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Professor Mary Sherman

Mary Sherman
Image Credit: Winfried Denk

Art, Art History, and Film Department

Boston College/Northeastern University

Mary Sherman is an artist, the founder and director of the international nonprofit TransCultural Exchange, a professor of studio art at Boston College and Northeastern University, and a three-time Fulbright Specialist Grant recipient. In 2010 she served as the interim Associate Director of MIT's Program in Art, Culture and Technology and, for more than twenty years, she worked as an art critic for such publications as The Chicago Sun-Times, ARTnews and Boston Globe. In 2018 MIT Press re-issued the catalog of her artwork Mary Sherman: What if You Could Hear a Painting. She received her MFA from New York University. 

Causality, Contingency or How the Arts Come to be Suspect (Followed by a Brief, Cautionary Tale)

This paper will consider the rapidly changing contemporary art scene, the current shifts in the ways that art is being made and supported and the causal relationship between the two. Just as always, today’s art reflects the technological advances, politics and social mores of our times, which helps explain such jargon as public intervention, artistic research and that catchy American rallying acronym to keep art in education STEAM. How did art get here? Given our current realities, perhaps, what our artists are now reflecting back to us deserves greater pause than we think.