Assignment: Happy Birthday

Year: 2011 - Ongoing

Washington City Paper, D.C.’s Best Gallery Shows of 2015. and Make your art professor a gift for her birthday. by Kriston Capps
Washington Post, a birthday celebration of a different sortby Mark Jenkins

Every year since 2011, I give my students an assignment to celebrate my birthday by gifting me an experience with a performative art work. The students’ projects challenge traditional hierarchies between teacher/student and the boundaries of public/private.


Please celebrate my birthday with a performative/experiential project. I don’t need more material possessions. You don’t need to butter me up. I want experiences as my birthday gifts. They can be happy, strange, surprising, sweet, mysterious, disturbing, or cause mixed feelings. I will be very open-minded and flexible as I receive your gifts.