ArtsWest is a newly launched program that aims to highlight Western artists through speaker events, film screenings, and exhibitions. The West boasts a rich tradition of distinctive and celebrated works of literature, photography, and visual and cinematic art. The West is a place of global creativity and artistic vision. ArtsWest aims to place a spotlight on the contribution of the arts and humanities in the American West through public programming.
Although many associate Stanford University with the science and technology of Silicon Valley, the strong influence of the arts and humanities on campus dates back to the university's founding. Most recently, the opening of the Anderson Collection, McMurtry Building, and designation of the new Arts District surrounding the world class Cantor Center for Visual Arts have combined to place Stanford in the top tier of American universities with an emphasis on the visual arts.
ArtsWest seeks to leverage the excellence found on campus with a special emphasis on the contributions of western-based artists, writers, and cultural leaders who are inspired by the West. Through a series of lectures, seminars, symposia, and teaching, ArtsWest will highlight historical contributions and forward-looking trends in the arts benefitting the campus and public at large. Programs will alternate between Great Writers of the West and Great Artists of the West.
The inaugural ArtsWest: Great Writers of the West lecture, Jack London: Apostle of the West, was held on September 19, 2016. Full video from the C-SPAN broadcast is available. In San Francisco on February 4, 2017, Professor Alexander Nemerov gave a lecture entitled, The School: Diane Arbus's Untitled Photographs.
In May 2017, the Center hosted the second Great Writers of the West event, John Steinbeck and the Environment. A recap of the symposium and complete video from the event are available on our website. Read more about Gavin Jones’ work on Steinbeck from the Stanford News Service.