William Fox ’71 Named Director of Nevada’s Center for Art & Environment

The Center for Art + Environment at the Nevada Museum of Art launched this month with a series of highlights, including the appointment of William L. Fox ’71 as the center’s first director, as well as the formation of an international advisory group, and the acquisition of archives from the Land Arts of the American West.

The Center for Art + Environment supports the practice, study and awareness of creative interactions between people and their natural, virtual and built environments, and serves as a programmatic focal point for the Nevada Museum of Art. The museum’s long history with the subject includes 700 photographs in a signature collection titled The Altered Landscape: The Carol Franc Buck Collection, focusing on the changing topography of the West, as well as the recent exhibition Chris Drury: Mushrooms | Clouds.

Fox, who was profiled in CMC’s 2006 issue (read full story: http://www.claremontmckenna.edu/news/cmcmagazine/2006summer/Extremes/), has been called an art critic, science writer, and cultural geographer. In his new role, he will develop a long-range plan for the center’s growth and programming, including an exhibition and publications series, residencies for artists and scholars, and partnerships with other institutions around the world.

“For more than three decades Bill has been a highly-respected critic, scholar and creative practitioner,” said David Walker, executive director and CEO, Nevada Museum of Art. “His expertise and leadership will generate global art and environment dialogue.”

Fox earned a degree in English literature during his time at CMC, and has published 10 books on cognition and landscape, 15 collections of poetry, numerous essays in art monographs, and articles and poems in more than 70 magazines and journals. Among his nonfiction titles are Terra Antarctica: Looking Into the Emptiest Continent; In the Desert of Desire: Las Vegas and the Culture of Spectacle; Playa Works: The Myth of the Empty; The Black Rock Desert; and The Void, the Grid & the Sign: Traversing the Great Basin.

A former executive director of the Nevada Arts Council, Fox served from 1993 to 2009 as a consultant to arts foundations and organizations across the United States, while writing books set in the extreme environments of the Antarctic, the Arctic, Chile, Nepal, and other locations.

He is a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and the Explorers Club and the recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, National Endowment for the Humanities, and National Science Foundation, and has been a visiting scholar at the Getty Research Institute, Clark Art Institute, the Australian National University, and National Museum of Australia.

His newest book, Aereality: Essays on the World from Above, uses his time in the airwith a “rolling cast of enlightened fliers”to examine how aerial views, either physically (by flying) or in our imaginations, are constructed.