Ass. Prof. Vita Geluniene is an artist and educator living in Kaunas, Lithuania. She was Director of Kaunas Biennial (2005-2007) and initiated its Art and Publics Programme. She is currently Head of Textiles at Vilnius Art Academy, Kaunas Art Institute.
Artist Ailbhe Murphy and independent researcher Ciaran Smyth established Vagabond Reviews as an interdisciplinary arts and research platform. They seek to extend both art and research practice beyond traditional institutional, academic or cultural circuits in order to engage broader publics in alternative forms of cultural participation and knowledge production. Recent projects include the Sliabh Bán Art House (2011-2012), a participatory public art project commissioned by Galway City Council, which explored themes of home, displacement and embodied local identities in a new and culturally diverse Galway neighbourhood. The Arcade Project is an ongoing arts-based inquiry with the Rialto Youth Project in Dublin exploring organisational values and pedagogical principles in arts-based youth work.
Fiona Woods is a visual artist who works with an idea of ‘public’ as something that can be activated or claimed, rather than something that already exists. She has carried out a number of public art commissions in Ireland and was also involved in the EU Project Trans Local Act. Her practice includes making, writing, discussing and co-producing, for which she has received support from the Arts Council of Ireland. See www.fionawoods.net
Susanne Bosch is an artist, open space facilitator and works since 2006 at the University of Ulster (Belfast) where she is co-directing the MA Art in Public. Consequently her work as an artist, with students and as facilitator deals with creative forms of communication and negotiation. www.susannebosch.de
Dutch artist Jeanne van Heeswijk was awarded the Annenberg Prize in 2011 in recognition of her dedication to involving people in the communities where she sees opportunities for making social change. Her projects, which have been exhibited in internationally-renowned biennials in Venice, Busan, Taipei, and Shanghai, are realized through her integration into local communities. For her projects, which she describes as “urban curating,” she becomes an active citizen, and encourages neighbours and community members to participate in all aspects of the projects, from initial planning to a final exhibition or event. For example, she reinvigorated the Afrikaander Market in Rotterdam with the aid of market vendors and others from the neighbourhood, and last year, in Moscow, she installed living statues of people marginalized by neoliberal political reforms near Russia’s Ministries of Education, the Interior, Labor, and Social Affairs.
Mary Jane Jacob has participated in a number of Irish projects and manifestations over the last three years and will be linked to the Cork Circle. In her curatorial practice she seeks to advance the parameters of artists’ public practices and examine assumptions about the audience for contemporary art. She was artistic director for such public programs as “Places with a Past” (Charleston 1991), “Culture in Action,” (Chicago 1993), “Conversations at The Castle” (Atlanta 1996). Since 2001 she annually produces deeply situated projects for the Spoleto Festival USA, Charleston. With the book Buddha Mind in Contemporary Art (University of California Press, 2004), she furthered her research into the nature of the art experience; her new anthology is Learning Mind: Experience Into Art. She is Professor of Sculpture and Executive Director of Exhibitions at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. At the 2010 College Art Association conference, she will be awarded the Women’s Caucus for Art Lifetime Achievement Award and the Award for Achievement in the Field of Public Art from Public Art Dialogue.