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Relevance of Place: Walter Hood, Suzanne Lacy, & Laura Viklund

Shannon Jackson moderates a dialogue among three leading public artists and architects about how socially relevant art emerges from local communities and offers new perspectives on the places we live and the lives we lead. In this episode, Walter Hood, Suzanne Lacy, and Laura Viklund each offer reflections upon how they enter communities before embarking on a public art project or a building design, allowing local stories and concerns to guide the creation of a work. Watch to hear them reflect on the relation between form and function, on what artists often need from designers, and on what designers have to learn from the poetic practice of the arts.

Filmed in May 2022.


Walter Hood

Artist and landscape architect Walter Hood smiles with his head tilted.

Walter Hood is the creative director and founder of Hood Design Studio in Oakland, CA. He is also a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, and lectures on professional and theoretical projects nationally and internationally. He is a recipient of the 2017 Academy of Arts and Letters Architecture Award, 2019 Knight Public Spaces Fellowship, 2019 MacArthur Fellowship, 2019 Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize, and the 2021 recipient of the Architectural League’s President’s Medal award.

Suzanne Lacy

Visual artist Suzanne Lacy looks right with her head tilted.

Suzanne Lacy is renowned as a pioneer in socially engaged and public performance art. Her installations, videos, and performances deal with sexual violence, rural and urban poverty, incarceration, labor, and aging. Lacy’s large-scale projects span the globe, including England, Colombia, Ecuador, Spain, Ireland, and the U.S.

Most recently, in 2022, the Queens Museum in New York presented a major thematic survey of her work. Her work has been reviewed in major periodicals and books and she exhibits in museums across the world. Also known for her writing, Lacy edited Mapping the Terrain: New Genre Public Art and authored Leaving Art: Writings on Performance, Politics, and Publics, 1974-2007. She is a professor at the Roski School of Art and Design at the University of Southern California and a resident artist at 18th Street Arts Center.

Laura Viklund

Originally from Boston, Laura Viklund is a practicing architect in Montana and Wyoming. She has been involved with Tippet Rise Art Center from its early days, serving as the architect for the Olivier Music Barn, Will’s Shed, Artist Residences, and four new buildings soon to be constructed for administrative and artist use.

At Tippet Rise, Laura has worked closely with artists Francis Kéré (Xylem) and Stephen Talasnik (Satellite #5: Pioneer) as the local Architect of Record. As co-owner of the timber construction company, Gunnstock Timber Frames in Powell, Wyoming, she combined her background in sculpture and construction with her experience in 3D computer modelling and fabrication to help determine the process of construction for these large-scale artworks and communicate this information to the craftsmen.

Viklund is a graduate of Boston College, Massachusetts College of Art and holds a Master’s of Architecture from the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University.

Shannon Jackson

Shannon Jackson holds the Hadidi Professorship at the University of California, Berkeley, where she currently serves as Chair of the History of Art Department. Jackson is a scholar and educator of cross-media art practice and of socially-engaged art. A Guggenheim fellow and award-winning author, she has published several books and online platforms, including Back Stages (2022), Public Servants (2016), The Builders Association (2015), Social Works (2011) as well as In Terms of Performance and Media Art 21. Jackson serves on the boards of several arts organizations, including Oakland Museum of the Arts, Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive, Headlands Center for the Arts, and the Kramlich Art Foundation. As a guest program advisor to Tippet Rise, Jackson helped create the Relevance of Place series of site-specific dialogues.

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Relevance of Place: Walter Hood

Artist and designer Walter Hood discusses how his unique process reimagines the ethical and artistic possibilities of a landscape, and how he responds to sculpture within the landscape of Tippet Rise.

Relevance of Place: Laura Viklund

Architect Laura Viklund talks about the community principles of timber-framing and how they have informed her architectural designs as well as her role as an interpreter between artists and the Tippet Rise site.