Civic studio is an applied experimental studio project started in 1999. It operates as a public project and is organized as a course in the Visual and Media Arts Department at Grand Valley State University.

The project was initiated to develop ways of practicing and presenting art in public contexts, and to invest in the social, educational, spatial and institutional inquiry and development necessary for art to serve its public function. 

The studio is not a fixed place but is a situational framework of inquiry. Each project takes place in a specific situation, which is organized as a work space that is publicly accessible. We research the history and context of the site and engage socially and experientially. Work is done individually and collaboratively and involves a precarious mix of organizational, social, scholastic, and artistic functions. Areas of focus emerge from context, process, and dialog. Studio products are publicly presented.

The project was created in 1999 by Paul Wittenbraker with support from the Dorothy Johnson Center for Philanthropy at Grand Valley State University. In 2006 it was established as a regular course offering and part of the Visual Studies BFA program of the Department of Visual and Media Arts at GVSU. Visual Studies reflects interdisciplinary approaches in contemporary art including work that focuses on spatial, curatorial, and civic contexts and the use of digital and interactive media in visual works. Civic Studios have been led by Wittenbraker, Anna Cambell, Dulcee Boehm, and Sean Patrick Carney.
Project Archive includes an index of projects and exhibitions on this site.