Dr. Anita McKeown
She is an interdisciplinary artist, curator, researcher and educator, she is Director, SMARTlab Skelligs, University College Dublin. She engages a range of strategic tactics; situated arts practice, publication and education seek to co-create local-scale interventions that are context-responsive and ecologically sensitive. As a researcher, Anita continues to develop and evaluate interdisciplinary research projects across a range of scales, data set scales and research topics with a specific focus on innovative methodologies and projects e.g. Census of the Heart, (2016) TURAS WP3, Urban/Industrial Regeneration, Land Use planning and Creative Design (2016), the UCD Danceability research project (2012 – 14). She holds a PhD from the National College of Art and Design, Dublin (2015) consolidating her wider research interests; Open Source culture and technology including STEAM education to develop a critical praxis for Creative Placemaking including a theoretical framework, practical toolkit and evaluation matrix piloted in the UK, Ireland and USA.
Working across artforms, projects arise from extended relationships with people and place to contribute to and encourage knowledge production and transfer for systemic self-organisation and resilience. She has worked for a number of organisations within the arts, including ART.e @ the art of change, Lewisham Youth Theatre, Irene Taylor Trust/Music in Prisons and Heart N Soul Theatre Company utilising extensive project development and management experience. Recognition of her artistic practice includes the only non-American citizen awarded a BRAVO award, for Memphis 45s, a digital AV motion sensor project (Memphis, TN. USA (2004) and the first Artist in Residence in the Rio Grande Del Norte National Monument, hosted by the Bureau of Land Management, Taos Field Office, Land Experience and Art of Place and OCHO, (2013). She continues to work with LEAP and other artists and organisations in New Mexico;
The Paseo and the Inter-Galactic Cultural Relations Institute. As an educator within formal (MA and PhD supervision) and informal learning situations; prisons, youth and community organisations she utilises a systemic approach through project / practice based learning. In 2012, she was co-theme leader for ISEA’s Education programme and worked Agnes Chavez to develop the STEMarts curriculum tool and consulted on the LANL STEMarts challenge. She continues to work with Agnes Chavez and the STEMarts Lab as part of an advisory team. Her membership the Placemaking Leadership Council, led to her invitation to contribute to the development of the Pratt Institute’s MA in Urban Placemaking and Public Space Management, the USA’s first Masters programme in Placemaking (2013). Her academic collaborations with Cara Courage, explore the socio-political and ecological debates within creative placemaking at the nexus of art and geography. With over 70 exhibitions, performances and residencies to date she presents her practice nationally and internationally within arts and non-arts arenas using a range of formats to disseminate a systemic integrated practice that explores emergence and self-organisation at the intersection of art, ecology and education. A dear Soul Sister who brings much energy and innovation to community revival and regeneration with an integrated spirit of co-design and sustainability.