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Studio Art | Visiting Artists 2016

2016 Spring Schedule

Justin Randolph Thompson, AU MFA Studio Art Alumni ’03
Thursday, January 21, 12 noon
Katzen Arts Center, Room 246

Justin Randolph Thompson is a sculptor and new media artist. His work explores the historic implications of triumph, victory, and ascension by re-contextualizing references from Roman antiquity and mending these with aspects of African-American culture both past and present. Reflecting upon the socially constructed communal legacy, he examines expectations and shortcomings through the absence of a concrete linear foundation.

Please see AU Arts Calendar for full event info.

Justin Randolph Thompson Visiting Artist 2016
Sculpture by Justin Randolph Thompson.

Michelle Ivette Gomez
Wednesday, February 3, 1-2 p.m.
Katzen Arts Center, Room 104

Michelle Ivette Gomez is an artist, curator, community organizer, and advocate for audience diversity in the arts.  She works collaboratively with under represented audiences to create culturally relevant and accessible art exhibitions and programs about social issues, cultural identity, and community. She will be speaking about her artwork and advocacy projects in communities of color, particularly in Latino communities. 

Michelle Ivette Gomez
Michelle Ivette Gomez.

Chris Totten, AU Game Lab, game artist/designer in residence
Wednesday, February 24, 6 p.m.
Katzen Arts Center, Room 246

Chris Totten is an independent game developer and founder of Pie For Breakfast Studios. He is also the chair of the Washington, DC chapter of the International Game Developers Association and founder of the Smithsonian American Art Museum Indie Arcade. Totten is an active writer in the game industry, with articles featured in industry journals, chapters in several academic publications, and two books. He has also spoken at GDC China, Foundations Of Digital Games (FDG), East Coast Game Conference, Digital Games Research Association (DiGRA) conference, and Games For Change and displayed his games at MAGFest, The Smithsonian Innovation in Art event, and Baltimore Artscape. He has a masters degree in architecture from The Catholic University of America. 

Chris Totten
"Swarm" concept #3, Chris Totten.

George Ferrandi 
Wednesday, March 2, 6:30 p.m.
Katzen Arts Center, Room 246

George Ferrandi is an American artist whose performance, installation and participatory projects address issues of vulnerability, impermanence, fallibility, and spectacle, often through experimental approaches to narrative. Employing a unique humor and a deep sense of humanity, her work stimulates a rethinking of cultural assumptions.

Her work has been performed/exhibited at the International House of Japan in Tokyo, at Abrons Arts Center in New York, the Kitchen in New York, Cinders Gallery in Brooklyn, the McKinney Contemporary in Dallas, the Wexner Center in Columbus, the Harn Museum in Gainesville, and Fleisher Art Memorial in Philadelphia. She has been awarded grants from the Franklin Furnace Fundwinners for Performance Art and the Mid Atlantic Arts Council. She is a 2015 Japan-US Friendship Foundation fellow and is currently developing an intergalactic festival with Washington Project for the Arts.

Ferrandi teaches Sculpture and Performance Art periodically at Virginia Commonwealth University and at the Rhode Island School of Design. She also runs a small business specializing in the restoration of statues of saints for churches. 

George Ferrandi artwork.
George Ferrandi artwork.

Jefferson Pinder Artist Talk
Tuesday, March 15, 6 p.m.
Katzen Arts Center, Room 246

Jefferson Pinder is an interdisciplinary artist who creates performances, video work, and objects that challenge viewers to think critically about our highly polarized society. He explores the tangle of representations, visual tropes, and myths—referencing historical events and invoking cultural symbolism. Pinder received his MFA from the University of Maryland. His performance and exhibition venues include The Hyde Part Art Center (IL), The Phillips Collection (DC), the Curator’s Office (DC), the VOLTA NY Art Fair, the Birmingham Museum of Art (AL), the Studio Museum in Harlem (NY), the Cheekwood Museum (TX), and The Jones Center (TX).  His work is included in the permanent collections at the Smithsonian National Museum of African-American History & Culture and the High Museum of Art. He is represented by the Curator’s Office in Washington, DC.

Jefferson Pinder, Black Hole, 2015. 

MFA Studio Berlin Alumni Exhibition
Wednesday, March 16, 6-8 p.m.
Goethe Institute
, 1990 K Street, NW 

To Berlin and Back Again:
American University's Berlin Studio Program

This exhibition brings together past participants of the MFA Studio Berlin program, part of the Master of Fine Arts degree at American University. The program, running for the fourth time in the summer of 2016, provides an integrated experience in and connection to the vibrant contemporary arts community in Berlin during the students' 1.5 months in the city. For this exhibition, selected participants from each previous year of the program have been invited to show recent works and discuss their experience in Germany and its impact on the development of their artwork

The MFA Studio Berlin program partners with the Glogau Artist-in-Residence in Kreuzberg, Berlin, for studio space and an exhibition each summer in Berlin featuring the students' works. Through an extensive program of studio and site visits, MFA Studio Berlin connects participants with artists and other arts professionals with a great diversity of backgrounds, processes, strategies, and goals. The program also looks closely at the changing life of the city and it's role in an evolving Germany and Europe. The MFA Studio Berlin program received a travel study grant from the DAAD in 2014.


Exhibiting artists:

Emily Francisco, '13 
Daniel Perkins, '13
Nathan Mullins, ‘14
Samantha Sethi, '15
Jean Kim, '15
Sarah Zuckermann, '15

In a Shelter in the Woods (Detail), Emily Francisco, 2013, from the Studio Berlin exhibition.
In a Shelter in the Woods (Detail), Emily Francisco, 2013.

Hirshhorn, Hyperallergic: Hrag Vartanian and Sharon Louden 
Monday, March 21, 6:30 p.m.

This is a Studio Art Program cosponsored event with the Hirshhorn.
Sharon Louden will be asking questions of Hrag Vartanian, Editor-in-Chief of Hyperallergic, the world's leading art blogazine. Topics discussed will include his views on current issues in the art world today, what models exist that allow an artist to sustain his or her creative life, and what it means for an artist to be a "culture producer." Audience Q & A will follow the discussion.

About Hrag Vartanian
Hrag Vartanian is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of Hyperallergic, the award-winning art blogazine based in Brooklyn, NY. His work has appeared in countless publications, and he has been invited as a guest commentator on Al Jazeera, WNYC, KCRW, and other national and international media outlets. In addition to his writing and commentary, he has curated numerous exhibitions, including #TheSocialGraph, which was the first exploration of the evolving landscape of social media art back in 2010. He regularly writes and lectures about performance art, the online art world, street art, and multiculturalism.

About Sharon Louden
Sharon M. Louden is an artist, educator, editor, and advocate for artists and is a full-time practicing, professional artist who lives and works in Minneapolis, MN and New York, NY. Her 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, Birmingham Museum of Art, Weatherspoon Art Museum, and the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art.  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.  Louden is also the editor of Living and Sustaining a Creative Life: Essays by 40 Working Artists published by Intellect Books and distributed by the University of Chicago Press.  Louden is currently working on a second edition of "Living and Sustaining a Creative Life: Artists as Culture Producers" which will be published by Intellect Books and distributed by the University of Chicago Press in 2017, followed by a national book tour in the same year. 

Sharon Louden in conversation with Hrag Vartanian, Editor-in-Chief of Hyperallergic.
Sharon Louden in conversation with Hrag Vartanian, Editor-in-Chief of Hyperallergic.

George Scheer
Thursday, April 28, 6:30 p.m.
American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center

George Scheer is the co-founder and executive director of Elsewhere, a living museum and artist residency set in a former thrift store in Greensboro, NC. Scheer is a writer, scholar, and artist who fosters creative communities at the intersection of aesthetics and social change. Other projects include Kulturpark, a public investigation of an abandoned amusement park in East Berlin, and South Elm Projects, a curated series of place-based public art commissions for downtown Greensboro. Scheer is also the grandson of Elsewhere proprietress and puzzle maker Sylvia Gray, whose stuff he has been moving around for years! Scheer holds an MA in critical theory and visual culture from Duke University and a BA from the University of Pennsylvania in political communications. Currently, he is pursuing a PhD in communication and performance studies, writing about the cultural economy of art and urbanism.

Southern Constellations is the 3rd exhibition in Transformer’s four-part Do You Know Where Your Art Comes From? series being presented over two years at the American University Museum and the Rotunda of the Katzen Arts Center. Southern Constellations profiles the work of Elsewhere and highlights their curatorial initiative to extend experimental practices and creative networks in the South. 

George Sheer
George Sheer.