Art In Public In Grand Rapids

The “Art in Public” events took place on March 17-18, 2011. The Lecture at the Grand Rapids Art Museum on the 17th, and the Symposium at the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts on March 18th, 2011.

The Lecture was titled Who’s Afraid of the NEA? Justice, Solidarity, and a Democratic Culture. Click on the lecture title do download a copy of the lecture outline and summary.

Here are some images of the events:

Symposium at UICA, photo by Amber Stout

Lambert Zuidervaart at the Symposium, photo by Leah Burke

Here are links to media on “Art in Public” and related events:

New Book Brings Lambert Zuidervaart Back to Grand Rapids, by Roberta King, Rapidian, March 10, 2011

Civic Studio presents Exhibition: Envisioning Art in Public, by Amber Stout, Rapidian, March 11, 2011

Art in Public – An Argument for Advancement on the Argument, by Tommy Allen, RapidGrowthMedia

Interview with “Art in Public” author Lambert Zuidervaart, by Jeff Smith, Grand Rapids Institute for Information Democracy, March 19, 2011

Catalyst Radio Interview with Lambert Zuidervaart (upcoming), by Denise Cheng, Catalyst Radio WYCE/Rapidian, 12:00PM March 25, 2011

The Aesthetics of Public Space: UICA Symposium Furthers Ideas of Art, Community by Patrick Nothaft, Grand Valley Lanthorn March 24, 2011



Art In Public In Grand Rapids (event announcement)
Lambert Zuidervaart will return to Grand Rapids on March 17-18 for a book launch, lecture, and symposium connected to his new book “Art in Public: Politics, Economics, and a Democratic Culture” which was recently published by Cambridge University Press.

This web site is a dynamic resource for these events. It includes information about the lecture, symposium, book, and its author.  This site will be updated periodically, including additional selected excerpts from the text and related news links.

“Art in Public” is Informed by Lambert’s experience as a leader in the Grand Rapids cultural community as well as his expertise in the arts, humanities and social sciences. In his book “Art in Public” he proposes an entirely new conception of the public role of art with wide-ranging implications for education, politics and cultural policy.

“Art in Public” addresses one of the most troublesome public debates in North America — the ongoing controversy over government funding for the arts — and shows why the terms of this debate need to be changed. The book examines central questions about funding for the arts: Why should governments provide funding for the arts? What do the arts contribute to daily life? Do artists and their publics have a social responsibility? Challenging questionable assumptions about the state, the market, the arts, and a democratic society, Zuidervaart presents a vigorous case for government funding, based on crucial contributions the arts make to civil society. He argues that the arts contribute to democratic communication and a social economy, fostering the critical and creative dialogue that a democratic society needs.

The ideas in Zuidervaart’s new book are applicable to the local context and current political times. Grand Rapids is engaged in significant experimentation and development in public culture that is outpacing the public critical dialog. In recent weeks public funding of the arts has come under renewed scrutiny and threats of elimination in both State and National governments. The public lecture, book launch, and symposium are organized by the GVSU Art and Design Department to acknowledge Lambert Zuidervaart’s contributions to the broader discourse and recognize the connection to our city. The events are also a special opportunity to put these ideas to work in the development of the local public discourse.

Lecture and Book Launch
Art in Public: Politics, Economics, and a Democratic Culture
Thursday, March 17, 2011 7:00 pm
Cook Auditorium, Grand Rapids Art Museum

Art in Public In Grand Rapids
Friday, March 18, 2011 1-4pm
UICA (Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts)

Lambert Zuidervaart is Professor of Philosophy at the Institute for Christian Studies in Toronto and a member of the graduate faculties in theology and philosophy at the University of Toronto. He was recently appointed as Director of ICS’s Centre for Philosophy, Religion, and Social Ethics. An accomplished musician and writer, Lambert is a founding member of the Toronto Beach Chorale. Before moving to Toronto, Lambert and his wife Joyce Recker were active participants in cultural life of Grand Rapids for 17 years: Joyce as a practicing visual artist and Lambert as board member and president of the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts. His recent books include Art in Public (2011), Dog-Kissed Tears (2010), Social Philosophy after Adorno (2007), and Artistic Truth (2004).