Artist Enrique Martínez Celaya to Headline Final Public Events as Visiting Presidential Professor
Internationally renowned artist Enrique Martínez Celaya will headline two final public events as University of Nebraska Visiting Presidential Professor during a trip to Nebraska April 19-23, NU President James B. Milliken has announced.

Milliken named Martínez Celaya, an artist and writer, as a Presidential Professor in fall 2007 for a three-year period. Presidential Professors serve as public scholars who enrich the cultural and educational life of the university and the state, and public lectures are a key component of the appointment.

Martínez Celaya lives and works in Miami. His work is included in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Sheldon Museum of Art and a number of other museums and galleries around the world. In 1998, he founded Whale & Star, a studio and publishing house whose books are distributed internationally by the University of Nebraska Press.

He joins former U.S. Poet Laureate Ted Kooser in being named a Presidential Professor.

“Enrique Martínez Celaya has served as an outstanding Presidential Professor, providing unique educational opportunities not only for our students and faculty, but for our communities as well,” Milliken said. “We are delighted to offer the public a few final opportunities to engage with an artist of Enrique’s stature.”

On April 19, Martínez Celaya will join Daniel Siedell, an assistant professor of art and art history at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, for conversation at Kaneko, 1111 Jones St. in Omaha. Siedell is a former curator of the Sheldon and the author of a book on Martínez Celaya’s early work. The two will discuss art, literature, philosophy and community, and the audience will be invited to join the conversation. The event begins at 7 p.m. and is free and open to the public. RSVP is requested but not required; to RSVP or for more information, visit or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

On April 21, Martínez Celaya will deliver his final public lecture as Presidential Professor. His lecture, “On Painting,” is at 5:30 p.m. at the Sheldon, 12th and R streets in Lincoln. It will offer an in-depth analysis of the structure and nature of painting. The event is free and open to the public, and reservations are not required. For questions, call (402) 472-7121.

During his Nebraska visit, Martínez Celaya also will participate in various events with members of the university and Nebraska communities, including a critique session with University of Nebraska-Lincoln art students, a visit to the Museum of Nebraska Art in Kearney, and discussions with University of Nebraska at Kearney faculty and staff.

Martínez Celaya’s Nebraska lectures will be included in a forthcoming publication from the University of Nebraska Press titled “Collected Writings and Interviews: 1990-2010.” The release date of the collection is November 2010.

Born in Cuba in 1964, Martínez Celaya also spent parts of his childhood in Spain and Puerto Rico, developing interests in art, science, philosophy and literature. He earned his bachelor’s degree in applied physics and electrical engineering from Cornell University and a master’s degree in quantum electronics from the University of California, Berkeley. He pursued a Ph.D. in quantum electronics at Berkeley, but left the doctoral program in favor of art. Martínez Celaya earned an M.F.A. in painting and sculpture from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and attended the Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture in Maine. He also taught as a tenured professor at Pomona College and the Claremont Graduate University.

For his work as an artist, Martínez Celaya has won numerous awards, including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art Young Talent Award and the Anderson Ranch National Artist Award.

For more information about Martínez Celaya, visit

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