Visiting Artist and Practitioner Series
Our Visiting Artists, Curators, and Practitioners series offers diverse and vibrant programming of between five-six speakers each of whom conducts a lecture centered on their work and practice, as well as visiting with students in their studio-settings. All lectures are free and open to the public.
In March 2021, we launched our new UMass Amherst Visiting Artist Vimeo account. We are collecting and archiving our recorded lectures online, where they are available to our students and the public. Please check back often, as we will be adding future lectures, as well as uploading earlier recordings on an ongoing basis. Add us to your bookmark list!
September 23, 2021
Sharon Louden is an artist, educator, advocate for artists, editor of the Living and Sustaining a Creative Life series of books, and the Artistic Director of the Chautauqua Visual Arts at Chautauqua Institution. Louden's work has been exhibited in numerous venues including the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, the Drawing Center, Carnegie Mellon University, Weisman Art Museum, National Gallery of Art and held in major public and private collections including the Whitney Museum of American Art, National Gallery of Art, Neuberger Museum of Art, Arkansas Arts Center, Yale University Art Gallery, Weatherspoon Art Museum, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, among others. Louden's work is held in major public and private collections including the Whitney Museum of American Art, National Gallery of Art, Neuberger Museum of Art, Arkansas Arts Center, Yale University Art Gallery, Weatherspoon Art Museum, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, among others.
Most recently in 2021, the Henry Art Gallery at the University of Washington in Seattle, WA acquired a drawing for their permanent collection. Louden is also active on boards and committees of various not-for-profit art organizations and volunteers her time to artists to further their careers. Sharon is a consultant for Creative Capital and the Joan Mitchell Foundation. She is also a member of the Artist Advisory board of the Carolyn Glasoe Bailey Foundation and on the Franconia Sculpture Park’s board of trustees. She is also the editor of Living and Sustaining a Creative Life: Essays by 40 Working Artists and The Artist as Culture Producer: Living and Sustaining a Creative Life both published by Intellect Books and distributed by the University of Chicago Press. For more information about Sharon Louden, go to sharonlouden.com and livesustain.org.
Xandra Ibarra, who sometimes works under the alias of La Chica Boom, is an Oakland-based performance artist from the US/Mexico border of El Paso/Juarez. Ibarra works across performance, video, and sculpture to address abjection and joy and the borders between proper and improper racialized, gendered, and queer subjects.
Ibarra’s work has been featured at El Museo de Arte Contemporañeo (Bogotá, Colombia), Broad Museum (LA), ExTeresa Arte Actual (DF, Mexico), The Leslie-Lohman Museum (NYC), ONE Archives (LA) and Anderson Collection (Stanford) to name a few. Recent residencies include Headlands Center for the Arts, Open Space SF MOMA (Columnist in Residence), Marble House Project, Fort Mason Center for Arts and Culture, National Performance Network, and the Atlantic Center for the Arts. She has been awarded the Lucas Visual Arts Fellowship, Queer Art Prize for Recent Work, Art Matters Grant, NALAC Fund for the Arts, Eisner Film and Video Prize, Murphy & Cadogan Contemporary Art Award and the Franklin Furnace Performance and Variable Media Award. Her work has been featured in Artforum, Paper Magazine, Hyperallergic, Huffington Post, ArtNews and in various academic journals nationally and internationally.
Sreshta Rit Premnath (b. 1979, Bangalore, India; lives in Brooklyn, NY) is an artist and the founding editor of Shifter, an issue-based journal featuring contemporary art, creative writing, and critical theory. Premnath also directs the BFA Fine Art program at Parsons School of Design in New York. His work has been the focus of solo exhibitions at Spaces, Cleveland (2007); Wave Hill, New York (2011); Contemporary Art Museum, St. Louis (2012); Nomas Foundation, Rome (2017); and the Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver (2019), among others. He has participated in group exhibitions including The Matter Within: New Contemporary Art of India, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco (2011); The Hollow Center, Smack Mellon, New York (2013); Common Space, The Kitchen, New York (2014); After Midnight, The Queens Museum, New York; So-Called Utopias, Logan Center for the Arts, Chicago (both 2015); Cartography of Ghosts, The Drawing Center, New York (2016); The Socrates Annual, Socrates Sculpture Park, New York (2017); and L’Intrus Redux, Westfälischer Kunstverein, Münster (2019), among others. He holds a BFA from The Cleveland Institute of Art (2003) and an MFA from Bard College (2006).
Sreshta Rit Premnath creates works in sculpture, video, photography, and installation that draw on the formal legacies of minimalism and conceptualism to think through the politics of boundaries, bodies, and labor. In Premnath’s work, the use of a line, for example, is never neutral or abstract, but rather speaks to the power to demarcate and displace. The corrugated panels, cardboard, metal fencing, and freight materials that often compose his works are not merely convenient modular readymades, but the raw material that visibly indicates “development,” and the consolidation of wealth that tends to result. Recently, questions of space—who can own or occupy it—have guided Premnath’s work, as has the artist’s investigations of visibility, invisibility, and misrecognition as part of the everyday experiences of those who are marginalized.
April 8, 2021
Recorded lecture »
Chris Klapper is a Brooklyn-based installation artist. She regularly collaborates with her husband, Patrick Gallagher. Their installation, Symphony in D Minor is part of the permanent collection at the Hydropolis Museum in Wroclaw, Poland. Her work is large-scale multimedia and multidimensional. Her subject matter is driven by specific projects, environments, and experiences. Overall, she looks to explore new technologies and to use them to express immense ideas on a human scale; employing sound, sculpture, video, projection mapping, composites, and digital new media, she looks to explore every expressive opportunity that presents itself. Her installation, Prana, a large interactive installation was showcased at The Invisible Dog Art Center for which she received a grant from The Brooklyn Arts Council and was written up in the Village Voice “Best in Show” during Armory art weekend. Klapper moderated a discussion panel on Art and Technology: How Technology is Changing Art and How We Create. Her work has shown in New York, Philadelphia, Oklahoma, Boston, Miami, Spain, Italy, and Poland. She has been written up internationally in The Creators Project, Fast Company, Designboom, The Daily News, The Village Voice, The Atlantic, Interior Design Magazine, Gallery Magazine Ukrainian, Metropolitan Home Magazine, Maison Francaise Turkey to name a few.
March 18, 2021
Recorded lecture » (users must be logged in to a UMass account to view this file)
AMERICAN ARTIST (b. 1989 Altadena, CA, lives and works in New York) is an artist whose work considers black labor and visibility within networked life. Their practice makes use of video, installation, new media, and writing. Artist is a resident at Red Bull Arts Detroit and a 2018-2019 recipient of the Queens Museum Jerome Foundation Fellowship. They are a former resident of EYEBEAM and completed the Whitney Independent Study program as an artist in 2017. They have exhibited at the Museum of African Diaspora, San Francisco; the Studio Museum in Harlem; Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, and Koenig & Clinton, New York. Their work has been featured in the New York Times, Artforum, and Huffington Post. They have published writing in The New Inquiry and Art21. Artist is a part-time faculty at Parsons School of Design and teaches critical theory at the School for Poetic Computation.
Feb 25, 2021
Recorded lecture »
Patrick Jacobs was born in California. He intentionally blurs boundaries between the traditional artistic media of painting, sculpture, and photography in his works. At the same time his dioramas, viewed through glass lenses, present the viewer with a spatial and perceptual conundrum; we are drawn into a space at once determinate and infinite, natural and contrived, prosaic and otherworldly. Jacobs draws inspiration from sources as diverse as historical landscape painting and contemporary chemical companies’ home and garden pest control brochures, such as Chevron’s Ortho Books. Recalling the Claude glass, an optical device popular in the 18th century used to frame the picturesque, the lenses invoke the invisible eye of the wary homeowner searching an otherwise vacant domestic landscape for imagined interlopers. Ortho, Greek for “correct,” further alludes to the unending quest to control any divergence from the norm, as well as the manipulation of our sense of perspective. With such a fusion of influences, these quiet compositions offer a magical view of the mundane. Here, reality has been de-familiarized, and the uncanny has supplanted the commonplace. Each work consists of a meticulously constructed, three-dimensional diorama installed within the wall and viewed through a circular window of glass lenses. The combination of the negative focal length of the lenses and sculptural foreshortening creates the illusion of seemingly infinite depth within the limitations of a shallow space. The result is a distorted reality corrected only when seen through the lenses. Though artificial, these worlds are nevertheless strangely real and tactile.
Oct 22, 2020
Eve Biddle is an artist and Founding Co-director of the Wassaic Project. The Wassaic Project is an arts organization that hosts residencies, curates exhibitions, festivals, and develops educational programs in the arts. The Wassaic Project has hosted 38,000+ visitors, 680+ artists in residence, 1,000+ exhibiting artists through over 30 exhibitions, hosted 50+ dance companies, 150+ bands, 50+ filmmakers, and served 6,000+ students. They have curated performances at MASS MoCA and presented on panels at Open Engagement, Storm King, The Aldrich Museum, Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture and Planning, Tyler School of Art, School of Visual Arts in NYC, and Preservation’s Studio-X.
Oct 1, 2020
Helen Toomer is a recognized leader in the arts, with over fifteen years’ experience organizing events, exhibitions, and residencies. She is dedicated to uplifting women in the arts. Toomer is Co-Founder and Executive Director of STONELEAF RETREAT, an artists’ residency and connective space in the Catskill Mountains of New York focused on supporting women and families, which organizes UPSTATE ART WEEKEND. She is the Executive Director of Artists in Residence in Everglades (AIRIE) and Co-Founder of Art Mamas Alliance. Formerly, Toomer was the Director of the IFPDA Fine Art Print Fair and Collective Design Fair in New York and PULSE Contemporary Art Fair in Miami. She lectures on art fairs and professional development at universities and arts organizations in the US and the UK and was an adjunct professor at Sotheby’s Institute of Art and the Fashion Institute of Technology. Toomer co-founded and managed a contemporary art gallery, toomer labzda in New York, and graduated with Bachelor's in Fine Arts from the Arts Institute of Bournemouth, England. She serves on the Advisory Committees for ProjectArt, Foundwork, and the Baxter St Camera Club of New York.
Sep / Oct 2020
Joanna Tam is a Hong Kong-born Boston-based visual artist and educator. Using video, photography, performance, text, and installation, her works examine the issues of migration, citizenship, standardization, the construction of national identity as well as the notion of home. Joanna's works have been exhibited nationally and internationally.
Sep 26 - 27, 2020
Abigail Satinsky is an arts organizer, curator and writer on socially-engaged art. She is Curator for Exhibitions and Programs at Tufts University Art Galleries. From 2010 – 2015, Satinsky worked at Threewalls, where she edited PHONEBOOK (a national directory of artist-run spaces and projects), co-founded the Hand-in-Glove conference and co-initiated Common Field, amongst other exhibitions and programs. She was a co-founder of the artist group InCUBATE, which started the international micro-granting network Sunday Soup, and editor of the book, Support Networks, which chronicles socially-engaged art in Chicago over the last 100 years. She was a Fellow at the John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities and Cultural Heritage at Brown University. Satinsky has been a regular contributor to Bad at Sports podcast and blog and has written for Proximity Magazine, AREA Chicago, Journal of Aesthetics and Protest, The Artist-Run Chicago Digest, and Temporary Services’ Art Work: A National Conversation about Art, Labor, and Economics.
Anthony Romero is a Boston-based artist, writer, and organizer committed to documenting and supporting artists and communities of color. Recent projects and performances have been featured at The Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts (Omaha), the Blue Star Contemporary (San Antonio), and the Mountain Standard Time Performative Art Biennial (Calgary, Canada). Publications include The Social Practice That Is Race, coauthored with Dan S. Wang, and the exhibition catalogue Organize Your Own: The Politics and Poetics of Self-Determination Movements, of which he was the editor. He is a co-founder of the Latinx Artist Visibility Award, a national scholarship for Latinx artists produced in collaboration with artist J. Soto and OxBow School of Art, and a cofounder of the Latinx Artists Retreat, a national gathering of Latinx artists and administrators. He is Professor of the Practice at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University, Boston and is currently a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University.
Nov 13 - 16, 2019
Craig Drennen is an artist based in Atlanta, GA and a 2018 Guggenheim Fellow. His recent solo exhibition “BANDIT” at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Georgia included a catalog with essay by Diana Nawi. His work has been reviewed in Artforum, Art in America, and The New York Times. He has been a resident artist at Yaddo, MacDowell Colony, and the Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture. He teaches at Georgia State University, served as dean of the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture for four years, and writes for Art Pulse magazine. Since 2008 he has organized his studio practice around Shakespeare’s Timon of Athens.
Dec 3 - 4, 2019
Seph Rodney is an adjunct faculty member at Parsons School of Design, USA, and an editor and writer for the Hyperallergic art and culture blog. He has also written for CNN Op-ed pages, American Craft Magazine and NBC Universal, and penned catalog essays for Joyce J. Scott, Teresita Fernandez, and other artists.
February 19 - 22, 2020
Martha Wilson (b. 1947) is a pioneering feminist artist and gallery director, who over the past four decades created innovative photographic and video works that explore her female subjectivity through role-playing, costume transformations, and “invasions” of other people’s personae. She began making these videos and photo/text works in the early 1970s while in Halifax in Nova Scotia, and further developed her performative and video-based practice after moving in 1974 to New York City, embarking on a long career that would see her gain attention across the U.S. for her provocative appearances and works. In 1976 she also founded and continues to direct Franklin Furnace, an artist-run space that champions the exploration, promotion and preservation of artists’ books, installation art, video, onliine and performance art, further challenging institutional norms, the roles artists play within society, and expectations about what constitutes acceptable art mediums.
April 16 - 17, 2020 -- Postponed
Chris Klapper is a Brooklyn based installation artist. She regularly collaborates with her husband, Patrick Gallagher. Their installation, Symphony in D Minor is part of the permanent collection at the Hydropolis Museum in Wroclaw, Poland. Her work is large scale multimedia and multidimensional. Her subject matter is driven by specific projects, environments and experiences. Overall, she looks to explore new technologies and to use them to express immense ideas on a human scale; employing sound, sculpture, video, projection mapping, composites and digital new media, she look to explore every expressive opportunity that presents itself. Her installation, Prana, a large interactive installation was showcased at The Invisible Dog Art Center for which she received a grant from The Brooklyn Arts Council and was written up in the Village Voice “Best in Show” during Armory art weekend. Klapper moderated a discussion panel on Art and Technology: How Technology is Changing Art and How We Create. Her work has shown in New York, Philadelphia, Oklahoma, Boston, Miami, Spain, Italy and Poland. She has been written up internationally in The Creators Project, Fast Company, Designboom, The Daily News, The Village Voice, The Atlantic, Interior Design Magazine, Gallery Magazine Ukrainian, Metropolitan Home Magazine, Maison Francaise Turkey to name a few.
Sep 20, 2018
Katherine Behar's interactive installations, videos, performances, and writings explore gender and labor in digital culture. Appearing throughout North America and Europe, her work was the subject of a 2016 survey exhibition at Pera Museum, Istanbul. Based in Brooklyn, she is Associate Professor of New Media Arts at Baruch College, CUNY.
Oct 11, 2018
Eric Gottesman photographs, writes, makes videos, teaches and uses art as a vehicle to explore aesthetic, social and political culture.
Nov 15, 2018
Lisa Dent is an independent curator/producer, writer and arts Administrator based in the greater New York City area.
Feb 21, 2019
Didier William is currently Associate Professor of Art and the Chair of the MFA Program at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia.
Apr 11, 2019
Larry Ossei-Mensah brings a broad set of skills to his curatorial practice. He is a co-founder Artnoir which describes itself as a “global collective of culturalists.” Composed of curators, artists, and writers, the group produces events such as talks and performances designed to “engage this generation’s dynamic and diverse creative class.”