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Inspire Speakers Series Presents: Natalie Jeremijenko and Bobby Vagt

November 14, 2013 @ 5:30 pm - 8:00 pm

Natalie Jermijenko
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The Art of Environmental Health
One Artist’s Attempt to Bridge the Gap Between Art, Science, and Community Action

Kicking off this season’s Inspire Speakers Series is an artist and engineer whose innovative and moving approach to creating healthy communities offers a perfect introduction of all that is to come in this lecture circuit’s sophomore year.  Named one of the most influential women in technology in 2011 (by Fast Company), Natalie Jeremijenko is an associate professor in New York University’s Visual Arts department and also directs the school’s Environmental Health Clinic (The X Clinic).  The clinic’s model is similar to other universities’, except that students and community members make appointments to discuss environmental health concerns and leave with prescriptions for action (instead of pharmaceuticals).

Natalie’s unique combination of experience and education has allowed her to view environmental and human health issues through the lens of both an artist and scientist.  With degrees in biochemistry, engineering, neuroscience, and history & philosophy of science, she’ll lead audience members through an exploration of the connections between art, science, and community action in creating healthy communities. 

Natalie will also take audiences on an Adventure in Wonderland, where she’ll talk about socio-ecological systems designs, the sport of wrestling rhinoceros beetles, and other strategies to measurably improve our shared environmental health and increase urban biodiversity.


More about Natalie Jeremijenko:

  • The Inspire Speakers Series brings you Natalie Jeremijenko all the way from New York, New York!
  • Named one of the most influential women in technology in 2011 (Fast Company)
  • Included in the 1997 and 2006 Whitney Biennial of American Art
  • Included in the 2006 Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Triennial
  • University of Technology Sydney solo exhibition
  • Previous academia includes:
    • Visual Arts faculty at University of California, San Diego
    • Faculty of Engineering at Yale University
    • Visiting Professor at Royal College of Art in London
    • Distinguished Visiting Professor in the Public Understanding of Science at Michigan State University
  • See Natalie’s TED Talk here
  • Learn more about Natalie and her recent exhibitions here


Local Speaker: Bobby Vagt
How does this topic relate to Western Pennsylvania?  November’s edition of the Inspire Speakers Series will feature Robert (Bobby) Vagt, who will make the regional connection.  He became president & CEO of The Heinz Endowments in 2008 and provides a wide range of expertise to the foundation, including past work in mental health, housing, education, and the environment.  Bobby will discuss the foundation’s work with The Breathe Project, a coalition of residents, businesses, and governments in Southwestern Pennsylvania that are working together to clean up the region’s air quality for the health of its families and economy.  He will also share ways that audience members can become involved in this issue.


Coffee and cookies will be available beginning at 5:30 p.m., followed by presentations at 6:00 p.m.  Phipps Cafe will be open until 6:00, with the option to purchase to-go food and drinks to bring into the event space.  Register here to join the speakers for dinner after their talks.

Check out the rest of the Inspire Speakers Series presenters here!  GBA Members save $51 by purchasing the entire series!

Partner organizations for this event are Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, Tri-State Area School Study Council, The Breathe Project, AIA Pittsburgh, Master Builders’ Association of Western Pennsylvania, CSI Pittsburgh, Sustainable Pittsburgh, and the African American Chamber of Commerce.


November 14, 2013
5:30 pm - 8:00 pm
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Jenna Cramer


Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, Inc.
One Schenley Drive
Pittsburgh, PA 15213 United States
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