2011 'Food for Thought' Summer Lecture Series Kicks Off June 18

MFA in Studio Art-sponsored series features talks from noted visiting artists and curators

June 14, 2011

The MFA program in Studio Art at the University of the Arts announces its 17th annual "Food for Thought" Summer Lecture Series featuring noted visiting artists and curators. Held in CBS Auditorium in Hamilton Hall (unless otherwise noted), this weekday series runs from June 18 through August 3 and is free and open to the public.

This year's line-up includes the artblog's Roberta Fallon and Libby Rosof; California-based artist Michael O'Malley; New York-based artist Firth MacMillan; Louiville, Ky.-based attorney Kyle Citrynell; New York-based curator Matthew Higgs; Philadelphia-based curator Maiza Hixson; New York-based author Daniel Grant; Philadelphia-based artist Tristin Lowe; artists James Hyde, Lisa Stefanelli and Leah Tinari; Pittsburgh, Pa.-based artist Linn Meyers; New York-based filmmaker Birgit Rathsmann and journalist Rick Karr; New York-based artists Jenny Vogel and David McBride and Michigan-based artist Shay Church.

For more information, please contact MFA Program Director Joe Girandola or Program Administrator Kristen Goldschmidt.


the artblog's Roberta Fallon and Libby Rosof
June 18, 5 p.m.


In the time since Roberta Fallon and Libby Rosof created the artblog in April 2003, it has been widely cited for excellence and clear writing about thorny art issues, including two major citations in Art in America. Fallon and Rosof have received grants from the Knight Foundation and J-Lab (via the William Penn Foundation) and they are winners of a 2011 Knight Arts Challenge for "artblog First Friday art safaris," a project that begins in spring 2012. In 2008, they were both awarded honorary doctorates in fine arts from Moore College of Art and Design and in 2010, they were awarded the Southern Graphics Council's SCG Writing Award.

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Michael O'Malley
June 22, 1 p.m.



Michael O'Malley was born in South Bend, Ind., and grew up in Northern California. He went to high school in Colorado and received a BA in English from the University of Notre Dame. After extensive travels and a BFA from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University, he did his MFA at Stanford University. While there, he focused on large-scale installations that altered perceptual and social situations of the body. After graduate school, his work has largely focused on mining the dominant paradigms that shape the built environment and offering surrogates as critique and proposal. In his latest work, ideas about social practice, community and sustainable art practice have become his focus. He is Associate Professor of Art at Pomona College in Claremont, Calif. O'Malley lives and work in Los Angeles and the Catskills of New York.

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Firth MacMillan
June 29, 1 p.m.

Firth MacMillan is an artist living and working in NYC. She has exhibited nationally at CRG Gallery and Charles Cowles Gallery in New York, and internationally at the Gardiner Museum in Toronto, the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia and San Bao International in China. Firth is the recipient of numerous awards including Hixson-Lied fellowships and a Canada Council grant. She is currently teaching at CUNY (City University of New York) and is an artist-in-residence in the MFA building at Hunter College.

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Kyle Citrynell
July 1, 3 p.m.
Kyle Anne Citrynell has a national litigation and transactional practice in the areas of arts, entertainment, media, publishing, technology and intellectual property law. She graduated from Duke University (BA '77; JD '80) and went to Louisville, Ky., in 1980 to work with the Kentucky Arts Commission and Fund for the Arts to establish Professional Services to the Arts, which provided legal, accounting, banking and insurance services to artists and arts groups.

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Matthew Higgs
July 6, 6 p.m.

Since 2004, Matthew Higgs has been the director and chief curator of White Columns, New York City's oldest alternative art space. Over the past 15 years, he has organized more than 200 exhibitions and projects with artists in Europe, the United States and Canada. Recent projects include a survey of the work of San Francisco-based artist William Scott (2008), Palais de Tokyo, Paris; "Words Fail Me" (2007), Museum of Contemporary Art, Detroit; and "Exhibitionism: An Exhibition of Exhibitions" (2007), Hessel Museum of Art, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson. He has contributed texts to more than 50 publications and is a regular contributor to Artforum. He has shown his own work nationally and internationally, including recent solo shows at Wilkinson Gallery, London; the Apartment, Vancouver, Canada; Jack Hanley Gallery, Los Angeles; and Murray Guy, New York.

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Maiza Hixson
July 6, 7:30 p.m.
Rosenwald-Wolf Gallery
Maiza Hixson is the Delaware Center for Contemporary Arts Gretchen Hupfel Curator of Contemporary Art. Hixson has extensive museum and curatorial experience and has been affiliated with the Fabric Workshop and Museum in Philadelphia, the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati, and the J.B. Speed Art Museum in Louisville, Ky. She holds an MA in Critical and Curatorial Studies from the University of Louisville and completed post-baccalaureate study in Art Theory, Criticism, History and Painting at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She will be speaking about the travelling exhibition she curated, "Young Country," showing at the Rosenwald-Wolf Gallery at the University of the Arts.

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Daniel Grant
July 8, 5 p.m.
Daniel Grant is the author of several books in the arts, all published by Allworth Press, including The Business of Being an Artist, Selling Art Without Galleries and The Fine Artist's Career Guide. He has been a features reporter at the daily newspapers Newsday in Long Island and The Commercial-Appeal in Memphis, Tenn. In addition, Daniel is a contributing editor of American Artist magazine and a regular contributor to ARTnews magazine and The Wall Street Journal.

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Tristin Lowe
July 13, 1 p.m.

Tristin Lowe is a multi-disciplinary artist, whose practice delves into the crude and rude, absurd and abject, pushing low-brow, low-tech methods and materials toward unexpected ends. The artist makes drawings from grease paint and fire, uses edible materials such as butter, chocolate and alcohol to make hilarious and sad installations (beds that wet themselves, pillows that smoke), and handcrafts exquisite reproductions of both animate and inanimate objects (an upended trashcan sewn from felt; a mangy, fake-fur fox; a two-story folding chair). Lowe's wry re-imaginings lead the viewer down a path littered with chaos, comedy and failure.

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James Hyde, Lisa Stefanelli and Leah Tinari
July 20, 4 p.m.
SEI Headquarters, Oaks, Pa.

James Hyde: "During the 30-plus years I've been painting in NYC, a central interest has been the material of painting – not so much what the material of painting is, but what it can be – wood, glass, plaster, fabric, concrete, nylon, chrome, steel, plastics, photographs and even...paint ( ! ) – often home-brewed pigments and binders – have constituted my paintings. Over the years I've made paintings in numerous formats, reimagining paintings as glass boxes, frescos on styrofoam, pillows, handles, shelves, chandeliers, mobiles, chairs and tables. Beginning in 2003, I have increasingly used photographic prints (of photos I've taken) as supports for my painting. Painting over photos emphasizes the materiality of the photographic surface and provides me with technical and imagistic place to paint. As I've become more familiar with the camera I've come to think of it as a room – an extra studio – where I can think and look out on to the world."

Lisa Stefanelli: "Years of employment in television production have warped my mind. I have come to not only understand the concept of "productions value," but to allow it to infiltrate my pursuits as a painter. To know production value, to me, is to understand how to create visual fraud. It is the seamless manufacturing and presentation of an image which defies observation. It is a place which exists somewhere beyond the boundaries of our natural world. To this manufactured place is where my paintings intend to go."

Leah Tinari: "The content and formal elements in my paintings combine to offer an always personal, occasionally caricature-like narrative, addressing and encompassing both the awkwardness and the complexity of the human condition. Although the work is a documentation of my personal experiences, I hope that the images will evoke familiar feelings or create a sense of voyeurism – as if the viewer is peeking into a still from someone else’s life that is utterly foreign to them. My paintings are snippets of time that capture moments and function as a visual diary to create my social realism, a documentation of 30-something contemporary lifestyle and behavior."

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Linn Meyers
July 22, 3 p.m.

Meyers received her BFA at the Cooper Union in NYC and her MFA at the California College of the Arts in San Francisco. She has been the recipient of many awards and fellowships, most recently a Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship. In 2008, she was artist-in-residence at the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, D.C. Meyers's work is in numerous private and museum collections and has been featured in international exhibitions including the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Art in Tokyo, Japan; the Hirshhorn Museum; the Corcoran Gallery of Art; the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, D.C.; the Frick Museum; the Mattress Factory Museum; the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts; and the San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art, San Jose, Calif. Meyers is represented in Philadelphia by Gallery Joe.

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Birgit Rathsmann and Rick Karr
July 27, 1 p.m.

Birgit Rathsmann: Birgit Rathsmann explores the pitfalls, trapdoors and double-sided mirrors hidden on the road to a completed film. Her works have been exhibited and screened internationally, including at the Palais de Tokyo, Paris; Haus der Kulturen, Berlin; Pierogi, Leipzig; SXSW Film Festival, Austin; Raindance, London; and Palm Springs Filmfest. She was born in twentieth century Germany. Currently, she lives in Brooklyn. She has received visiting artist fellowships from the MacDowell Colony and SWING SPACE at the Art Center at Governors Island sponsored by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. She received an MFA from Hunter College and is an alumna of the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture.

Rick Karr: Rick Karr is a journalist and educator who reports primarily on media and technology's impact on culture. He served as correspondent for the PBS series "Bill Moyers Journal." Prior to that, he reported and co-wrote the documentary "Net @ Risk," which aired in October 2006 as part of journalist Bill Moyers' series "Moyers on America." The show examined the impact of legislation on net neutrality and the future of the U.S. internet, as well as broader issues involving telecommunications and democracy. He has been teaching at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism since 2004. Karr is a recording engineer, record producer, songwriter and founding member of the musical collective Box Set Authentic. He was born and raised in Highland, Ind., and attended Purdue University and the London School of Economics.

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Jenny Vogel and David McBride
July 29, 3 p.m.

Jenny Vogel: German-born Jenny Vogel lives in New York and North Texas. She works in video, photography and computer arts. Vogel’s art explores the world as viewed through new media technology using web-cameras, blogs and Google searches as source material. She received her MFA from Hunter College in 2003. She is a 2005 NYFA fellow in Computer Arts and is currently an assistant professor of New Media Art in the College of Visual Arts and Design at the University of North Texas. Her work has been screened and exhibited in group and solo shows in numerous locations and galleries including San Francisco Camerawork, Calif.; Arnolfini, U.K.; the Siberia Biennial, Russia; the Swiss Institute, NYC; EFA Gallery, NYC; Kunstwerke, Berlin; PS1 Contemporary Art Center, NYC.

David McBride: "My work uses a lot of photographic imagery and deals with the way that the avant-garde constructed art mediums from their formal elements. I'm interested in a way to understand this act of construction as myth-making, so a lot of the imagery in the paintings is drawn from subjects that represent historical interpretations of various myths. The process of making the paintings has its own references, and the abstract paintings in my work are about articulating that process. Where the image-based paintings evoke a kind of picture code, an archive of the uncanny that suggests the contingency of any image, the abstract paintings utilize the encoded terms of abstract painting in a kind of absurdist representationof avant- garde painting."

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Shay Church
August 3, 1 p.m.

Shay Church describes his installations as "migrations interrupted," a term that could be applied to his own progressive journey as an artist. Born in Saginaw, Mich., Church moved to Kalamazoo to attend Western Michigan University, where he earned a bachelor's degree in sculpture. His professional experience has included two years as a studio assistant to respected ceramic artist Jun Kaneko in Omaha, Neb., and to large-scale sculptor David Middlebrook in Los Gatos, Calif. He earned a master's of fine arts in spatial arts from California's San Jose State University in 2007, and has traveled widely in the last decade or so, from Indonesia and India to Central America and Japan. Church has been the head of the Ceramics area at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Va., for the past two years. His work embraces the philosophy of "social connectivity" and with help from UArts graduate students, alumni and the Philadelphia community, Shay created a large scale installation, "Gray Whales," at the University of the Arts in 2010.

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