Presidential Professor Martinez Celaya returns to Nebraska
Enrique Martínez Celaya begins his third and final year as the University of Nebraska Visiting Presidential Professor with a visit to the state during the week of September 28. The internationally acclaimed artist will participate in seminars and discussions with students, faculty, administrators, and community arts leaders in Omaha, Lincoln, and Kearney. His visit culminates with a public lecture at the Joslyn Art Museum, Friday, Oct. 2 at 7:00 p.m. Titled "The Prophet," Martínez Celaya's public lecture offers a clarion call for artists and those who take art seriously to recover the artist's ethical responsibility to the world and art's potential to transform lives.

Enrique Martínez Celaya
Enrique Martínez Celaya, Delray Beach studio, Florida, 2007 [original]
Martínez Celaya works in painting, sculpture, photography, writing and publishing. His work emerges from a philosophical and literary mindfulness and a commitment to the common origins of art, literature, philosophy, and science. He has created projects for art venues such as the Museum der bildenden Künste Leipzig and the Miami Art Museum as well as non-art institutions such as the Berliner Philharmonie and St. Mary’s Church in Limerick, Ireland. He lectures on art—often in its relation to literature and ethics—at venues around the world, including the American Academy in Berlin, UCLA and New York University. His essays have appeared in many contexts, including the University of Nebraska Press, Journal of Aesthetic Education, and works + conversations. In 2007 he was awarded the Anderson Ranch National Artist Award.

Martínez Celaya’s artwork is in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Sheldon Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Museum der bildenden Künste Leipzig and others. An Unfinished Conversation: Collecting Enrique Martínez Celaya, an exhibition organized by the Boca Raton Museum of Art, which features 20 works from a private collection, opens in November. In addition, A Bad Time for Poetry, which features selections from Martínez Celaya's popular blog, will be published by Whale & Star and distributed nationally and internationally by the University of Nebraska Press.

Martínez Celaya studied Applied Physics at Cornell University and pursued a Ph.D. in Quantum Electronics at the University of California, Berkeley where he was supported by a fellowship from the Brookhaven National Laboratory. As a scientist, he worked on superconductivity, pulsed and buried heterostructure lasers and laser delivery systems. He attended the Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture in Maine and received his M.F.A.—with the department’s highest honors—from the University of California, Santa Barbara. He served as Associate Professor of Art at Pomona College and the Claremont Graduate University (1994-2003). He presently serves as a trustee on the Anderson Ranch Board.

Presidential Professors are appointed by the President of the University to serve as public scholars who enrich the cultural and educational life of the university and the state. In addition to Martínez Celaya, NU President James B. Milliken has appointed one other Presidential Professor, Ted Kooser, former U.S. Poet Laureate and Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and a faculty member at UNL. “It is my hope and expectation that the Presidential Professorship will help demonstrate that the University of Nebraska is one great statewide institution, with exceptional talent and resources available among the campuses and throughout the state,” Milliken said.


Enrique Martínez Celaya working on Primavera (Spring), 2007, Oil and wax on canvas, 116 x 150 inches
Courtesy of Miami Art Museum [original]


Enrique Martínez Celaya working on Verano (Summer), 2007, Oil and wax on canvas, 116 x 150 inches
Courtesy of Miami Art Museum [original]


Studio process shot of Verano (Summer) and Otoño (Fall), 2007, Oil and wax on canvas, 116 x 150 inches
Courtesy of Miami Art Museum [original]

Enrique Martínez Celaya working on Primavera (Spring), 2007, Oil and wax on canvas, 116 x 150 inches
Courtesy of Miami Art Museum [original]

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