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2008.09.19 > For Immediate Release
contact: Wendy Townley - University Relations
phone: 402.554.2762 - email: wtownley@unomaha.edu

International Artist Travels to UNO as Visiting Presidential Professor

Omaha - The University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) will welcome internationally renowned artist Enrique Martínez Celaya next month as a Visiting Presidential Professor, hosted by University of Nebraska President James B. Milliken.

Martínez Celaya – who paints, makes photographs, sculpts and writes – will spend Oct. 5-11 at UNO. Part of his time will be spent at UNO’s Centennial celebrations, which kick off the week of Oct. 6.

While in Omaha, Martínez Celaya will work with UNO students in art and communication classes. He will host a public lecture at KANEKO – a new organization in Omaha’s Old Market that explores the creative process in the arts, sciences and humanities – on Tuesday, Oct. 7. The lecture, “Systems, Times and Daybreak,” will be the first public presentation of his most recent work, which will be on view at LA Louver in Venice, Calif., in November. The presentation starts at 7 p.m.

Martínez Celaya will attend Chancellor John Christensen’s convocation address at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 8, at the Strauss Performing Arts Center. Later in the day, at 1 p.m., he will host a discussion on artistic practices at the UNO Art Gallery inside the Weber Fine Arts Building.

In October 2007, Milliken appointed Martínez Celaya as the second Presidential Professor, joining Pulitzer Prize winning poet and former U.S. Poet Laureate Ted Kooser.

“Presidential Professors serve as public scholars, enriching the cultural and educational life of the university and the state,” Milliken said. “Martínez Celaya brings a unique and challenging perspective on art and its role in our lives and in society today. His interactions with our students and faculty, and his public presentations, create an opportunity for Nebraskans to meet and learn from an internationally known artist, and to be exposed to his views, experiences and works of art.”

Martínez Celaya will return to UNO in April as part of his three-year appointment. He made two visits to UNL in 2007-08 and will participate in additional activities in Nebraska in 2009-10. In addition, Martínez Celaya offered an internship in his studio over the past summer to an NU graduate student, and will do so again next summer.

Born in Cuba, Martínez Celaya also spent his childhood in Spain and Puerto Rico, where he developed an interest in art, science, philosophy and literature before attending Cornell University, where he majored in applied physics. He pursued a Ph.D. in quantum electronics at the University of California-Berkeley and holds several patents. He attended the Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture in Maine and received his M.F.A. from the University of California, Santa Barbara. He was Associate Professor of Art at Pomona College and the Claremont Graduate University (1994-2003). Martínez Celaya has for many years served as a popular and influential teacher at the well-known Anderson Ranch Arts Center workshop. In the summer of 2007 he was given the prestigious Anderson Ranch National Artist Award. In 1998 he founded Whale and Star, a publishing house whose books are distributed internationally by the University of Nebraska Press. He works in Delray Beach, Fla., and Los Angeles.

His work is exhibited around the world, in Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Berlin, Japan, Australia and the United Kingdom. He is represented in the permanent collections of the Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, as well as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, the Museum der Bildenden Künste Leipzig, and others.

Editor’s note: A complete schedule of Martínez Celaya’s visit is available upon request from Wendy Townley, UNO University Relations: wtownley@unomaha.edu or (402) 554-2762.
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UNO will celebrate its 100th anniversary beginning October 8, 2008. This celebration will recognize the partnership among the City of Omaha, its citizens and UNO to build a vibrant and dynamic community. The centennial theme is “UNO: Central To Our City Since 1908.” This theme acknowledges the past contributions of UNO to the community and sets the stage for great things to come.

UNO, inaugurated in 1968, emerged from the Municipal University of Omaha, established in 1931, which grew out of the University of Omaha founded in 1908. For Centennial information, go to http://www.unomaha.edu/100/.

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