Book, song, site: Danielle Julian Norton

lady with bow

Danielle Julian Norton is busy. In addition to her work at Columbus College of Art & Design as a Professor of Fine Arts—work for which she received a 2018 Teaching Excellence Award)—Norton (Fine Arts, 1999) maintains her own active creative practice, in which she works in multimedia installations, as well as video, sculpture, and photography.

For instance, through Aug. 15, 2021, you can see her commissioned installation Vitamins for Space in the Wexner Center for the Arts exhibition Climate Changing: On Artists, Institutions, and the Social Environment. Vitamins, located just outside of the Wex, is “a tiny ecosystem constructed of wood, metal, plant life and vintage wheels,” according to a Columbus Underground interview by Wexner Center Creative Content and PR Manager Melissa Starker.

Vitamins for Space also is an extension of Zippitydirtdada, Norton’s space in southeastern Ohio for artists and community members to create, connect, experiment, and learn in an ecologically informed and responsible place. Zippitydirtdada was awarded a $10,000 Griffith Big Project Grant (made possible by CCAD’s Griffith Faculty Excellence Endowment) in 2019. You can hear Norton in conversation with Wex Associate Curator Lucy Zimmerman and Learning & Public Practice Director Dionne Custer-Edwards discussing her Wexner Center work and Zippitydirtdada right here.

In addition to her recent project at the Wex, Norton also is hard at work on a piece for the Ohio Arts Council’s Riffe Gallery show Shift: Thinking Globally Acting Locally, curated by Maria Seda Reeder and on view Thursday, July 30–Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021. 

We recently asked her to share her favorite book, song, and website. Here’s what she said:

Book: A People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn
This is an important American history from the perspective of women, factory workers, African Americans, Native Americans, working poor, and immigrant laborers. 

Song: Boogie in your Butt by Eddie Murphy
My PhD in nonsense highlights this song as award-winning. 

You can dig around the site for how you are feeling that day, artistic motivation, the need to shed some tears, facts to impress, travel somewhere impossible, or good apology lingo. It never disappoints. 

I also have to mention the This American Life website as a favorite since I spend so much time on this site and have listened to every single podcast. My favorite episode is “Testosterone,” from 2002 by the incredible Ira Glass, who discusses the pros and cons of hormone desire.


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Learn more about Danielle Julian Norton on her website.

Photo credit:  Anna Baranowski