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  • Faculty

  • James Reeves

    Part-time Assistant Professor


    Office Location
    A - Alvin Johnson/J.M. Kaplan Hall - 66 West 12th Street

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    James Reeves


    James A. Reeves is a writer, teacher, and designer whose projects examine the role of ritual and faith in these days of distraction and flux. Trained as a graphic designer and educator, his work often addresses the relationship between the image and the psyche. He frequently collaborates with the artist Candy Chang on installations that introduce new rituals into public space, most recently Light the Barricades at the Annenberg Space for Photography. More of their projects can be found at Ritual Fields.

    After traveling fifty thousand miles along the backroads of America, Reeves’s first book, The Road to Somewhere: An American Memoir, was published by W. W. Norton. His second book, The Manufactured History of Indianapolis, is a collection of fables about the city that was published after a residency in partnership with the Indiana University Center for Urban Ecology.

    Since 2001, James has worked as a creative director, designer, and educator. He believes that, as expressed in the First Things First manifesto, graphic design is fundamentally about the creation and distribution of cultural meaning. Drawing upon his studies in design history, philosophy, and psychology, he strives to create work that dignifies and ennobles. Recent collaborations include non-profit and cultural organizations such as Kiva, Columbia University, the City of Atlantic Beach, The Greater New Orleans Foundation, Architectural League of New York, American Planning Association, and Queens Council on the Arts.

    His projects and writing have appeared in the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum, the Rubin Museum of Art, Annenberg Space for Photography, as well as CBS News, New York Times, Time, and HOW Magazine. James has also taught graduate and undergraduate courses in philosophy, the history of art, pedagogy, and the politics of design at Bard Early College and Pratt Institute. He has exhibited his work and lectured in New York, Lisbon, Helsinki, Detroit, Philadelphia, Hong Kong, and Grenoble.

    Degrees Held

    M.S. Art & Design Education, Pratt Institute. New York, NY.

    B.F.A. Graphic Design, University of Michigan. Ann Arbor, MI.

    Recent Publications

    • Light the Barricades. Participatory public installation throughout Los Angeles as part of the Walls: Defend, Divide, Divine exhibit at Annenberg Space for Photography. Los Angeles, 2019.
    • A Monument for the Anxious and Hopeful. Interactive installation at the Rubin Museum of Art that collected over 50,000 responses from visitors. New York, NY. New York, 2018.
    • Grief is a Beast That Will Never Be Tamed. Public installation in Heraklion, Greece, supported by the Lakkos Project. Heraklion, 2017.
    • The Atlas of Tomorrow. City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program. Exhibited in By the People: Designing a Better America, Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum New York. Philadelphia, 2016.
    • The Road to Somewhere: An American Memoir. New York: W. W. Norton.
    • The Manufactured History of Indianapolis. Indianapolis: We Are City.

    Awards And Honors

    • Artist Residency, AARK. Korpo, Finland.
    • Featured artist at Rubin Soiree: Power After Dark. Rubin Musem of Art, New York, NY.
    • 2018 Hemera Foundation Tending Space Fellowship. Garrison, NY.
    • NES Artist Residency. Skagaströnd, Iceland. 
    • Artist-in-Residence, Lakkos Artist Residency. Heraklion, Greece.
    • Writer-in-Residence, We Are City in partnership with the Center for Urban Ecology at Butler University and Indiana University’s Center for Art + Design. Indianapolis, Indiana.


    Atlas Minor

    Current Courses

    Graphic Design History

    Graphic Design History (Summer 2020)

    Graphic Design History (Open Campus)

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