Thursday, March 8, 2012
Lydia Matthews is a Brooklyn-based critical writer, contemporary art curator and cultural activist who currently serves as Director of the Curatorial Design Research Lab and Professor of Visual Culture at Parsons The New School for Design. Trained as an art historian at the University of California, Berkeley and the University of London's Courtauld Institute, her work focuses on the intersection of contemporary art/craft/design practices, diverse local cultures and global economies. Before relocating to New York to take a five year position as Dean of Academic Programs at Parsons, she taught for 17 years at the California College of the Arts in San Francisco, where she co-founded and chaired the graduate program in visual criticism and also directed the MFA program in fine arts. In her writing on art in the public sphere, which includes Against All Odds: Ethics/Aesthetics (Athens: Papasotiriou Publishers, 2011), Critical Perspectives: Writings on Art and Civic Dialogue (Washington DC: Americans for the Arts, 2005), and The Drama Review(New York University, 1998), she examines how artists, designers and curators have fostered lively democratic debates and intimate community interactions through their social practices projects.