The Willson Center for Humanities and Arts will welcome Rebecca Rutstein, an artist whose work spans painting, sculpture, installation and public art and explores abstraction inspired by science, data and maps, to the University of Georgia as the third Delta Visiting Chair for Global Understanding.
Rutstein will visit UGA twice during the current academic year: in November as part of the national conference of the Alliance for the Arts in Research Universities, and again in March 2019. During each of her visits, Rutstein will give public presentations with oceanographer Samantha Joye, Athletic Association Professor in Arts and Sciences in the marine sciences department at UGA. The first presentation, a public plenary event on the second day of the a2ru conference, will take place Nov. 2 at 9 a.m. in Mahler Hall of the UGA Center for Continuing Education & Hotel.
Beginning Nov. 1, Rutstein will display a 64-foot-long interactive sculptural installation made with laser cut steel and LED lights, and a large-scale, four-part painting installation at the Georgia Museum of Art, as well as a mural-sized banner in the Lamar Dodd School of Art.
In the process of creating works inspired by geology, microbiology and marine science, Rutstein has collaborated with scientists aboard research vessels sailing from the Galapagos Islands to California, Vietnam to Guam, and in the waters surrounding Tahiti. She has exhibited widely in museums, institutions and galleries, and has received numerous awards including the Pew Fellowship in the Arts. She has held more than 25 solo exhibitions at venues across the U.S.
The Delta Visiting Chair, established by the Willson Center for Humanities and Arts through the support of The Delta Air Lines Foundation, hosts outstanding global scholars, leading creative thinkers, artists and intellectuals who teach and conduct research at UGA. Its first honoree was Alice Walker in 2015, followed by Colm Toibin in 2017.
The chair is founded upon the legacy of the Delta Prize for Global Understanding, which from 1997-2011 was presented to individuals, including Nelson Mandela, Mikhail Gorbachev, Ted Turner, Desmond Tutu, and Jimmy and Rosalyn Carter, whose initiatives promoted world peace by advancing understanding and cooperation among cultures and nations.
Each holder of the Delta Visiting Chair engages the Georgia community through lectures, seminars, discussions and programs. They present global problems in local context by addressing pressing contemporary questions about the economy, society and the environment with a focus on how the arts and humanities can intervene in major contemporary issues.