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As part of CAA’s 10-year anniversary celebration of its publication The Eye, the Hand, the Mind: 100 Years of the College Art Association, chapter authors reflect on their contributions and how their impressions of the field have changed. Our second video in the series features Ellen Levy, who wrote Chapter 8, “Art in an Academic Setting: Contemporary CAA Exhibitions.”

Ellen K. Levy, PhD, is a multimedia artist and writer known for exploring art, science and technology interrelationships since the mid-1980s. Levy highlights their importance through exhibitions, educational programs, publications and curatorial opportunities. Her graduate studies were at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston following a B.A. from Mount Holyoke College in Zoology. She was President of the College Art Association (2004-2006) before earning her doctorate (2012) from the University of Plymouth (UK) on the art and neuroscience of attention. She then was Special Advisor on the Arts and Sciences at the Institute for Doctoral Studies in the Visual Arts. She was a Distinguished Visiting Fellow in Arts and Sciences at Skidmore College (1999) and taught many transdisciplinary classes and workshops (e.g., the New School, Cooper Union, Brooklyn College, Banff). She was recipient of an AICA award and an arts commission from NASA following a solo exhibition at the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) (1985).

She has exhibited her art internationally and in such landmark exhibitions as Weather Report (Boulder Museum, cur Lucy Lippard) and Gregor Mendel: Planting the Seeds of Genetics (Field Museum, Chicago, adv. Martin Kemp). Levy has published widely on art and complex systems. With Berta Sichel, she guest edited and contributed to CAA’s special issue of Art Journal (spring 1996), likely the first widely distributed academic publication on contemporary art and the genetic code. With Charissa Terranova, she is co-editor of D’Arcy Wentworth Thompson’s Generative Influences in Art, Design: From Forces to Forms (2021, Bloomsbury Press). Levy has also curated a related exhibition for Pratt Manhattan’s gallery. Levy and Barbara Larson co-edit the “art and science since 1750” book series of Routledge Press. Levy and Patricia Olynyk co-direct the NY LASER program, a central initiative of Leonardo/ISAST. She was twice an invited participant in Watermill’s Art and Consciousness Workshop, led by stage director and playwright, Robert Wilson.

Filed under: Event, Exhibitions, Publications