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  Alison Laurie Palmer

Alison Laurie Palmer



Arts Division

Art Department




Elena Baskin Building E

DARC building

Art Department

Research Interests:

A. Laurie Palmer’s work is concerned with material explorations of matter’s active nature as it asserts itself on different scales and in different speeds, and with collaborating on strategic actions in the contexts of social and environmental justice. She sees art in its surprising, sensory, relational, and critically constructive capacities as a liberatory force that can contribute to collective and systemic transformation. Her work takes form as sculpture, installation, writing, and collaborative public projects. Palmer taught sculpture and contemporary theory at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago for 18 years before coming to UCSC in 2015. She lectures widely on her work, and publishes writing as, and about, art in multiple formats and forums. She has shown her work nationally and internationally, including at Haus der Kunst, Munich; Grimaldi Forum, Monaco; The Renaissance Society, Chicago; Artists Space, NY; Aperto XLV Venice Biennale; Magasin, Centre d'Art Contemporain, Grenoble; Seniorenzentrum, Dornach, Austria; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Randolph Street Gallery, Chicago; MASS MoCA, North Adams, and in various public spaces.


Teaching Interests:

Sculpture, Writing, Forms and Ideas, mixed media and project-based art; Materiality of Color; Materiality of Time; Environmental and Racial Justice; Environmental Art and Social Practice Graduate Program


Education and Training: 

B.A. Williams College; M.F.A. School of the Art Institute of Chicago



STOA, Pölling (Germany), 2021

Just Futures, Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History, 2020

The Big Sleep, Haus der Kunst, Munich, 2018

Sensing Connection to the Time Left, Iceberg Projects, Chicago, 2018

Schichten, Leipzig, 2016

The Lichen Museum, Sector 2337, Chicago, 2015


Selected Collaborative Projects:

LANDING, A temporary, collective, and migratory art and event program in Santa Cruz, 2022-23,


“The River Composes Us in Concert Together: A Multi-species Tribunal in Defense of What’s Common,” 2020, with SC DSA Ecosocialists,


Chicago Torture Justice Memorials, 2011 – 2015,


DuSable Park Proposal Project, 1999 – 2004,


Haha (collab art group), 1988 – 2008,



The Lichen Museum, 2023, University of Minnesota Press

 In the Aura of a Hole: Exploring Sites of Material Extraction, 2014, Black Dog Press

With Love from Haha, 2008, Whitewalls Press/University of Chicago

3 Acres on the Lake: DuSable Park Proposal Project, 2004, Whitewalls Press/University of Chicago



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