The Artnauts is an artist collective that uses the visual arts as a tool for addressing global issues while connecting with artists from around the world. In 1996, Dr. George Rivera, professor in the Art and Art History Department at the University of Colorado Boulder founded the Artnauts with Dennis Dalton, (University of Colorado Pueblo), Dr. Beth Krensky, (University of Utah), Garrison Roots, and Luis Valdovino, (University of Colorado Boulder). Dr. Rivera has been the lead curator since the inception of the collective.
The name derives from combining the words “art” and “astronaut” as a way to describe the process of exploring uncharted territory in the world at large. The name also denotes the practice that is “not” art as usual, going beyond the confines of the traditional or conventional art world and blurring the boundaries between art, activism, and social practice. The Artnauts have worked at the intersection of critical consciousness and contemporary artistic practice to impact change for almost 25 years. More than 350 artists have been in the collective, participating in over 270 exhibitions on 5 continents.