Susanne Slavick is an artist, curator and the Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Art at Carnegie Mellon University, where she was Head of the School of Art from 2000-2006. Her curatorial projects include When the Bough Breaks (2019), a dialogue between contemporary artists and writers exploring the representation of trees; Marx@200 (2018) commemorating the legacy of Marx’s critique of capitalism; Unloaded (2015), a traveling group show exploring the impact of guns in our culture; and Out of Rubble (Charta, 2011) a book and traveling exhibit featuring international artists who respond to the aftermath of war.
Slavick’s work pursues empathic unsettlement through images that remind us of what we stand to lose after what we have lost already. She has exhibited internationally, with solo or two-person shows most recently at University of Virginia, Gettysburg College, McDonough Museum of Art in Youngstown, the Chicago Cultural Center, Accola Griefen Gallery in New York, and Bernstein Gallery at Princeton University. Getting There, an exhibit with Andrew Ellis Johnson, opens in 2021 at the Godwin-Ternbach Museum at Queens College.
Slavick graduated summa cum laude from Yale University where she also attended the Yale Summer School of Art and Music in Norfolk; studied at Jagiellonian University in Krakow; and earned an MFA at Tyler School of Art in Rome and Philadelphia.
Her work has been recognized by the National Endowment for the Arts and through four awards from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. Residencies have included two Sites of Passage projects in Egypt and Israel/Palestine; a Blue Mountain Center Focus Residency on the costs of war; and the MacDowell Colony. In 2019, she was awarded the College Art Association Distinguished Teaching of Art Award and the College of Fine Arts Henry Hornbostel Teaching Award. In 2020, she was named a University Professor, the highest faculty designation at at Carnegie Mellon.
FULL SPECTRUM refers to social strengths—structural, physical and emotional.
Through linked arms, nine dancers become one. The dancers’ upper bodies emphasize
connection, pronouncing and delineating an enclosure. Their linkage suggests a combined and connecting energy with great potential. This energy does not confer a heavy or permanent power; it is a dynamic current for shifting needs and circumstances.
A color wheel occupies the space that their arms encircle. Its contours and center gaze out at us like an observant eye. Its rings and rays of colors suggest a multi-lensed eye, allowing for both multiple and singular perspectives. Is it seeing us or are we seeing it? The line between points of view is blurred. Its full spectrum is inclusive and non-hierarchical. There is no primacy, no black and white dichotomy.
Instead, there is the perception and the reality of diversity as strength.
Notes on sources:
The encompassing image is an altered photograph by AJ Johnson that documents Snap Crackle Pop, a 2018 performance by Carolyn Dorfman Dance. Snap Crackle Pop is a collaboration between Carolyn Dorfman and Renée Jaworski, Co-Artistic Director of PILOBOLUS, who merged their signature styles to create a work about connection—past, present, and future. Snap Crackle Pop had its World Premiere on April 14, 2018 at New Jersey Performing Arts Center.
Credits: Photo source: Narratography/AJ Johnson and Carolyn Dorfman Dance