School of Art
Associate Professor, Studio Arts (Sculpture)
Sam Van Aken's art combines sophisticated technology with traditional modes of art-making. His projects cross boundaries between artistic genres, including performance, installation, video, photography, and sculpture. With each body of work, he selects practices and new perspectives that provide a kinesthetic perception of objects and a visceral charge.
Born in Reading, Pennsylvania, Van Aken received his undergraduate education in communication theory and art. Immediately following his studies he lived and worked in Poland under the auspices of the Andy Warhol Foundation and the United States Information Agency. Returning after several years in Europe, Van Aken received his M.F.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2001. Since this time his work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, receiving numerous honors including a Joan Mitchell Award, Association of International Curator’s of Art Award, and a 2009 Creative Capital Grant.
Van Aken and the Tree of 40 Fruit were recently featured in a National Geographic video.