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Studio Art | Colloquia for Critical Inquiry

Photo courtesy of Jim Kempner
Jim Kempner, Charlie Hewitt joined the fall 2012 colloquia
Image: Jim Kempner, The Madness of Art, 2012.

Marina Abramovic
Marina Abramovic joined the spring 2011 colloquia
Image: Marina Abramovic, Portrait with Scorpion (Open Eyes), 2005. Framed black and white photograph. Framed: 53 1/2 x 61 1/2 inches. Edition of 5 with 2 APs. © Marina Abramovic. Courtesy: Sean Kelly Gallery, New York.


Art Colloquia for Critical Inquiry brings to American University a critical dialogue on contemporary issues in society and culture. The colloquia presents artists, art historians, curators, designers, writers, and cultural thinkers who discuss a range of topics vital to the creative and critical practice of contemporary art. The Art Colloquia for Critical Inquiry stimulates and broadens intellectual discourse at American University and serves as an educational resource for students and faculty. We encourage cross-disciplinary thinking among internal and external departments at American University. The repertoire of speakers is scheduled in advance of the academic year to insure integration into the classroom, to promote coordination with the American University Museum, and to stimulate audience development for the Arts at American University.



The colloquia emphasizes the relationships between art and culture as a philosophical/aesthetic umbrella. Its purpose is to:

  • stimulate dialogue amongst the faculty and students as well as other departments at AU
  • to engage the arts and academic community in the Washington metropolitan area  

The Art Colloquia for Critical Inquiry is a Studio Area program, and although a separate program, it is philosophically supportive of our Visiting Artists Series. Additionally, the Studio Program welcomes participation from Art History and Graphic Design

Past Colloquia Series

Outside In — Spring 2013

Amy Raehse, Mar. 28

Nudashank Gallery Talk, Apr. 13

See more about Outside In


Humor — Fall 2012

Jim Kempner and Charlie Hewitt, October 2

Matt Kenyon, October 9

See more about Humor in Art.


Broadly Speaking:
Working Across Disciplines — Spring 2012

Mira Schor

Tim Davis

Jose Lerma

Sharon Hayes

See more about Broadly Speaking: Working Across Disciplines.


Anti Heroic — Fall 2011

Courtney Smith

Matt Rich

Saul Chernick

See more about Anti Heroic.


Transaction(s) — Spring 2011 

Resident Artist: Nina Katchadourian—sculpture, installation, video, NY 

Resident Artist: William Powhida—drawing, installation, performance, NY 

Steven Henry Madoff—Art Critic and faculty at Yale 

Marina Abramovic—Performance artist, NY 

See more about the Transaction(s) Colloquia


ReVisions — Fall 2010  

Resident Artist: Susanna Coffey—painting, faculty at SAIC  

Resident Artist: Dan Steinhilber—installation, DC 

Robert Storr—Art Historian and Art Critic, Yale

RA Gary Stephan—painting, NY 

Alumni Panel: Recall—Is There Life After Graduate School:
Dorothy Frey, Jeremy Long, Alison Hall, Amber Scoon

See more about the Revisions Colloquia


Figuration(s) — Spring 2010

Resident Artist: Beverly McIvers—painting, Suntrust Endowed Chair Professor of Art at North Carolina Central

Resident Artist: Julie Langsam—painting; faculty at Rutgers

Hilary Harkness—painting, NY

Erik Thor Sandberg—painting, DC

Kurt Kauper—painting, NY 


Beyond the Binary: Racing Art/ brown(s): the other Other — Fall 2009

Resident Artist: Howardena Pindell—painting, video; faculty at Stony Brook

Michele Greet—Art Historian

Sanford Biggers—video, performance; faculty at Columbia

Galo Moncayo—installation, video

Jiha Moon—painting, Atlanta, GA

Isabel Manalo—painting, DC

Rotunda Exhibition: Colorblind/Colorsight, curated by Rachel Sitkin (MFA Candidate)


Abstraction(s) — Spring 2009

Carrie Moyer—painting; faculty at RISD

RA: Michelle Grabner—painting; faculty at SAIC

Gary Stephan—painting, NY

Charles Spurrier—painting, NY

James Hyde—painting, NY

Vibeke Sorenson—video; faculty and chair at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore

Joshua Shannon—Art Historian; faculty at UMCP


Masculinitie(s) — Fall 2008

Resident Artist: Louise Fishman—painting

Keith Mayerson—painting, NY

Mark Kenison—performance, WA

Scott Reeder—artist and filmmaker

Jefferson Pinder—video and performance; faculty at UMCP

Alexander Dumbadze—Art Historian; George Washington University


Visual Ignition — Spring 2008

Chitra Ganesh—drawing, painting, installation, NY

Randall Packer—performance, video 


Feminism(s) — Fall 2007

Resident Artist: Elena Sisto—painting

Resident Artist: Annette Lawrence—installation and drawing; faculty at University of North Texas

Susan Fisher Sterling—Deputy Director and Chief Curator of the National Museum in the Arts

Mary Coble—Performance artist (video and photography) and Dept. Head at the Funen Academy of Art, Odense, Denmark

Leslie King-Hammond—Art Historian; Director of the Center for Race and Culture at MICA

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Mira Schor, Voice and Speech, 2010
Mira Schor, Voice and Speech, 2010.

Courtney Smith, Playa Casera (Detail), 2011
Courtney Smith, Playa Casera (Detail), 2011

Gary Stephan, The Price of Good News, 2009
Gary Stephan, The Price of Good News, 2009

Carrie Moyer, Shebang, 2006
Carrie Moyer, Shebang, 2006