Jon Rubin, Associate Professor of Art, and Lenka Clayton, rotating Adjunct Assistant Professor of Art, are recipients of the Guggenheim Museum’s New Social Practice Art Initiative with Major Grant from the Edmond de Rothschild Foundation.
The museum has commissioned Rubin, Clayton, and San Francisco-based artist Marc Bamuthi Joseph to individually create artist projects for the museum focused on community engagement. Rubin and Clayton’s projects are expected to launch in spring 2017. “The Guggenheim Social Practice artists were selected based on an in-depth review of their impact within the field of socially engaged art, as well as their ability to positively connect with members of the public as collaborators and/or cocreators,” notes the museum. Guggenheim Social Practice is organized by curatorial and education staff from the Guggenheim, including Kim Kanatani, Deputy Director and Gail Engelberg Director of Education; Nat Trotman, Curator, Performance and Media; Sharon Vatsky, Director of Education, School and Family Programs; Christina Yang, Director of Education, Public Programs; and Joan Young, Director of Curatorial Affairs.
Rubin is an interdisciplinary artist who creates interventions into public life that reimagine individual, group, and institutional behavior. He is Chair of the Contextual Practice program in the School of Art and Co-Director of Conflict Kitchen in Pittsburgh (2010– ) with alumni Dawn Weleski, BFA ’09. Conflict Kitchen, serves food from countries in conflicts with the United States, encouraging public engagement with the culture, politics, and issues at stake within the highlighted regions. Rubin has received awards from the Art Matters Foundation, the Creative Work Fund, Americans for the Arts, and was a recent finalist for the International Award for Participatory Art. He is currently developing an alternative economic and cultural exchange system in Philadelphia’s legendary Ninth Street Market with the support of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and an experimental sitcom shot both in Los Angeles and Tehran with the support of the Creative Capital Award.
Lenka Clayton is a British interdisciplinary artist based in Pittsburgh whose work considers, exaggerates, and alters the accepted rules of everyday life, extending the familiar into the realms of the poetic and absurd. She is currently artist-in-residence at the Fabric Workshop and Museum in Philadelphia. In 2012 Clayton founded An Artist Residency in Motherhood. She was recently awarded a Creative Development Grant from the Pittsburgh Foundation/Heinz Endowments and named Emerging Artist of the Year in 2013 by the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts. Clayton and writer Michael Crowe are in the midst of an ongoing project called Mysterious Letters (2009– ).