The Robertson Lecture is an endowed annual event of the LSA Residential College, and is a lasting gift of the first Dean of the RC, James Robertson. The lecturer is traditionally a notable alumna/us of the RC, someone impacting their chosen field(s) in ways congruent with the philosophy of the College. The 2018 Robertson Lecture will be delivered at the Keene Theater in East Quadrangle on October 19th by Nancy Blum, class of ’85, a Brooklyn-based artist who is known for her public art commissions and works on paper. In addition to graduating from the RC with majors in Psychology and Women’s Studies, she received an MSW from the U-M School of Social work and an MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art. Her current work is installed primarily out of the gallery, not separated from the street but integrated into it, with a particular interest in sites of transit in cities and within hospital settings. Her recent commissions include medicinal wildflower windows at the San Francisco General Hospital acute care unit; large, graceful birds in flights of migration/immigration integrated into three light-rail stations in Minneapolis/St. Paul; and over-sized yellow flower sculptures sprouting from a rainwater filtration green space at a bus loop outside Philadelphia.
In her Robertson lecture, Nancy will share anecdotes about these and other works, and take us behind the scenes of her in-progress installation at the 28th Street 6 Train station in NYC. She’ll explore how her multiple interests take root in public art, and she’ll give us a sense for how she forged her own path as an artist – a journey, she says, that began at the Residential College, notably thanks to mentoring from her ceramics professor, Susan Crowell.
Following the Lecture, please join us for a reception for the artist at the RC Art Gallery, located on the first floor of East Quadrangle. Refreshments will be served. An exhibit of Nancy’s drawings will be on display at the same gallery through November 9th, (M-F 10am-5pm, free admission).