Eric Sung is an artist and photographer who is an associate professor in the Art and Art History Department at Providence College and the founding director of a cutting-edge minor in Business and Innovation. Since receiving his MFA from Henry Radford Hope School of Fine Arts at Indiana University, Sung has established himself as a visionary artist, publicly-engaged scholar, and award-winning teacher. His innovative and creative vision has materialized multiple interdisciplinary ideas into action with a diverse group of stakeholders.
Professor Sung's recent community arts project, 'The Community Lens,' partners with local nonprofit organizations, most notably Providence City Arts for Youth, to teach photography to young artists who co-produce works on themes of community solidarity and social justice. Project participants collaborate with other nonprofits such as local libraries, a nonviolence initiative, and a peacebuilding NGO in Ecuador. Through these mutual and reciprocal community partnerships, Professor Sung has developed ten exhibitions over the past decade, displaying works of youth, college students, and community members—along with his own—in community galleries and public spaces locally and globally. Sung has led interdisciplinary projects that infuse photography into multiple disciplines, including global health, history, architecture, political science, and marketing.
His experiential scholarship and companion works have appeared internationally in peer- reviewed and juried conferences and venues, including the Society for Photography Education National Conference (SPE National), Imagining America, International Association for Research on Service Learning and Community Engagement International Conference (IARSLCE), and Global University Network for Innovation International Conference (GUNI).
Providence College recognized Professor Sung's innovative approach to teaching and research by granting him its inaugural Innovation in Teaching Award in 2016-17. His engaging and transformative teaching was recognized again in 2017-18 with the Joseph R. Accinno Faculty Teaching Award, the College's highest teaching honor. Sung is the only faculty member who has been honored with both of these prestigious awards.
Sung's identity as a Korean American artist who arrived in the U.S. as a teenager and grew up under the strained experience of being from a working-class immigrant family, fuels his scholarly and creative interests. Professor Sung is a leader in connecting the arts with real- world public problems, and it is in that vein that he is known not only as a public scholar, educator, and artist, but also as a genuine community builder and uniter.