Inland Symposium: CST

April 12, 2012 - April 13, 2012
Washington University in St. Louis

Video: Patricia Olynyk and Buzz Spector discuss Inland Symposium: CST. Produced by Dickson Beall.

Inland Symposium: CST—the third annual symposium event co-sponsored by the Inland Visual Studies Center—will take place April 12-13, 2012, at the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis.

This year's symposium, titled CST: Central Standard Time, will look at cultural production in the Midwest and examine its contribution to the nation's art and visual culture, challenging the notion that the "CST territories" consist primarily of consumers, as opposed to creative/productive classes. Participants will discuss the impact of the history of the Midwest—including economy, sociology, geography, and even climatology—on visual culture "between the coasts."
Download pdf version of symposium program

While the symposium is free and open to the public, registration is required. Please e-mail


Barbara Jaffee
Barbara Jaffee is associate professor of art history at Northern Illinois University. She earned her Ph.D. in History of Art from the University of Chicago in 1999. Her scholarly research has focused on the critical discourse and institutional framework within which modern art developed, particularly in the United States. Jaffee's current project, Diagrammatics: Industrialism and the Modernizing of American Art, documents the use of diagrams in art pedagogy in the United States, a topic that provides not only a framework for understanding the popularization and diffusion of modernist aesthetics, but also an opportunity to investigate the origins and early (pre-1913) development of modern forms of painting. She has received fellowships from the University of Chicago, the U.S. Department of Education, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the Getty Foundation. Among her publications are several articles and book chapters, including "Jackson Pollock's Industrial Expressionism" (Art Journal) and "Before the New Bauhaus: From Industrial Drawing to Art and Design Education in Chicago" (Design Issues).

Stephanie Smith
Stephanie Smith is one of Chicago’s leading interpreters of contemporary art. Having joined the Smart Museum of Art in 1999, she is currently deputy director and chief curator. She also serves as an affiliate member of the University of Chicago's Department of Visual Arts and founding member of its Open Practice Committee. Previously, she held curatorial positions at Rice University, where she earned an MA in Art History, and at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston. Smith's work focuses on socially engaged public practice and on issues of art and sustainability, most notably in the exhibitions and publications Beyond Green: Toward a Sustainable Art (2005), Heartland (2009), and her current project, Feast: Radical Hospitality in Contemporary Art (2012). She is a contributing editor for the international art journal Afterall and has written for the international contemporary art journal Parkett.



Welcome & Introductions
5p, Steinberg Hall Auditorium

Carmon Colangelo
Dean, Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts
E. Desmond Lee Professor for Collaboration in the Arts

Patricia Olynyk, Symposium Co-Organizer
Director, Graduate School of Art, Sam Fox School
Florence and Frank Bush Professor of Art

Paul Krainak, Symposium Co-Organizer
Chair, Department of Art, Bradley University

Buzz Spector
Dean, College & Graduate School of Art, Sam Fox School
Jane Reuter Hitzeman and Herbert F. Hitzeman, Jr. Professor of Art

Keynote Speaker: Barbara Jaffee, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Art History, Northern Illinois University

Opening Reception: In The Heart Of The Heart Of The Country
6:30p, 4191 Manchester Ave.
This exhibit—curated by Lauren Adams, Richard Krueger, and Monika Weiss—features works by MFA students in the Sam Fox School's Graduate School of Art. The title is taken from a short story by William H. Gass, the David May Distinguished University Professor Emeritus in the Humanities at Washington University. Gallery space is generously provided by Boldt Brothers Building Maintenance and Washington University Medical Center Redevelopment Corporation.


Panel: Place Discourse
9a, Kemp Auditorium, Givens Hall

MODERATORS: Paul Krainak and Robert Gero
PANELISTS: Jessica Baran, Jack Becker, Barbara Jaffee, Adrian Luchini, and Buzz Spector

This panel—consisting of artists, historians, and writers from Illinois, Minnesota, and Missouri—is designed to explore critical interpretations of Midwestern art and design. Each panelist has had an important and sustained engagement with a range of critical, theoretical, curatorial, and artistic projects and will speak to his or her experiences in a manner that reflects upon the Midwest over time. The discussion will relate anecdotes about artists, galleries, museums, art journals, education, and audiences in the Midwest that have bearing on critical judgments that have fundamentally affected perceptions of art and its social impact. Panelists will dispute Midwestern cultural stereotypes like “flyover zone” and “red states/blue states,” and consider the anti-intellectualism of an art world monoculture and the shifting consequence of geography.

The impact of regional art journals over time … the extended influence of architecture and design practice … the locus of academic and cultural institutions that thrive in the Midwest … mentorship, post-populism, and collectivism—all are factors in asserting or disguising “Midwestern-ness.” This occasionally understated, sometimes populist, and often contested dialogue on cultural identity and artistic practice is the subject of our brief look at critical ideas on regional culture over the last 25 years.

Panel: Show Me: The Delights and Drawbacks of Contemporary Exhibitions in the Midwest
11a, Kemp Auditorium, Givens Hall

MODERATOR: Dominic Molon
PANELISTS: Martin Brief, Deb Sokolow, and Dana Turkovic

This panel brings together artists and curators from Chicago and St. Louis to discuss the advantages and challenges of presenting contemporary art in the American Midwest. While much of the critical attention in contemporary art remains focused on art centers such as New York and Los Angeles in the United States—and London and Berlin abroad—vital and necessary work continues to be done both by those who create and those who curate outside those centers. In many ways, the ability to function beyond the scrutiny or market-driven intensity characteristic of those cities provides artists and curators based in the Midwest with an opportunity to experiment with different approaches and to explore unconsidered or overlooked historical trajectories—circumstances that can be liberating rather than confining. (Not to mention other, more practical advantages such as competitive costs of living and an abundance of wellapportioned exhibition spaces, or the potential to create them.)

Exhibiting contemporary art outside of the “center” does, however, present real difficulties, including the need to appeal to audiences that are indifferent, unaware, and possibly even adversarial. Midwestern cities often become overidentified with a particular style or sensibility that, in turn, consigns some artists’ work to limiting critical receptions. During this informal discussion, panelists will not only address these issues but also invite suggestions as to how the perceptions and realities of exhibiting art in the Midwest might be productively rethought and reconsidered.


Museum Tour + Introduction to Curators
2p, Kemper Art Museum
Meredith Malone, Associate Curator
Karen Butler, Assistant Curator, John Stezaker
Robert Gero, Faculty Curator, Balázs Kicsiny: Killing Time

Panel: Time Travel: Production in the Midwest
2:45p, Kemp Auditorium, Givens Hall

MODERATOR: Irena Knezevic
PANELISTS: Joerg Becker, David Hartt, Jimenez Lai, and Patricia Olynyk

Artists have always had two possibilities for success: to thrive under immense competition and economic difficulty in the art metropolis, or to thrive despite invisibility and inconsequence on the art periphery. Either way, to quote Franz Kafka, “From a certain point onward there is no longer any turning back. That is the point that must be reached.” When that point is reached, the art periphery can become a transitional site for great talent, a catalyst, where exceptional art is made while nobody is watching.

The peripheral art practice that sustained itself against all odds must travel to gain recognition, testing its grounds against the contemporary art market. In her book One Place After Another: Site-Specific Art and Locational Identity, Miwon Kwon proposes the successful contemporary artist is someone who accumulates air miles in pursuit of career opportunities. In that sense, the Midwest can be a great hub for gold membership status. If recognized, chances are the artist is headed elsewhere. This panel addresses the paradox of the
Midwestern contemporary art practice, a practice that must leave to stay.

Introduction + Keynote Speaker
4:45p, Steinberg Hall Auditorium
Patricia Olynyk

Keynote Speaker: Stephanie Smith
Deputy Director & Chief Curator, Smart Museum of Art, Chicago

Shuttle to Des Lee Gallery
5:40p, 1627 Washington Ave.

Panel: Sculpting & Exhibiting Under the Influence
6p, Des Lee Gallery

MODERATORS: Ron Fondaw and Joan Hall
PANELISTS: Bill FitzGibbons, Rusty Freeman, Anna Hegarty, Noah Kirby, and Marilu Knode

This discussion will seek to focus on the often-overlooked work—sculpture, specifically—produced in the Midwest and the unique opportunities that are presented by the region. The panelists—all of whom have strong ties to the St. Louis region—will draw on their broad and diverse experiences as artists, architects, and curators to illuminate the area’s deeply rooted history of support for sculpture. The site for the conversation—the Des Lee Gallery, one of the region’s most prominent noncommercial venues—will provide inspiration for discussion, as participants will have an opportunity to view the 2012 BFA Sculpture Exhibition, featuring works by graduating seniors in the Sam Fox School’s sculpture program.

Shuttle Returns to WU campus


Visitors to Washington University in St. Louis are encouraged to use the visitor parking meters located on campus or park in designated visitor parking lots. Visitors to campus may purchase daily parking permits, which allow for parking in most yellow zones. Daily parking permits cost $5 and are available at the office of Parking Services or at the Campus Bookstore. Visitor parking is also located in the Danforth University Center Garage and in the lot east of the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum; the cost for parking in this area is $1 per hour. For more information about parking on the Washington University campus, including maps, click here.

Area Exhibitions

4191 Manchester Ave.
In The Heart Of The Heart Of The Country
An exhibit of works by Sam Fox School MFA students

Des Lee Gallery
, 1627 Washington Ave.
2012 BFA Sculpture Exhibition

The Luminary Center for the Arts, 4900 Reber Pl.
Degree: Andrew James + Stephen Cartwright
Cherry Dance: Matthew Paul Isaacson

Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, 750 Washington Blvd.
Christodoulos Panayiotou: One Thousand and One Days
Figure Studies: Recent Representational Works on Paper
Brandon Anschultz: Pacer

Saint Louis Art Museum, One Fine Arts Drive, Forest Park
Currents 106: Chelsea Knight
An Orchestrated Vision: The Theater of Contemporary Photography
The First Act: Staged Photography Before 1980

The Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts
, 3716 Washington Blvd.
In The Still Epiphany

Anheuser-Busch Hall, Washington University
Deliberate: Law as a Collaborative Model

Hunt Gallery, Webster University, 8342 Big Bend Blvd.
Contemporary Icons: Recent Art from Bulgaria

Laumeier Sculpture Park, 12580 Rott Rd.


The Inland Visual Studies Center, located at Bradley University, seeks to theorize a more authentic and complex cultural identity of Middle America and to analyze the Midwest's contributions to national and global art.