Michigan State University has announced the creation of a new program that will use art and design to educate students about racial issues. The Critical Race Studies Residency Program in the College of Arts and Letters will bring an artist-in-residence and a designer-in-residence to campus with the goal of enriching the life of student experiences and the greater community by facilitating practices of inclusion through art and design. The new program is designed to empower artistic creativity that drives cultural transformation through a shared engagement with creative practice.
A artist-in-residence and a designer-in-residence will serve one-year terms and will be replaced by other scholars each year for five years. The first designer-in-residence is Karen Hampton, a textile artist.
The canvas of her work is coarsely woven cloth that is aged and imbued with conceptualized images and text from a forgotten part of American history. She views herself as a vehicle by which ancestral voices can transcend history and remain as historical memory. Hampton is a graduate of New College of California in San Francisco. She earned a master of fine arts degree in textile deign from the University of California, Davis.
During the next five years, these one-year residencies are poised to catalyze connections across the Department of Art, Art History and Design, the College of Arts and Letters and the community to further critical discussions of race on Michigan State University’s campus.
A video about the new program may be viewed below.