Arts Calendar

Grand Valley State University

Art lecture Melanie Buffington will address Public Art

Art lecture "The Many Faces of Public Art"

Thursday, March 28, 2013
6:30 PM

Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts, Theatre Space, 2 Fulton West, Grand Rapids, MI 49503


Melanie Buffington will give a free public lecture sponsored and presented by the Grand Valley State University Art Education Program and Art & Design Department.

Buffington will also present a free workshop from 9-11 a.m., at Grand Valley's Calder Art Center, room 1201. To register for the free morning workshop, please RSVP your attendance to Hsiao-ping Chen at Both workshop and lecture are free and open to the public.

"The Many Faces of Public Art" will investigate a range of public art forms, including traditional monuments, contemporary memorials, political works, graffiti, community-based public works, among others. Working to understand the functions of these varied forms of public art requires thinking about how they act in the world. This presentation will address various functions of public art and how public art can connect to art education.

Buffington is an associate professor of art education at Virginia Commonwealth University where she teaches a variety of undergraduate and graduate courses. Previously, she was a 7th grade art teacher in Maryland. She received her doctorate and master's degrees from Ohio State University and a bachelor's degree from The Pennsylvania State University.

Her research interests include technology, museum education, multiculturalism, feminism, service-learning, contemporary art, public art, and teacher preparation. Buffington has published work in several journals including Art Education, Visual Arts Research, Journal of Cultural Research in Art Education, and Computers in the Schools. She has received grants to support such projects as podcasting with the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and a research book co-written and edited with Sara Wilson McKay. In her teaching, she strives to uses student-centered techniques and create classroom communities that foster democratic learning. She actively participates in state, national, and international professional organizations.

For more information, contact Hsiao-Ping Chen, assistant professor of art education, at (616) 331-3187.