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2011_bethlehempalestine_steps_mixedmedia_9-x-12_artdis(place)ment_martharussos thumbnail
2010_oaxaco_pull_mixedmedia_9-x-12_raven_martharusso thumbnail
2009_gaza_pinpoint_mixedmedia_9-x-12_martharusso thumbnail
2009_colombia_flow_mixedmedia_9-x-12_mixta_martharusso thumbnail
2007_toni'shand_mexico_mixedmedia_martharusso thumbnail
2007_china_generate_mixed-media_9-x-12_-Martha-Russo thumbnail
2006_state_mixedmedia_11X-14_martharusso thumbnail
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s_stirring it up red tide_image_2016

Beijing Academy of Fine Arts

frenetic: distill
Digital photographs
11”x 14”


same sky- different horizons
digital images, aluminum


pounds of pollution
mixed media


The Effluence of Copper Mining
mixed media
21” x 18”


game up
mixed media
9”x 12”


mixed media
9” x 12”


mixed media
9” x 12”


mixed media
9” x 12”


mixed media
9’ x 12”


Toni’s Hand
mixed media
18” x 9”


mixed media
20” x 13”


Where is a Ghandi?
mixed media
21” x 15”


mixed media
8.5” x 11”

bosnia herzegovina

mixed media
8.5” x 11”

bosnia herzegovina
more and more and more open and sparse
digital images
8.5" x 11"

south africa

stirring up the red tide
mixed media
8.5" x 11"

Artnauts Collective: A Brief History and Exhibition Record

By Beth Krensky, Ph.D., University of Utah

  selection of works by Martha Russo


The Artnauts is an artist collective that uses the visual arts as a tool for addressing global issues while connecting with artists from around the world. The name derives from combining the words “art” and “astronaut” as a way to describe the process of exploring uncharted territory in the world at large.  For example, one of our exhibitions traveled down the Amazon River for three years to over twenty-two remote sites.  The name also denotes an art practice that is “not” art as usual and goes beyond the confines of the traditional or conventional art world, blurring the boundaries between art, activism, and social practice. The Artnauts have worked at the intersection of critical consciousness and contemporary artistic practice to impact change for two plus decades with over two-hundred forty exhibitions, and counting,  on five continents.


The Artnauts are well named.  They take off for outer spaces (a.k.a the margins) where angels are in short supply, filling gaps that shouldn’t be there, speaking out where few can or will.

What an incredible record… Congratulations.

Lucy Lippard


The Artnauts artist collective was founded in 1996 by Dr. George Rivera, Professor of Art in the Department of Art and Art History at the University of Colorado-Boulder and four other founding members, Garrison Roots, Dennis Dalton, Luis Valdevino, Beth Krensky.. The group has exhibited work in museums, universities, galleries, and public spaces on five continents and has captured the attention of art critics both in the United States and internationally. The work of the collective is rooted in an engaged practice that draws from Joseph Beuys’ construct of “social sculpture,” Paulo Freire’s “conscientization” or critical consciousness and Nina Felshin’s definition of “activist art.”

Art as a form of social commentary has existed since Greek civilization.  Since that time, the arts have been employed as tools for shedding light on social injustice and the human condition. Historically, this type of art has existed in both museum and gallery settings, as well as in the public domain.  However, before the 1960s in the United States, much of the social and political commentary artwork was found almost exclusively in museums and galleries.  The conceptual and earth art movements of the 1960s moved art out of museums and into the streets and land. The act of moving art from high art world venues into the “real” world impacted the political art movement of the 1970s and laid the foundation for the ecological art movement.  The feminist art movement from this period turned “the personal is political” into visual images that broke the silence around issues facing women and fueled the fires of political art in general.  The 1980s ushered in the ecological and activist art movements.  These movements represented a major paradigm shift from the Modernist social disconnection and alienation of the artist to a connection between the artist and community (Gablik, 1991).  They offered a new possibility for art and the artist—a supportive and collaborative effort between artist and society which was thought to ultimately lead to social change (Becker, 1994).  The ecological art movement inextricably links art to the context within which it is created—the community and environment.  The ecological aesthetic redirects the focus onto issues of context and social responsibility, as does the aesthetic of the activist art movement.

Activist art has three guiding characteristics.  It must have political content, it must be created or displayed in public, and it must create some interchange or interaction with the public (Felshin, 1995).  In this case, the role of art is based on interaction, is context-dependent, and is anti-hegemonic in that it allows for a broader definition of who may be an artist and what constitutes art.

The Artnauts collective has employed elements of each of the aforementioned paradigms. The group has projected images on the sides of buildings to draw attention to global warming, has created collaborative exchanges between artists across national divides and has exhibited political work in museum and gallery spaces ranging from the National Museum of Chile to the XYZ Gallery in Beijing. I believe this is an important example of a collective working within the “art as action” paradigm.

This contemporary art collective has been informed by a long tradition of thought, material practice and action about art and social/political/ecological change. To date, the collective has exhibited in venues throughout the world and within the United States.

Please see the attached chronology of exhibitions for a complete list.


Please go to our website for additional information:



Becker, C. (1994). The subversive imagination: Artists, society, & social responsibility.

New York: Routledge.

Felshin, N. (Ed.) (1995). But is it art?: The spirit of art as activism. Seattle: Bay Press.

Freire, P. (1970, 1993). Pedagogoy of the oppressed. New York: Continuum.

Gablik, S. (1991).  The reenchantment of art. New York: Thames and Hudson.














Martha Russo, Where is a Gandhi? mixed media, 21” x 15”  2006

Common Wounds, The International Center of Bethlehem, Bethlehem, Palestine

De-constructing War, Al Kahf Gallery, Bethlehem, Palestine

                                              Artnauts’ Collective Exhibition Record 


Connections, European House in Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia

Hegira& Other Passages, Gradska Galerija, Bihac, Bosnia

Liminal Space, DMZ Museum, South Korea

American Art: The ARTNAUTS

Casa de la Cultura del Guaviare, San José, Guaviare, Colombia (Población indígena)

Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Leticia, Amazonas, Colombia

Biblioteca Pública Municipal, Puerto Inirida, Guainía, Colombia

Galería Artificio, Villavicencio, Meta, Colombia

El Barrio La Madrid, Villavicencio, Meta, Colombia

Biblioteca Del Municipio De Taraira, Departamento del Vaupes, Vaupes, Colombia Comunidad            Indigena Cubeo


Globalocation II, Rosemary Duffy Larson Gallery, Broward College, Davie, FL

Meta Journey, International Festival Sarajevo, Sarajevo, Bosnia- Herzegovina

Globalocation, J Willard Marriot Gallery, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT

Globalocation, Nettie Benson Archive Library, University of Texas, Austin, Austin, TX



Artnauts 20th Anniversary Exhibitions, RedLine Contemporary Art Space, Denver, CO

Zeitgeist: Social, Political, Cultural, Greatmore Studios and Khayelitsha at The Harare Academy of Inspiration Cape Town South Africa

Art & Resistance, Dar Al-Kalima University, Bethlehem, Palestine

Soul Drift: Visualizations of a Cultural Phenomenon, International Festival Sarajevo, Sarajevo, Bosnia



Diaspora of Being, International Center of Bethlehem, Bethlehem, Palestine

Identity, Place, and Memory (Arte Norteamericano: Identidad, Lugar y Memoria), Bogota Arte Contemporaneo Gallery in Bogota, Colombia

Where so we come from? What are we? Where are we going?, (Odakle dolzimo? Ko Smo? Kuda  Idemo?),Academy of Fine Arts Sarajevo and Galerija ALU Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina


Where so we come from? What are we? Where are we going?,(Odakle dolzimo? Ko Smo? Kuda Idemo?),Galerija Atelje KunikSanski Most, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Art and Poetics, Mahmoud Darwish Museum in Ramallah, Palestine Dar al-Kalima University College of Arts and Culture, Bethlehem, Palestine

Moving Beyond Capitalism, Center for Global Justice in San Miguel de Allende, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.

Identity, University of the Andes, Bogota, Colombia


Place/Lugar, Taraira, Departamento de Vaupes, Colombia, travel to 3 more venues in the        Amazon Rainforest

Diptych America: Private Spaces/Public Places, Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA), Building 7, Seventh Floor Gallery, Beijing, China

A Better Society, public art posters at 7 Metro Stops, Budapest, Hungary

Home/Land, Dar al-Kalima College, in conjunction with the Eighth International Conference on the Arts in Society, Eotvos Lorand University Bethlehem, Palestine


Memory Remains, Museo de la Autonomia Universitaria, Mexico City, Mexico

Amulets, Nazars & Evil Eyes,  Queens College Art Center, Flushing, NY

Mixed Messages

Universidad de los Llanos (UNILLANOS), Villavicendo, Colombia

Travelling exhibition to 30 venues throughout the Colombian Amazon:

Arauca, Fortul, Tame, Pore, Yopal, Villanueva, Barranca de Upia, Restrepo, Vilavicencio, Guamal, Fuente de Oro, Puerto Lleras, Villavicencio, Puerto Lopez, Puerto Gaitan, Arauquita, Saravena, Hato Corozal, Paz de Ariporo, Aguaazul, Monterrey, Paratebueno, Cumaral, Acacias, San Masrtin, Granada, Puerto Corcordia, San Jose de Guaviare, Puerto Gaitan

The Ecological Imperative, Museo Contemporáneo, Valdivia, Chile

Art & Dis(place)ment,  Higher Education and Research Building, Mureir Mountain, Bethlehem, Palestine


Memory Remains, Casa de las Ciencias, Universidad Autónoma del Estado de Morelos, Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico

Mixed Messages

Galeria De Artes/CAUA, Universidade Federal Do Amazonas,

Manaus, Amazonas, Brazil

Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogota, Colombia

Casa de la Cultura de la Gobernacion, Departamento de Guania, Región Amazonica, Inírida, Guainía

Biblioteca del Banco de la Republica, Leticia, Colombia

Art & Dis(place)ment, Al Kahf Gallery, International Center of Bethlehem, Bethlehem, Palestine ,Dar al-Kalima College, Bethlehem, Palestine

AZAG/GAZA: Mirroring War, Al Kahf Gallery, Bethlehem, Palestine Mixta

La Casa de la Cultura de la Gobernacion, Inirida, Colombia

Fondo Mixto de Guainia, Departmento de Guaninia, Region Amazonica, Guainia, Colombia (16 Indigenous villages along the Rio Guainia)

Horror, Terror & Death

The Museum of Edgar Allan Poe, Richmond, Virginia

Galería Antonio Ramírez, Escuela Nacional de Artes Plasticas, Xochimilco, Mexico City

Casa de la Cultura Oaxaqueña, Oaxaca, Mexico

Academia de San Carlos, Escuela Nacional de Artes Plasticas, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, Mexico City, Mexico


The Raven, Terror & Death: [An] Other Artistic Tribute To Edgar Allan Poe

Galeria Tinoco y Palacios, Oaxaca, Mexico

Goguette Gallery, Mexico City, Mexico

Art, Ecology & the Environment

Universidad Nacional de Colombia Sede Amazonia, Leticia, Colombia

Departamento de Cundinamarca, Bogotá, Colombia

Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogota, Colombia

Centro Cultural Santa Teresita, Bogota, Colombia

Escuela de Artes Academia Guerrero, Bogota, Colombia

Departamento del Meta, Ciudad Villavicencio, Lugar Universidad del Llano y Corporación Universitaría del Meta

Departamento del Guaviare, Gobernación del Departamento y Espacios nocturnos, San Jose, Colombia

Departamento del Valle, Comunidad Indigena Nasa Yuwe, Grupo Etnico Tradicional

La Mirada del Otro: (Identidades étnicas), Universidad de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain

Signs, Signifiers and the Signified

Alcaldía de Funza, Central Cultural de Funza, Cundinamarca, Colombia

Universidad de Estudios Adminitrativos y de Negocios, Bogota, Colombia

Universidad Nacional de Bogota, Bogota, Colombia

Centro Cultural de Santa Teresita, Bogota, Colombia

University de Llanos, Villavicencio, Colombia

Universidad de Meta, Villavicencio, Colombia

Camara de Comercio, Villavicencio, Colombia

Water & the Environment

Museo de la Universidad de San Carlos, Guatemala City, Guatemala

Lart23tres Contemporary Art Gallery, Mexico City, Mexico

Sp(l)aces Gallery, Mexico City, Mexico

Don Apolinio, San Adrés Cholula, Mexico

Death/La Muerte: Art from the United States

Galeria ESCOOL, Colonia Roma Norte, Mexico

Don Apolonio Presenta, Cholula, Puebla, Mexico

Climate Change & the Environment: Art of Portrait and Text, Anderson Ranch Arts Center, Snowmass, Colorado

Museo de la Universidad de San Carlos, Guatemala City, Guatemala

Garden Gallery, Zayed University, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Ecology, Museo de la Universidad de San Carlos, Guatemala City, Guatemala

Climate Changes/Ecology,  Denver Performing Arts Complex

Sculpture Park (Projection on large wall facing Speer Blvd.) Denver, Colorado

Climate/Change/Ecology, Eartha Vibes, UMC, Boulder, Colorado


Ecology & the Environment

Sala de Escuela Superior de Arte el Paranimfo, University of San Carlos, Guatemala City, Guatemala

University of Guatemala, Guatemala City, Guatemala

Climate Change & the Environment: Art of Portrait and Text, Sala de Escuela Superior de Arte el Paranimfo, University of San Carlos, Guatemala City, Guatemala

Directions Gallery, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado

Museum of Natural History, Boulder, Colorado

Death: Art from the United States, Galeria Tinoco y Palacios, Oaxaca, Mexico

Words for Life, Muriel Sibell Woole Gallery, Boulder, Colorado

Signs of Globalization, Salón de Exposiciones de la Facultad de Arquitectura, University of San Carlos, Guatemala City, Guatemala

Sala de Escuela Superior de Arte el Paranimfo, University of San Carlos, Guatemala City, Guatemala                    Mixta

Sala Iquitos, Universidad Nacional del Perú Estado Loreto, Iquitos, Peru            

Sala de Exposiciones  Amazonas, Universidad del Estado del Amazonas UEA, Tabatinga, Brazil

Sala de Exposiciones Orellana, Biblioteca del Banco de la Republica, Leticia, Colombia

Sala Jania-Iko (Casa de Imágenes en Uitoto), Universidad Nacional de Colombia Sede Amazonia, Leticia, Colombia

Polifacetica: Etnografia Grafica

Encuentro de Fotografía de Medellín, Medellin, Colombia

Sala 2, Galeria Tinoco y Palacios, Oaxaca, Mexico

French Building Alianza Francesa, Socrates 156 Esquina Homero, Colonia Los Morales, Polanco, Mexico                                                                

 Azag/Gaza: Mirroring War, Casa Borda, Taxco, Mexico

Galeria Zapata, Oaxaca, Mexico

Post Tractatus: Art in Amazonia

Museo de Arte Contemporaneo, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Sede Bogotá, Bogotá, Colombia


Post Tractatus: Art in Amazonia

Sala de Exposiciones Amazonas, Universidad del Estado del Amazonas UEA, Tabatinga, Brasil

Sala de Exposiciones Orellana, Biblioteca del Banco de la Republica, Leticia Colombia

Sala Janai-IKO (Casa de Imágenes en Uitoto), Universidad Nacional de Columbia Sede Amazonia, Leticia, Colombia

Sala Iquitos, Universidad Nacional del Peru, Loreto, Peru

Contra La Guerra, Salas 1,2,3 and Roberto Garibay Gallery, Academia de San Carlos, Escuela Nacional de Artes Plasticas, Universida Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, Mexico City, Mexico

Centers and Borders: From ABC to XYZ, Blackbridge Gallery, Beijing, China

XYZ Gallery, 798 Art District, Beijing, China

Art & Social Change: Land, Culture & Memory, Al-Kahf Gallery, International Center of Bethlehem, Bethlehem, Palestine


Centers and Borders: Artwork from the United States

Gallery of the School of Fine Arts, Ningxia University, Yinchuan, China

Ningxia Exhibition Center, Yinchuan, China

Crossing Borders UMC Gallery, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado

Norlin Library, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado

Contra la Guerra, Oaxacan Graphic Arts Institute (IAGO), Oaxaca, Mexico

Galeria Uno and Galleria Blanca, Escuela Nacional de Artes Plasticas, Academia de San Carlos, Mexico City, Mexico

Nexus Universidad Nacional de Colombia Sede Amozonia, Seminario Internacional    de Fronteras en Globalización, Leticia, Colombia

Universidad del Estado del Amazonas UEA Brasil, Tabatinga, Brazil

Universidad Nacional de Colombia Sede Amazonia,  Semana Cultural United Nations, Leticia, Colombia

Biblioteca Publica del Banco de la Republica, Leticia, Colombia



Deconstructing War: Visual Representations of Artists for Peace

Khalil Al Sakakini Cultural Center, Ramallah, Palestine

Al-Kahf Gallery, The International Center of Bethlehem, Palestine

Land, People and Identity, Sakakini Center Ramallah, Palestine



Translations, Oventic Caracol, Center of Good Government of the Zapatistas of Chiapas, Zapatista Territory, Mexico

Common Wounds, Jad Salman Gallery, Ramallah, Palestine



Common Wounds, The International Center of Bethlehem, Bethlehem, Palestine

The Discourse of Others, Salon de Artes Plasticas, Mexico City, Mexico

War, Gallery Sovereign, Boulder, Colorado

Post Paradise, Governor’s Palace, Tlaxcala, Mexico

Borderlands, Sangre de Christo Arts Center, Pueblo, Colorado



After the Fall, Casa de la Cultura, Oaxaca, Mexico

Death & Other Exits, Governor’s Palace, Tlaxcala, Mexico

To Be & Not To Be: Images from the United States, Casa Bordas, Escuela Nacional de Artes Plasticas, Taxco, Mexico

Borderlands Center for the Visual Arts, Denver, Colorado

Art and Ecology, Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, Boulder, Colorado



Muerte y Memoria: Imagenes de Colorado, Galeria Rufino Tamayo, Oaxaca, Mexico

Art and Ecology, Colorado Mountain College Gallery, Glenwood Springs, Colorado

Borderlands, Glenwood Springs Center for the Arts, Glenwood Springs, Colorado

3 Bienal Iberoamericana de Lima, Sinapsis, Corriente Alterna, Lima, Peru



Borderlands, Russian Society of Artists Exhibition Hall, Khabarovsk Academy of Art, Khabarovsk , Russia

Muerte Sin Fronteras: Imagenes de Colorado EE.UU./Death Without

Borders, Teatro Jose Peon Contreras/Images from Colorado, USA. Merida, Yucatan, Mexico

Salsa y Santos, Glenwood Arts Center, Glenwood Springs, Colorado

Love and Death, Sala de Instalaciones, Delegacion de Tlaxcala, Mexico City, Mexico



Arte y Muerte, Sala de Exposiiciones, Casa Tlaxcala, Representacion del

Gobierno de Tlaxcala, Mexico City

Exposicion Pictoria, Galeria del Restaurante Bananas, Puerto Escondido



Reflexiones del Alma Galeria José Clemente Orozco, Mexico City, Mexico

Reflexiones del Alma II, Galeria Rancho de Comate Cuitolco, Tenango del Aire, Mexico

Millennial Journey, Museo Universidad de Alicante, Alicante, Spain



Crisis, Dreams and the Aesthetic Imagination, Museo Contemporaneo Valdivia, Valdivia, Chile

Paraiso/Paradise, Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Santiago, Chile



La Frontera Comun, Muestra Binacional de Grafica, Digital, Galeria “La Torre del Reloj,” Mexico City, Mexico

The Common Mirror: Digital Reflections of Culture, The Justina M. Barnicke Gallery, Hart House, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada

Common Mirror: Visions of Digital Artists, Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana-  Azcapotzalco, Mexico City, Mexico

Muestra de Grafica , Ex-Colegio, Jesuita/Centro Cultural, Patzcuaro, Michoacan, Mexico                              El Gauguinazo, Galeria Nacho Lopez, Casa Del Lago, Mexico City, Mexico

Arte Collectivo, El Tigre Azul Gallery, Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca

Chicano Retrospective, Corriente Alterna , Lima, Peru

Evidence, Rocky Mountain Regional Conference on HIV Disease, Denver, Colorado

Passion Plague: Life, Art, Death, Edge Art Gallery, Denver, Colorado

Crisis–Artwork from the U.S. and Mexico, San Luis Cultural Arts Center & Museum, San Luis, Colorado



World AIDS Day Exhibition, Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, Boulder, Colorado

Common Mirror: Visions of Digital Artists, Canada, United States, & Mexico, Macky Gallery, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado

Arte Goganazo, El Temascalli Gallery, Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca