Daniel A. Siedell is Assistant Professor of Modern and Contemporary Art History, Theory, and Criticism at the University of Nebraska-Omaha. He was previously Curator of the Sheldon Museum of Art at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where for over ten years he organized exhibitions of modern and contemporary art. Siedell has an M.A. from SUNY-Stony Brook and a Ph.D. from The University of Iowa. His most recent book, God in the Gallery: A Christian Embrace of Modern Art, appeared this fall from Baker Academic. He lives in Lincoln, Nebraska with his wife of seventeen years and three children.
LeAnne: What draws you to contemporary art?
Dan: I am fascinated by its diversity; it can be quite traditional, it can be quite radical. I'm fascinated with what is or can be art.
LM: For ten years, you served as curator for the Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. What was that like?
DS: It was exhilarating and frustrating. I loved working with a very strong permanent collection of 19th and 20th century American art on a university campus. I also enjoyed working with contemporary artists on projects for the museum, and I enjoyed talked to diverse audience groups about art. I became frustrated with the increased focus on marketing and fundraising.
LM: You are now Assistant Professor of Art and Art History at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. What three things would you like for your students to know or understand before they leave your instruction?
DS: I want students to be able to look closely at art. I want my classes to help students understand the historical and theoretical development of modern art. I also want them to understand that modern and contemporary art are practices that require work to do and to understand.
More from Daniel Siedell on Thursday.