American Art of the Sixties: The Meanings of Visual and Material Forms in a Transnational Context

March 26 & 27, 2020

The symposium “American Art of the Sixties: The Meanings of Visual and Material Forms in a Transnational Context” aims to shed new light on American art of the long Sixties by furthering research that places artworks, artists, and art production within a transnational context. The two-day event, taking place on March 26 & 27 at Texas A&M University, features ten national and international scholars grouped into five thematic panels, a keynote speaker, and a roundtable discussion. The invited scholars examine how visual and material forms generate meanings within different geographical and cultural contexts, drawing on social art-historical, poststructural, and formal methodologies, thus bridging what Joshua Shannon, Jason Weems, and Jennifer Roberts have discussed as the “Americanist-Modernist divide.” Recuperating various transnational contexts that provide new interpretations of Sixties art, the symposium explores why some of these meanings have become dominant while others were lost as the artworks traveled through time and space. 

Photo credit: Tadeusz Kantor, Bridge—Clothes Hanger, 1970-1971, Photocollage, 31 x 34 cm, Archive of Jacek Maria Stokłosa, Cracow, Photograph courtesy Jacek Maria Stokłosa 



Rodney Hill in colorful tie

IAC Fellow Rodney Hill named among top ten most admired educators

Each year, DesignIntelligence (DI) conducts a survey of America’s top architecture schools, ranking undergraduate and graduate programs from the perspective of practitioners who hire graduates of those programs. The survey is sent, via email, to DI’s expansive network of hiring professionals, who tell them which schools they Most Admire and Most Hire From and how recent graduates are performing in 12 skill areas. The Most Hired ranking was launched two years ago and combines undergraduate and graduate programs from each school, taking into consideration the number of annual graduates. Read more here.


bookcover for Design for Mental and Behavioral Health

IAC Fellow Mardelle Shepley publishes book on mental health and the physical environment

Design for Mental and Behavioral Health provides designer with research information to guide the development of new mental and behavioral health facilities. In addition to the book, Shepley has published two papers based on the development of a tool used to evaluate these spaces: 

In addition to these papers and in reaction to the many and terrible recent incidents involving gun violence, her most current area of research is on the impact of urban environments on violent crime. The paper on this topic should be available in 2020. 



Work in progress, © Courtney Brake, 2019

Work in progress, © Courtney Brake, 2019

Visualization of bacterial interactions

Artists can play key roles in facilitating new perspectives for scientists. Complex biological systems often produce colors, shapes, and patterns of movement. These visual cues highlight the beauty of living systems and suggest interactions among organisms, cells, or molecules. Our collaboration focuses on patterns that we observe when different species of bacteria compete with each other.  We use photography and time-lapse imaging to capture these dynamic interactions. For example, our work investigates how antibiotics produced by one species of bacteria cause a population of competitor bacteria to change the way it grows and moves. These changing patterns generate new questions that help us study and understand the biological basis of competition between species. By observing bacterial interactions, artists can stimulate new ideas to explore in a scientific framework. This is a work in progress among Dr. Paul Straight, Associate Professor, Biochemistry and Biophysics; Yongjin Liu, Ph.D. candidate, Biochemistry and Biophysics; Courtney Brake, MFA candidate, Department of Visualization; and Carol LaFayette, Harold L. Adams Interdisciplinary Professor in Visualization and Director, IAC. 




Viz prof’s advocacy culminates in NASEM report supporting STEAM

Whether regenerating the earth, feeding the world, or colonizing space, tomorrow’s thought leaders will be better prepared by an initiative integrating science and the arts, concludes a May 2018 landmark report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

Championing the critical thinking and creative skills gained at intersections of art and science, the NASEM report validates efforts by Carol LaFayette, director of the Institute for Applied Creativity at Texas A&M University, who led a multi-year National Science Foundation-funded initiative aimed at elevating the role of art and design in STEM fields. Read more here.





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