Skip to Content

Stamps School Community Presents at Alliance for the Arts in Research Universities


Gabriel Harp (MFA 07), Laura Magnusson (MFA 19) Rowan Renee (MFA 19), and Professor Joe Trumpey presented at the Alliance for the Arts in Research Universities (a2ru) annual conference, which took place November 1 – 3 in Athens, Georgia. The 2018 conference theme — Arts Environments: Design, Resilience, and Sustainability — was an invitation to explore the relationship between creativity and diverse cultural locations, by framing discussions about design, resilience, and sustainability in context of interdisciplinary artistic and environmental practice. 

Stamps alum Gabriel Harp presented From Critiques to Collaboration: Best Practices for Arts Integration and Impacts of the Arts and Interdisciplinary Practices: A Hands-On Workshop for Critical Case-Making in his role as Research Director for a2ru/​ArtsEngine.

Magnusson and Renee both presented projects that were funded, in part, by an Arts Integrative Interdisciplinary Research (AiiR) Grant, a program of ArtsEngine at the University of Michigan, during the 17 – 18 grant cycle.

Renee’s presentation was entitled Love Letters: Violence, Counter-narrative and the Aesthetics of Repair in Archival Texts. Love Letters is a research project and collection of text based artworks exploring the intersections of gender, sexuality, and misogyny in archives of correspondence with three incarcerated individuals: Ted Kaczynski (the Unabomber), Russell Smith (a prison reform activist against the sexual assault of gay inmates), and letters from Renee’s own father.

Magnusson’s presentation was entitled Night Sea Journey: Visual Testimony and Sexual Violence, and provided an overview of her developing MFA work. Over the past two years, Laura has spent countless hours on the seafloors of Northern Iceland and Cozumel, Mexico to compile a story of her healing journey after sexual violence through metaphors of water. At depths reaching 70 feet, she has carried out embodied research and collected audiovisual materials, working with a professional filmmaker.

Stamps Professor Joe Trumpey’s presentation was entitled Advancing Sustainibility Goals Via Required Engagement Courses. The University of Michigan requires its Art and Design majors to complete an Engagement Studio.” Through unique partnerships, students have been able to complete ambitious projects that advance sustainability and resilience goals with communities at the University of Michigan, Southeastern Michigan, Gabon and Tanzania. This talk highlighted structures and strategies for using creative and design processes to partner with communities while fostering significant student growth and development.

Learn more about the mission of a2ru and the organization’s work at U‑M.