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Nesser-Chu Earns 2014 President’s Art & Activism Award

October 29, 2013

Janice Nesser Chu  
Janice Nesser-Chu

The Women’s Caucus for Art (WCA) has named Janice Nesser-Chu, chair of the Arts and Humanities department at Florissant Valley, as the recipient of the 2014 President’s Art & Activism Award.

The award annually is presented to emerging or mid-career women whose life and work exemplifies WCA’s mission of creating community through art, education and social activism.

“I am humbled to be joining the ranks of so many exemplary women who have received this prestigious award,” she said.

Previous winners include Juana Guzman, vice president of the National Museum of Mexican Art; Maria Torres, president and chief operations officer of The Point Community Development Corp.; Catherine Opie, artist and photographer; and Susan Fisher Sterling, director of the National Museum of Women in the Arts.

The presentation will take place Feb. 15 at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, Ill., during the annual WCA and College Art Association conferences.

An educator, mixed-media artist, and activist in the arts community, Nesser-Chu’s work has centered on social activism, education, mentorship and promotion of women in the arts.

She serves as the director of the Legacy Campaign on the national board of WCA, on the WCA Saint Louis chapter board, and on the board of directors for ArtTable. Nesser-Chu was president of WCA from 2010 to 2012 and has served on the organization’s board for more than eight years.

She coordinated the 2011 Art and Social Justice Conference and sat on the advisory board and steering committee for the 2012 Cross-Cultural Engagement: Building a Diverse and Dynamic Community Conference, both held in St. Louis. She recently served on the Forums Committee for Art Saint Louis and is a founder and past board member of the Northern Arts Council.

Nesser-Chu previously served as gallery director and coordinator of the photography program at Florissant Valley. She established the Women’s History Month Committee on campus and continues to serve as its coordinator.

She has received the Emerson Award for Excellence in Teaching and the Outstanding New Faculty Member of the Year Award. She received the Freedom of Human Spirit Award for her social and civic engagement at Florissant Valley.

Nesser-Chu has a bachelor’s degree in journalism with a minor in political science from Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College and a master’s degree in art from Webster University. She has exhibited locally, nationally and internationally for the last 20 years.