ARTlab is an extension of Northern Illinois University’s School of Art with a focus on the collaborative: working across disciplines to investigate contemporary currents in—and intersections between—art and culture. As an active think-tank or incubator, ArtLab builds research, dialogue, programming, and pedagogy a round a yearly theme, working towards public presentation of collective research across the NIU campus and in conjunction with partner institutions. By identifying and addressing salient issues collectively, ArtLab works to stimulate new thinking, reexamine convention, and circulate fresh ideas.
The theme of “Here and Now” has been chosen for ARTLab 2011-2012. Over the course of the year, ARTlab has been exploring how NIU is currently situated within the DeKalb community and how the dynamics of this relationship affect the School of Art students’ and faculty’s perception of the School of Art and their role as artists within it. The way in which this perception manifests itself in the School of Art’s relationship with the Chicago metropolitan area art community is also being explored.