Mary Ellen Strom
Mary Ellen Strom is a U.S.-based, contemporary artist known for her temporary public artworks and video/performance installations. She was born in Butte, Montana, a hard rock mining town in the Rocky Mountain West. Her research-based artwork and fieldwork is influenced by the cultural and environmental concerns she experienced growing up in this complex region. Strom’s artworks about place study the impacts of settler colonialism, extraction and human-induced climate change. Her projects have been created using methods of collective inquiry, and are researched and produced in collaboration with activists, Indigenous scholars, scientists, historians, environmentalists, and policy makers. Projects have been exhibited on farms, cattle ranches, public pools, on rivers, on trains, grain terminals, horse arenas, in galleries and museums. Her artworks’ subjects have most recently focused on segregated recreation, restoring Indigenous histories, draught, fire, water and returning place names to Indigenous names. Strom is a co-founder of the public art organization, Mountain Time Arts in Southwestern, MT.
Strom’s work has been exhibited at MoCA, LA; MoMA, NYC; ICA, Philadelphia; Contemporary Art Museum, Houston; MFA, Boston; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Wexner Center, Columbus, OH; Pompidou Centre-Metz, Paris; Satouchi Trienniale, Japan; Hayward Gallery, London; Nagoya Museum of Art and Nagoya Trienniale, Japan; Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne, Stabel Arts, and Washington DC, among others. Awards include: International Fulbright Scholar Fellowship, Creative Capital, Artadia The Fund for Art and Dialogue, MAP Fund, Andy Warhol Foundation for Visual Art, Art Matters, ArtPlace America, the Kendeda Fund, and National Endowment for the Arts, among others. Strom has been an artist and researcher in residence at the Bellagio Center Residency Program, Rockefeller Foundation, Lake Como, Italy; P.S.1-MoMA, National Studio Program, New York, NY; Pauli Murray Residency, Washington DC; The Watermill Art Center, Watermill, NY; EMPAC Center, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY; Pronatura Noroeste, San Luis Rio Colorado, Mexico; Bogliasco Foundation, Liguria Center for Arts and Humanities, Bogliasco, Italy; De-Archive East Africa, Center for Arts, Design + Social Research, Nairobi Kenya; Art and Science Lab, Biosphere 2, Tuscon Arizona; International Studio and Curatorial Program, NY,NY; Headlands Center for the Arts, Marin, CA.
Strom emerged as a visual and performance artist while residing in NYC during the 80s and 90s, where she participated in art and activism with organizations including PS1: MoMA, The Kitchen, Dance Theater Workshop, Creative Time, PS 122 Gallery, the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and Visual AIDS.
Professor Strom's courses focus on the production, history and cultural contexts of video art. Courses involve video installation and the intersections of media and performance. Strom co-teaches the Art and the Environment course; her section concentrates on fieldwork and site-specific artworks. She has taken numerous groups of students to the western United States to explore the history of land art and Indigenous art and culture. Many of Strom’s students have interned with the arts organization Mountain Time Arts, where they have participated in and learned to produce large-scale public art.