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Broad Art Museum as MSU launches the Land Grant Residency Program
The first two Land Grant awardees, artists and educators Amy Franceschini and Fritz Haeg, will speak about their upcoming work in East Lansing as part of a series of kick-off events on April 20 and 21.. Photo: Courtesy Zaha Hadid Architects.

EAST LANSING, MI.- The Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University (Broad/MSU) announced The Land Grant: Art, Agriculture, Sustainability, a new annual residency program for artists whose work addresses land use, food, and urban development, with a focus on sustainability. Informed by MSU’s history as a land-grant university and its strong commitment to education and global engagement in these areas, the program will support projects that educate the public and catalyze grass-roots remedies to major global challenges, offering an artistic approach to “thinking globally and acting locally.” Participants will have access to thought leaders across university departments as they develop their projects, and acres of university land on which to work.

The first two Land Grant awardees, artists and educators Amy Franceschini and Fritz Haeg, will speak about their upcoming work in East Lansing as part of a series of kick-off events on April 20 and 21.

“Great art has always taken up the most significant issues of the artist’s day and reframed vital ideas in ways that fundamentally shift people’s awareness and perceptions of their own world,” said Michael Rush, founding director of the Broad/MSU. “The physical and intellectual resources available at MSU make it an extraordinary context for this kind of practice, and we are thrilled to be able to support artists creating ambitious socially and globally-minded works through the new Land Grant residency program.”

Beginning this spring, artists, architects and collectives will have the opportunity to delve into the rich academic history and current practice existing across university disciplines through The Land Grant residency. Working at the Broad/MSU and in partnerships with various schools and institutes on campus and in the surrounding area, the awardees will develop projects that move beyond the traditional boundaries of object-based practice to investigate pressing contemporary issues and engage the public both inside the museum and across the university’s 5,200-acre campus. The Land Grant is organized by Alison Gass, Curator of Contemporary Art at the Broad/MSU.

“This is a project about ‘in between spaces,’” Gass said. “Conceptually, these works exist in between art, architecture, urban development, agricultural studies, economics, political science and other disciplines. Physically, they will fill and activate the interstitial spaces we move though every day in the course of our lives.”

The first two recipients of The Land Grant residency are:

• Amy Franceschini, an artist and educator who works with notions of community, sustainability and a perceived conflict between humans and nature. Her work manifests on- and off-line in the form of dynamic websites, installations, open-access laboratories, and educational formats that collectively question or challenge the social, political and economic systems we live in. Amy is the founder of the Futurefarmers collaborative and co-founder of Free Soil, an international collective of artists, activists, researchers, and gardeners who work together to propose alternatives to the social, political and environmental organization of space.

•  Fritz Haeg, whose work has included gardens, public dances, educational environments, animal architecture, domestic gatherings, urban parades, temporary encampments, documentary videos, publications, exhibitions, websites, and buildings. His recent projects, Edible Estates and Sundown Schoolhouse, have focused on two main programs, one that reclaims private property as a site for activism, the second occurring in the public arena as community outreach.

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