Janeil Engelstad – Individual expression to community transformation: evolution of public art – TEDxSMU 2014
Around the world artists are collaborating with professionals from various disciplines, NGOs and other organizations to create public art that transforms the social, political and ecological environment. These projects often include community members in the production of the work, creating a sense of belonging and new spaces for gathering and engagement. Reflecting on over 20 years of creating public art that has supported social and environmental change and the evolution of public art over the past several decades, Janeil Engelstad’s engaging talk will enlighten, inspire and inform the audience about how artists are redefining the role and function of public art.
Collaboratively and independently, Janeil Engelstad has produced exhibitions and multiform projects throughout the world. Her creative practice and community advocacy work often dovetail into work that addresses political, social and environmental concerns through writing, photography and art. She is the Founding Director of the non-profit Make Art with Purpose (MAP), an organization that produces collaborative international projects that use art as a tool to address some of the most challenging concerns of our time. Engelstad’s work has been supported by numerous grants and fellowships, in 2006 she was a Fulbright Scholar at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava, Slovakia. Based on her success in the Fulbright Program she was invited by the US Embassy in Bratislava to create, with her students, the first site-specific art project at a US Embassy. An outgrowth of her Fulbright experience was Voices From the Center, a multi-form project that included an interactive website, public art, exhibitions and public programs, which documented people’s reflections about life during and after communism. She has written curricula and taught learners of all ages at a variety of institutions including museums, K-12 schools and art and community centers. She teaches and lectures at universities throughout the United States and is an Associate Artist at the Social Practice Art Research Center at the University of California, Santa Cruz.