For over two decades, Grad Art chair Diana Thater’s groundbreaking film, video and installation work exploring the tension between humans and the natural world has been widely discussed and admired. But the spotlight on Thater’s role as a leader in the global art world seems to have gotten even brighter over the past few months. In April, she named chair of the Art Center department from which she graduated in 1990 and where she’s taught for many years. In June, Thater was honored in a major gala by the Orange County Museum of Art. And earlier this month, she was awarded a 2014 California Community Foundation Fellowship.
Additionally, Thater has already begun placing her creative stamp on Grad Art by making some exciting additions to its adjunct faculty roster. She announced an impressive lineup of new fall adjunct faculty, including Philippe Vergne, director of MOCA, and Bennett Simpson, senior curator at MOCA and artist Harry Dodge. Her adjunct faculty additions for the spring are equally exciting: Getty Scholar and curator for the National Gallery in Washington Lynne Cooke, artist and Getty Scholar Tacita Dean and curator Charlotte Cotton.
To honor Thater’s accomplishments and better understand the ideas informing her creative practice, we’ve included the artist’s statement that compelled the foundation to grant her the award. Consider this a behind-the-scenes snapshot of what it takes to be a successful working artist.