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2009.03.12 > For Immediate Release
contact: Tim Kaldahl - University Relations
phone: 402.554.3502 - email: tkaldahl@unomaha.edu

Artist Martinez Celaya Returns to UNO in April

NOTE: APRIL 7 PUBLIC PRESENTATION HAS MOVED to COLLEGE OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS AND COMMUNITY SERVICE AUDITORIUM (1st floor, east of CPACS Collaborating Commons)

Omaha - The University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) will welcome internationally renowned artist Enrique Martínez Celaya for a return visit next month as a Visiting Presidential Professor, hosted again by University of Nebraska President James B. Milliken. Martínez Celaya first came to Omaha last October for a week-long visit where he met with faculty, students and the public.

Martínez Celaya – who paints, makes photographs, sculpts and writes – will spend April 6-10 at UNO. He will give a public lecture on Tuesday, April 7, at 6 p.m in the university’s Collaborating Commons in the College of Public Affairs and Community Service Building. The presentation is free and open to the public.

“Enrique very much enjoyed his time and the discussions he had when he was here last fall,” said Dan Siedell, assistant professor of art and art history. Siedell has been interested in and has an area of specialization in Martinez Celaya's diverse artistic practice. “Those presentations and conversations focused a great deal on artistic practice and the artist’s studio. He will continue to address these issues and will talk about art and pedagogy."

While in Omaha, Martínez Celaya will meet and work with UNO students in history, studio art, philosophy and poetry.

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 made two visits to UNL in 2007-08 and will participate in additional activities in Nebraska through 2010. In addition, Martínez Celaya offered an internship in his studio over the last summer to an NU graduate student, and will do so again this 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..

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 Museum of Art 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.

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UNO is celebrating its 100th anniversary. The celebration recognizes 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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