The Stamps School of Art & Design is excited to introduce Professor Nicole Marroquin, a distinguished interdisciplinary artist, researcher, and teacher, to its faculty.
Marroquin received her BFA from Eastern Michigan University in 1999 and her MFA from the University of Michigan in 2008. Marroquin uses interdisciplinary approaches to cultural production and research, which includes work generated in classrooms by and with youth in their community.
Marroquin’s tenure at the University of Michigan is somewhat of a homecoming. Their childhood was spent in Ann Arbor, and she attended Community High School. In their time at Community, Marroquin experienced concepts like un-schooling firsthand, which is incorporated in her work. And now that she’s back in Ann Arbor, it’s a full-circle moment.
“In my practice, I’ve been thinking a lot about schooling, education, policy, practice, and curriculum,” Marroquin said. “To come back to the place where I learned about creating opportunities for young people, it’s a full circle moment. It’s a thrill to be at the University teaching where I got an incredible education.”
“I’m interested in space and power and Latinx history, particularly Chicanx history in the United States,” Marroquin said. “I’ve also gotten really excited about facilitating and organizing group projects. I do community-based work, which is in service to the people in the place where I live.”
One example of Marroquin’s commitment to community-based projects is her ongoing study of the work of Black and Latinx student organizers at Harrison High School and the Froebel Extension School in the late 1960s and 1970s in Chicago. Over five years, they piloted and refined an inquiry-based experimental curriculum in partnership with Paulina Camacho, an art teacher at Benito Juarez High School in Pilsen. After seeking information from witnesses and participants to the history, archives, and even eBay listings, Marroquin executed a self-funded artist residency. She designed a print that is now incorporated into the curriculum and hanging in classrooms across Chicago.
“This history turned out to be very important to students in the high school in my neighborhood. It was built as a result of the marches and struggles that began in 1968,” Marroquin said. “It was close to home, and it was like the universe just said: ‘This is your project. Go do it!’”
Marroquin can often be found scouring archives and databases to uncover the history of her community – a practice she says can cure any rough day.
Marroquin’s contributions to the art world have garnered recognition and accolades. Previously, Marroquin worked as an Associate Professor in the Department of Art Education at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She has been an artist in residence at several prestigious institutions, including the Chicago Cultural Center, the Propeller Fund at Mana Contemporary, Watershed, Ragdale, ACRE, and Oxbow. Nicole’s work has been exhibited at the Hull House Museum, Northwestern University, and the Museum of Contemporary Art. She was honored as a Joan Mitchell Fellow at the Center for Racial Justice Innovation in 2014. In 2011, she received the Sor Juana Inez de la Cruz Women of Excellence Award for her exceptional work within her community.
In 2015, Nicole was invited to present their research at the University of Chicago in conjunction with the exhibit “The City Lost and Found: Capturing New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles, 1960 – 1980” and at the Art Institute of Chicago for the symposium “The Wall of Respect and People’s Art Since 1967.” Her essays have been published in significant publications, including the Chicago Social Practice History Series, Revista Contratiempo, and AREA Chicago Magazine. Moreover, her work has earned a place in the permanent collection of the National Museum of Mexican Art.
Nicole’s diverse background, spanning figure drawing, ceramics, in-depth research, and a profound appreciation for arts education will contribute to Stamps.
“I hope to help students see how their interests could spawn a new direction that they are interested in – a way to take ideas and apply them in a whole new way,” Marroquin said. “I want to emphasize getting out of the comfort zone and expanding the breadth of practice.”