Arts for Change

Teaching Outside the Frame

Beverly Naidus

Professor of Art
University of Washington at Tacoma

Over the past two decades, Beverly Naidus's art has dealt with personal and social concerns. Her mediums have ranged from interactive, site-specific installations to digitally rendered artist's books. Themes in her work have included the powerlessness caused by nuclear nightmares, the desperation and alienation of unemployment, the frustrations with and the fears about the current environmental crisis, the socially engaged spiritual practices, the healing of body hate, and the questions about popular media and the influence it has on contemporary life. Naidus's work has been exhibited internationally (in such places as the Institute of Contemporary Art in London, the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York City, and the Armand Hammer Museum at University of California at Los Angeles). Her work has been written about in books by Suzi Gablik, Lucy R. Lippard, Paul Von Blum, Lisa Bloom, and others. Her work has also been discussed in many journals and newspapers including the New York Times, the LA Times, the Utne Reader, Z Magazine, Art Forum, and Art in America. Naidus's writing has been published in Radical Teacher Magazine, the New Art Examiner, and the book The Arts, Education, and Social Change (2005), published by Peter Lang Publishers. Besides Arts for Change, she has two artists' books in print, One Size Does Not Fit All (1993) and What Kinda Name is That? (1996). Naidus received a MFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art & Design and a BA, cum laude with Distinction in Studio Art, from Carleton College. She has taught at several museums in New York City (including the Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art) and was the Dayton Hudson Distinguished Visiting Artist at Carleton College in Minnesota for two years. She was an associate professor of art at California State University, Long Beach, where she received tenure in 1992. She was a visiting artist at the Institute for Social Ecology in Vermont. For six years, Naidus was a faculty member of Goddard College's low-residency, off-campus interdisciplinary arts MFA program. She received a Massachusetts Cultural Council Artist's Grant in Photography in 2001. She travels frequently to lecture on activist art and her own work. After two decades working in the New York and Los Angeles art worlds, Naidus spent eight years in the rural village of Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts, focusing more intensely on her art practice, writing, and spiritual growth while co-parenting her son, Sam Oak Naidus Spivey, with her husband and frequent collaborator, Bob Spivey. She and her family now live on Vashon Island, Washington, and she works in the Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences program at the University of Washington in Tacoma, where she is co-creating a studio arts program (Arts in Community) with a focus on art for social change and healing.

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