Bio

From Düsseldorf, Germany. MFA Kunstakademie Düsseldorf. Additional study University of Cologne (Linguistics, Philosophy), University of Düsseldorf (German Literature, Pedagogy) and University of Chicago (Committee on the Visual Arts). Associate Professor, Dept. Chair (2011/12, 2013/14 - 2016/17), Arts Administration and Policy, School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Lives in Chicago, IL, USA.

A visual artist with focus on diagrammatics, and professor of Arts Administration and Policy at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Adelheid Mers studies and visualizes arts practices, processes and cultural ecologies, often in participatory settings. Her dialogic engagement employs diagrammatic tools and draws on the performance of studio conversations and critique; from this work emerge new and updated diagrams and devices, installation settings, texts and talks. They are presented through exhibitions, conference contributions, and publications.

Mers works independently, with artists, and with non-profits and their constituencies. She has explored artist's thinking about grant application processes for 3Arts, a Chicago arts organization, and conducted research within cultural ecologies on Chicago's south and west sides, with the Foundation for Homan Square and the University of Chicago. As part of an ongoing project, Art Work (Visual Art/Music/Management) Mers is currently exploring the practices of sound artists, composers and experimental musicians, locally in Chicago, and internationally in collaboration with colleagues at the Institute of Cultural Management and Gender Studies at the University of Music and Performing Arts, Vienna.

Mers has edited a book of diagrammatic art works that employ activist, generative and pedagogic approaches, Useful Pictures, produced by Whitewalls, and curated exhibitions that reflect on the topic of artistic practice. Honors include grants from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), British Council, and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). Mers has served on curatorial and currently serves on editorial boards, and has recently served as juror for the NEA and the Rauschenberg Foundation.