzzwords," its companion,
"ArtSpoke: A Guide to Modern Ideas, Movement and Buzzwords
1848-1944," and "From Media to Metaphor: Art About
AIDS." He is media-arts editor for The Media Channel and
editor/producer of Artery: The AIDS-Art Forum.