(Photo courtesy Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art)
Artist Vanessa German is the next speaker in the "Crossing Bridges Summit" series hosted by Penn State Greater Allegheny.
German is a sculptor, painter, writer, activist, performer and poet who lives in Pittsburgh's Homewood neighborhood. In December, she received the $200,000 Don Tyson Prize from the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Arkansas. The prize, funded by the heirs to the Tyson Foods fortune, recognizes outstanding achievement by American artists.
German will speak at 7 p.m. April 5 in the Wunderley Gymnasium on the McKeesport campus. General admission and student tickets are free, a spokesman said, but an RSVP is required for both events.
German was born in Wisconsin and raised in California and Ohio. She moved to Pittsburgh in 2000.
Much of her work focuses on racism and its effects on communities and individuals. German's art has been exhibited at the Smithsonian Institution and at prominent art galleries, and reviewed and discussed in The New York Times, O, The Oprah Magazine, and on NPR's All Things Considered.
Penn State spokesman Zack Rosen said German’s performance in McKeesport "will introduce summit attendees to an award-winning artist who explores the power of art and love as a transformative force in the dynamic cultural ecosystem of communities and neighborhoods."
The Crossing Bridges Summit, in its second year, considers ways in which Penn State Greater Allegheny can serve as a catalyst for social change and bridge racial divides in the community, Rosen said.
On the following day, at 10 a.m. April 6, a discussion will be held to explore ways that campus and community members can take German’s ideas and implement them within the Mon Valley, he said. That discussion will take place in the Ostermayer Room of the Student Community Center.
Originally published March 13, 2019.