The Schoolhouse and the Bus: Mobility, Pedagogy and Engagement, Exhibition from February 9 through May 12, 2018

Pablo Helguera, The School of Panamerican Unrest, 2006. Schoolhouse in front of the Galeria Nacional de Arte, Honduras. Courtesy of the Artist. Previous Page: Suzanne Lacy, Skin of Memory Revisited, 2011. Museo de Antioquia, Medellin, Schoolhouse in front of the Colombia. Courtesy of the Artist.

The Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation is pleased to present The Schoolhouse and the Bus, an exhibition pairing, for the first time, work by two leading artists of the social practice movement, Pablo Helguera and Suzanne Lacy. On view at The 8th Floor from February 9 through May 12, 2018, the exhibition will coincide with the publication of The Schoolhouse and the Bus: Mobility, Pedagogy and Engagement, which serves as documentation of the artists’ two intersecting projects – Helguera’s School of Panamerican Unrest (2006) and Lacy’s Skin of Memory (1999), a collaboration with Pilar Riaño-Alcalá – with essays by Elyse A. Gonzales, Shannon Jackson, and Sara Reisman.

Suzanne Lacy, based in Los Angeles, is among the first generation of artists who began making art founded on public participation, with the goal of empowerment or change in a community. Pablo Helguera, a Mexican artist based in New York City, represents the next generation of social practice artists influenced by Lacy’s works, writings, and teachings. The Schoolhouse and the Bus highlights a touchstone work by each of the artists (with cultural anthropologist Pilar Riaño-Alcalá in collaboration with Lacy), executed in the Americas but never shown in their entirety in the US. Comprised of installation, collage, sculpture, ephemera, photography, video, as well as archival documentation, this exhibition serves to highlight overlapping themes in their works, which include immigration, pedagogy, violence, memory, and social organizing. This traveling exhibition was co-curated by Sara Reisman, Executive and Artistic Director of The 8th Floor/The Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation, and Elyse A. Gonzales, Assistant Director/Curator of Exhibitions, Art Design & Architecture Museum at the University of California Santa Barbara. The first presentation of The Schoolhouse and the Bus at the AD&A Museum was part of Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA where it was an official participant in the Getty’s Pacific Standard Time initiative. Following that presentation, the exhibition will open at The 8th Floor with a reception on February 9, 2018.

The Schoolhouse and the Bus has been generously funded by Marcia and John Mike Cohen, The Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation, and Eva and Yoel Haller. In-kind support has been provided by Neil Sherman, Industrial Metal Supply.

About the Artists

Suzanne Lacy was born in Wasco, California in 1945. She graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara with a major in Zoology in 1968, and became a founding member of Judy Chicago’s Feminist Art Program at Fresno State College, moving with the Program when it relocated to CalArts. Lacy’s work has been exhibited at the Tate Modern, London; the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, LA; the Whitney Museum of American Art, NY; the New Museum, NY; MoMA P.S.1, NY; and the Bilbao Fine Arts Museum, Bilbao. She has received awards from the Guggenheim Foundation, Henry Moore Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, and a Fellowship for Socially Engaged Art from A Blade of Grass. Lacy was founding chair of the M.F.A. program in Public Practice at Otis College of Art and Design in California. In 2013, she received a Ph.D. from Gray’s School of Art at Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen, Scotland, and is currently a professor at the Roski School of Art and Design at the University of Southern California.


Pablo Helguera was born in Mexico City in 1971. He attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, both an art school and a museum, working in the museum education department while earning his B.F.A. He has since held positions in education at The Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago and the Guggenheim New York, and is currently the Director of Adult and Academic Programs at The Museum of Modern Art in New York City. Helguera has performed and exhibited extensively throughout Europe and the Americas. His works have been shown at the Museum of Modern Art, NY; Museo de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid; the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston; Bronx Museum of the Arts, NY; Brooklyn Museum, NY; and the Guggenheim, NY; among others. He is the recipient of awards from the Guggenheim Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation/Fideicomiso para la Cultura Mexico, Creative Capital, Franklin Furnace, and a Fellowship for Socially Engaged Art from A Blade of Grass.


About The 8th Floor

The 8th Floor is an exhibition and events space established in 2010 by Shelley and Donald Rubin, dedicated to promoting cultural and philanthropic initiatives, and to expanding artistic and cultural accessibility in New York City. The 8th Floor is located at 17 West 17th Street and is free and open to the public. Schools groups are encouraged. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 11am to 6pm.


About The Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation

The Foundation believes in art as a cornerstone of cohesive, resilient communities and greater participation in civic life. In its mission to make art available to the broader public, in particular to underserved communities, the Foundation provides direct support to, and facilitates partnerships between, cultural organizations and advocates of social justice across the public and private sectors. Through grantmaking, the Foundation supports cross-disciplinary work connecting art with social justice via experimental collaborations, as well as extending cultural resources to organizations and areas of New York City in need.


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For further information, members of the media may contact:

Sarah Simpson
Blue Medium Inc. 1.212.675.1800

George Bolster
The Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation 1.646.738.3971