2022 Research Fellow: Rory O'Dea

We are pleased to announce our first 2022 Holt/Smithson Foundation Research Fellowship awardee: Rory O'Dea.

Rory O’Dea is an Assistant Professor of Contemporary Art and Design and the Associate Dean of the School of Art and Design History and Theory. He received his PhD in art history from the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University, and his scholarship explores the ways that visual art intersects with ecology, geology, and fiction as a means to produce speculative realities and alternative modes of knowledge. At Parsons, his pedagogy is rooted in the intersection of theory and practice and explores the ways that art history shapes and is shaped by artistic research. His monograph titled Robert Smithson, Land Art, and Speculative Realities will be published by Routledge in 2023.

Rory O'Dea's Project Description

"Encompassing site-studies, ethnography, and archival research at ecological and historical institutions, my fellowship project will investigate the local cultures--human and nonhuman--of the Pine Barrens, New Jersey that have been erased or are under threat of erasure by the processes of industrialization and environmental degradation. More specifically, my project will examine the connections and tensions between the contemporary movements to preserve the “wilderness” of the Pine Barrens and the human culture of its long-standing communities. At the same time, my research of the Pine Barrens represents a critical opportunity to investigate the ways that Holt and Smithson collaboratively and individually produced work in response to the same site. Finally, my research addresses the question of how contemporary art can productively respond to and mediate the various land uses of the site to achieve a sustainable future will be central."

Read Rory O'Dea's text "Robert Smithson’s Fictions: A Speculative Reading of 'The Monuments of Passaic'" published as part of our Scholarly Text series.

Nancy Holt, Pine Barrens [still] (1975)

Archived News

First Annual Holt/Smithson Foundation Lecture

We are very pleased to announce the first in a ten-year series of Annual Lectures, a new Holt/Smithson Foundation program that invites artists, writers, and thinkers to extend the creative legacies of Nancy Holt and Robert Smithson.

2022 Research Fellow: Margo Handwerker

We are delighted to announce our second 2022 Holt/Smithson Foundation Research Fellowship awardee: Margo Handwerker. 

Margo Handwerker is Chief Curator and Director of the Texas State Galleries at Texas State University. Handwerker holds a Ph.D. from the School of Architecture at Princeton University and a Masters in Art History, Theory, and Criticism from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She is a member of M12 STUDIO, a group of artists, researchers, and writers collectively based in Big Springs, Nebraska.

Virginia Dwan (1931-2022)

At Holt/Smithson Foundation we are honored that Virginia Dwan served on our Board of Directors from 2018 until her passing on September 4, 2022. Her wisdom, humor, curiosity, warmth, attention to detail, and vast expertise has contributed immensely to our young foundation. We will miss her a great deal.