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 John S. Gordon  (1946 - )

About: John S. Gordon


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Lived/Active: California/Wisconsin      Known for: sculptor-site specific, assemblage

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
John Gordon is a sculptor, educator and arts administrator with over thirty years experience in higher education. He holds a B.A. in studio art from Antioch College and a M.F.A. in sculpture from the Claremont Graduate University. His works have been shown in museums and galleries around the nation, including the L.A. Louver Gallery of Venice, California; Artist's Space, New York; the New Mexico Museum of Fine Arts; and the Whitney Museum of American Art. He is a recipient of an Individual Artist Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.

In July 2002, Gordon assumed the position of Director of the School of Art, Design and Art History at San Diego State University. Prior to joining the faculty of SDSU, Gordon served six years as a faculty member and senior administrator (dean, and then provost) at Pratt Institute in New York City. Prior to joining Pratt, Mr. Gordon held positions as the chief academic officer at four distinguished arts institutions.

From 1981 through 1987, he served as Dean of the School of Fine Arts at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles. He also has held the posts of: Vice President for Academic Affairs at the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland and San Francisco, California; Dean of Arts and Cultural Studies at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico; and Vice President for Academic Affairs at the Kansas City Art Institute in Kansas City, Missouri.

John Gordon has been a strong and consistent advocate for the arts and for arts education. He has served on a number of governing boards for arts organizations, including the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival and KUNM-FM, the public radio station of the University of New Mexico. He is a former member of the Mayor's Task Force on Race Relations for the City of Kansas City, Missouri; and of the Advisory Board for the Kansas City Center for Design Education and Research at the University of Missouri - Kansas City. Gordon is currently serving as a member of the Balboa Park Cultural Partnership Community Council in San Diego.

Gordon is a frequent consultant on the placement of art in public places. From 1984 through 1992, he served as a consultant to the Art-in-Transit programs of the Southern California Rapid Transit District and the Los Angeles County Transportation Commission. From 1996 to 1997, he consulted with the Municipal Arts Commission of Kansas City, Missouri; and from 1997 to 1999, he served as a consultant to the Art in Transit program for the New York City Metropolitan Transit Authority. Currently Gordon sits as a member of the Public Art Committee for the Port of San Diego and consults for the City of San Diego's Commission on Arts and Culture.

Artist statement: ".... my artworks are a hybrid of two California artistic traditions: the assemblage thread that connects artists such as Ed and Nancy Keinholz, George Herms, and H.C. Westermann; and the early perceptual explorations of artists like Robert Irwin, James Turrell and Maria Nordman. "

Submitted by the artist, September 2003
John S. Gordon, Director
School of Art, Design and Art History
San Diego State University

In July of 2004, John S. Gordon  assumed the post of  Provost of Otis College of Art and Design,  Los Angeles, California.

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