Social Practice

 A series of projects focused on residencies with artists who consider social interaction to be a crucial part of their work.

Home / Research + Initiatives / Social Practice

About the Social Practice initiative


Socially engaged practice, or social practice, uses participation, reciprocal relationships and collaborations to promote civic dialogue and investigate pressing issues of our time.

This practice is also referred to as participatory art, community-based arts, situational art, social sculpture, relational aesthetics, social art practice, public practice and by other terms descriptive of arts engaging communities.

Socially Engaged Practice Degree Certificate

In conjunction with ASU Art Museum, the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts offers students a degree certificate in Socially Engaged Practice to compliment their core studies.

Social Studies

Social Studies was a series of projects begun in 2007 and focused on residencies with artists who consider social interaction a crucial part of their work. Their creative processes were defined by extensive collaboration among artists, museum staff, volunteers, community members, faculty and students, and led to installations, performances, a series of actions in the gallery, or combinations thereof. While every project differed greatly in methodology and outcome, the artists became active members of the local community, and collaborations often continued long after the project ended. The results of these interactions took the work and the artist beyond ASU Art Museum's traditional exhibition structure and facilities. The museum continues its focus on socially engaged practice through the Artist Residency program and its curatorial philosophy.

Gregory Sale’s “It’s Not Just Black and White” | 2011 | ASU Art Museum Social Studies Series