http://rebeccakeller.net

Bio

Adjunct Associate Professor, Sculpture, Art Education, Art History, Theory, and Criticism (1994). BFA, Minneapolis College of Art and Design; MFA: Northern Illinois University. Exhibitions: MCA, Chicago; Chesterwood, MA; Portland Art Museum, OR; Hull House, Chicago; WaldKunst Biennial, Germany; Galerie IMZ, Germany; Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago; Tartu Art Museum, Estonia. Publications: What is Revolutionary Art Today?, Block Gallery, Northwestern University; Excavating History, Stepsister Press; Uncovering Stories: Site-complicit Art, The Socially Purposeful Museum, Leicester University. Bibliography: "The Way of the Shovel: Art as Archeology"; Sculpture Magazine; Bad at Sports; MutualArt; Hyperallergic. Awards: Fulbright Artist, American Association of Museums; National Endowment for the Arts; Illinois Arts Council, President's Urban Initiative.


Experience at SAIC

Teaching at SAIC is both challenging and humbling. I am proud to work with so many brilliant artists, writers, thinkers and creators, as both students and colleagues. I am particularly struck by how my colleagues and students are not only invested in creating interesting and beautiful things and experiences, and academic insights and contributions, but are also actively engaged in making our world better: more just, green, accepting and open.


Personal Statement

I've been an artist, writer, teacher and organizer/collaborator in Chicago for two decades, exhibiting in venues ranging from museums and universities to alternative spaces and historic sites, including the Museum of Contemporary Art/Chicago, the Waldkunst Bienniel, Darmstadt, Germany, the Hyde Park Art Center, Jane Addams Hull House, and many others. I have been honored with two Fulbrights, as well as inclusion in On Our Radar/Creative Time, and grants from the National Endowment for Art.

In general, my goals as a teacher are to create an environment that is both challenging and supportive, rigorous and humane. I want my students to feel confident enough to move beyond their comfort zone, to take intellectual and creative risks, and to allow themselves to be unsettled by new ideas. But in order for this to happen, it is crucial to establish an atmosphere of trust and support. I aim to create a community of learners: I absolutely believe that no one of us knows as much as all of us. I try to help students develop the self-reflection and confidence that is a critical part of arts education.


Current Interests

In recent years, I've focused on projects that explore the narratives embedded in public historic sites. Under the umbrella title Excavating History, these installations and interventions include overlooked or ignored narratives, and build connections to contemporary culture. It began with an exhibition in the Glessner House Museum, an 1896 mansion on Chicago's south side. I became interested in the house's unusual layout—done specifically so servants could conduct their work without passing through family areas. I convinced the museum to allow me to intervene in these "protected spaces," and researched histories of domestic labor, immigration, and gender. My installations connected these invisible histories to our contemporary economy.

Since then I've "excavated" an 1801 anatomy theater in Estonia; the Chicago Cultural Center; the Massachusetts studio of Daniel Chester French, now a museum; an online archive for the Portland Art Museum, and Jane Addams Hull House, among many others, using history to examine contemporary culture. In 2012 Stepsister Press released Excavating History a book of essays about these projects. I have been invited to speak about this work in many universities and museums in the U.S., as well as in Europe and Asia.

 

Disclaimer: All work represents the views of the INDIVIDUAL ARTISTS & AUTHORS who created them, and are not those of the school or museum of the Art Institute.