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2009.09.18 > For Immediate Release
contact: Wendy Townley - University Relations
phone: 402.554.2762 - email: wtownley@unomaha.edu

Presidential Professor Martinez Celaya Returns to Nebraska for Oct. 2 Public Lecture

Omaha - Enrique Martínez Celaya begins his third and final year as the University of Nebraska Visiting Presidential Professor with a visit to the state during the week of Sept. 28. The internationally acclaimed artist will participate in seminars and discussions with students, faculty, administrators and community arts leaders in Omaha, Lincoln and Kearney.

His visit culminates with an interactive public lecture at the Joslyn Art Museum Friday, Oct. 2 at 7 p.m., which is free and open to the public. Titled "The Prophet," Martínez Celaya's public lecture offers a clarion call for artists and those who take art seriously to recover the artist's ethical responsibility to the world and art's potential to transform lives.

Martínez Celaya works in painting, sculpture, photography, writing and publishing. His work emerges from a philosophical and literary mindfulness and a commitment to the common origins of art, literature, philosophy and science. He has created projects for art venues such as the Museum der bildenden Künste Leipzig and the Miami Art Museum as well as non-art institutions such as the Berliner Philharmonie and St. Mary’s Church in Limerick, Ireland.

He lectures on art—often in its relation to literature and ethics—at venues around the world, including the American Academy in Berlin, UCLA and New York University. His essays have appeared in many contexts, including the University of Nebraska Press, Journal of Aesthetic Education, and works + conversations. In 2007 he was awarded the Anderson Ranch National Artist Award.

Martínez Celaya’s artwork is in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Sheldon Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Museum der bildenden Künste Leipzig and others.

An Unfinished Conversation: Collecting Enrique Martínez Celaya, an exhibition organized by the Boca Raton Museum of Art, which features 20 works from a private collection, opens in November. In addition, A Bad Time for Poetry, which features selections from Martínez Celaya's popular blog, will be published by Whale & Star and distributed nationally and internationally by the University of Nebraska Press.

Martínez Celaya studied Applied Physics at Cornell University and pursued a Ph.D. in Quantum Electronics at the University of California, Berkeley where he was supported by a fellowship from the Brookhaven National Laboratory. As a scientist, he worked on superconductivity, pulsed and buried heterostructure lasers and laser delivery systems. He attended the Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture in Maine and received his M.F.A.—with the department’s highest honors—from the University of California, Santa Barbara. He served as associate professor of Art at Pomona College and the Claremont Graduate University (1994-2003). He presently serves as a trustee on the Anderson Ranch Board.

Presidential Professors are appointed by the president of the University of Nebraska to serve as public scholars who enrich the cultural and educational life of the university and the state. In addition to Martínez Celaya, NU President James B. Milliken has appointed one other Presidential Professor, Ted Kooser, former U.S. Poet Laureate and Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and a faculty member at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

“It is my hope and expectation that the Presidential Professorship will help demonstrate that the University of Nebraska is one great statewide institution, with exceptional talent and resources available among the campuses and throughout the state,” Milliken said.

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The University of Nebraska at Omaha (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 www.unomaha.edu/100/.

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