School of Art Appoints Artist Jon Rubin as the First Director of its MFA Program

Posted on January 30, 2017

The School of Art at Carnegie Mellon University announces Jon Rubin as the first director of its MFA program. Rubin, who holds the position of associate professor of art and is recognized as a leading artist in the field of social and contextual practice, will take on the role of program director in fall 2017.

Known as an artist, educator, and activist, Rubin was recently selected by the Guggenheim Museum to be among the first artists to take part in their new Social Practice Art Initiative, which will take form in spring 2017.

The formation of the position of MFA Program Director is the first step in the School of Art’s graduate initiative, which aims to establish a core graduate faculty, increased funding, and a new graduate studio facility.

“Jon Rubin is one of the most respected artists in his field. His projects have stirred national dialogue, and his efforts have helped shape the contours of social engagement within contemporary art,” said Charlie White, Head of the School of Art. “Having Jon enter as the director of the MFA program will be the first in a series of steps to increase faculty, facilities, and funding that will further advance our intentions of providing one of the most progressive graduate programs in the country.”

Rubin’s major projects include Conflict Kitchen (2010– ), which serves food from countries in conflict with the United States, encouraging public engagement with the culture, politics and issues at stake within the highlighted regions; The Last Billboard (2010– ), a 36-foot-long rooftop billboard located in the city of Pittsburgh that presents unique text-based statements each month by invited participants; and The Royal Danish Protesters (2011), a three week performance in which actors impersonating the Danish Queen and Prince Consort walked through Copenhagen carrying signs broadcasting the opinions of any Danish citizen who approached them.

In addition to his public projects, Rubin has exhibited at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Shanghai Biennial; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver; the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College, Museo Tamayo Arte Contemporáneo, Mexico City; Rooseum, Malmö, Sweden; Sazmanab Center for Contemporary Art, Tehran; as well as in backyards, in living rooms, and on street corners.

Carnegie Mellon’s School of Art, housed within one of the most respected research universities in the United States, offers an unparalleled convergence of contemporary art, technology and critical discourse. Currently ranked as the No. 6 art school in the country and No. 1 in the area of new media and time-based art by US News and World Report, the school’s noted alumni include Andy Warhol, Philip Pearlstein, Joyce Kozloff, Mel Bochner, Deborah Kass, and John Currin.

Photo: Jim Judkis