University at Buffalo
Department of


Art & Design

Art History

Visual Studies

Department of Art Speaker Series

Mondays 6:30 – 8:30pm
Center for the Arts 112

Lectures are free and open to the public

Previous Speaker Series Visiting Artists List
Video Archive of Previous Lectures

September 11: William Lamson

William Lamson is an interdisciplinary artist whose practice involves working with elemental forces to create durational performative actions. His projects reveal the invisible systems and forces at play within a diverse range of sites. In all of his projects, Lamson’s work represents collaboration with forces outside of his control to explore systems of knowledge and belief. Lamson’s work has been internationally exhibited, and he has been awarded grants from the Shifting Foundation, the Experimental Television Center, and he is 2014 Guggenheim Fellow.

September 18: Angela Washko

Angela Washko is an artist, writer and facilitator devoted to creating new forums for discussions of feminism in spaces frequently hostile toward it. Washko operates The Council on Gender Sensitivity and Behavioral Awareness in World of Warcraft, an ongoing intervention inside the most popular online role-playing game of all time. Washko is an Assistant Professor of Art at Carnegie Mellon University and a fellow at the Frank-Ratchye STUDIO for Creative Inquiry. A recent recipient of a Franklin Furnace Performance Fund Grant, a Frank-Ratchye Fund for Art at the Frontier Grant from the STUDIO for Creative Inquiry, and a Rhizome Internet Art Microgrant, Washko’s practice has been highlighted by many publications and her projects have been presented internationally.

September 25: Ellie Ga

Ellie Ga’s work is inspired by the indeterminacy of exploration and the human desire to contact and chart the unknown. She uses a range of media to build her layered narratives: part observational essay, part documentary, part fragmentary story- telling. The unusual experiences Ga has drawn upon during the last decade of her artistic output include fortunetelling rituals on a drifting science vessel in the frozen Arctic Ocean and the quest to piece together artifacts of a submerged ancient wonder in Alexandria, Egypt. Ga’s projects unfold over the course of several years, often in tandem with research centers and archives such as The Explorers Club (New York), Tara Arctic Expeditions (France/Arctic Ocean) and The Center for Maritime Archeology, Alexandria (Egypt). She has presented numerous international solo exhibitions and performances. Ga is a co-founder of Ugly Duckling Press in Brooklyn.

October 2: Gregory Amenoff

Gregory Amenoff, a New York painter, is the recipient of numerous awards from organizations including the American Academy of Arts and Letters, National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts and the Tiffany Foundation. He has had over fifty one-person exhibitions in museums and galleries throughout the US and Europe. His work is in the collections of more than thirty museums, including the Whitney Museum of America Art, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Amenoff served as President of the National Academy of Design from 2001-2005. He is a founding board member of the CUE Art Foundation in New York City. Amenoff has taught at Columbia for the last eighteen years, and is currently the Chair of the Visual Arts Division in the School of the Arts. In 2011 he received the John Solomon Guggenheim Fellowship. 

October 9: Ron Athey

Ron Athey is a performance artist associated with Los Angeles music scenes, body art and a 1990s response to HIV/AIDS. His first outing was Premature Ejaculation, a noise/actionist group started with his partner Rozz Williams in 1981. A defining figure in performance art since the culture wars of the 1980s, Athey, as an artist, a teacher and a mentor, has made his body the visible repository of an entire culture’s fears and anxiety around queerness and AIDS.  Athey has toured performance projects internationally, including commissions from the English Arts Council, MADRE Napoli and Kampnagel Hamburg. In 2013 Dominic Johnson produced an extensive monograph on Intellect Press entitled Pleading in the Blood: The Art and Life of Ron Athey. Athey has, alongside his collaborator Vaginal Davis, co-curated the Visions of Excess events at Platinum Oasis/OUTFEST, Fierce Festival Birmingham, UK and Aksioma/Kapelica at Castle Codelli in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Athey received the 2017 Mike Kelley Foundation grant to work with the composer and opera director Sean Griffin. He is currently facilitating a seminar at Roski School on L.A.-centric underground movements, sexual outlaws and UFO cults.

October 16: Jens Hoffman and Michelle Grabner

Jens Hoffmann is a writer, exhibition maker and current Director of Exhibitions at the Jewish Museum, NY and Chief Curator-at-Large at MoCA Detroit. He is Co-Artistic Director of FRONT International: Cleveland Triennial, and Artistic Director of the Honolulu Biennial. Previously Director of the CCA Wattis Institute and Chief Curator at the ICA London, Hoffmann has published widely; his most recent book includes (Curating) From Z to A. Founding Editor of The Exhibitionist, Editor-at-Large for Mousse Magazine, his writing has appeared in Artforum, Frieze, Parkett and Texte zur Kunst.

Michelle Grabner works in variety of mediums including drawing, painting, video and sculpture. Incorporating writing, curating and teaching with a studio practice grounded in process and productivity, she has created a multi-faceted and dynamic career. Grabner holds an MA in Art History, a BFA in Painting and Drawing from the University of Wisconsin, and an MFA in Art Theory and Practice from Northwestern University. She joined the faculty of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1996, and became Chair of its prestigious Painting and Drawing department. She is also a senior critic at Yale University in the Department of Painting and Printmaking. Her writing has appeared in many art publications. Grabner runs The Suburban and The Poor Farm with her husband, artist Brad Killam, and she co-curated the 2014 Whitney Biennial.

October 23: Carla Gannis

Carla Gannis is a New York based artist fascinated by digital semiotics and the situation of identity in the blurring contexts of physical and virtual space. She is currently on the faculty and is the assistant chairperson of The Department of Digital Arts at Pratt Institute. Gannis has incorporated digital elements into her painting-based practice for over twenty years. She has eclectically explored the domains of “Internet Gothic,” cutting and pasting from the threads of networked communication, googleable art history, and speculative fiction to produce dark and often humorous explorations of the human condition. Gannis’s work has appeared in numerous solo and group international exhibitions, including the Whitney Museum of American Art, The Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, The Hudson River Museum, the Haifa Museum of Art, and the Hermitage Museum. Her work has been featured in numerous publications.

October 30: Oliver Lutz

Oliver Lutz addresses issues of spectatorship, mediation, and methods by which the contemporary subject is understood and defined through media and technology. His projects often involve installation, video, performance, and notation. His work has been exhibited internationally at Tate Modern (London, UK), SFMOMA (San Fransisco, CA), S.M.A.K. Museum of Contemporary Art (Gent, Belgium), Württembergischer Kunstverein (Stuttgart, Germany), MARTa Museum (Herford, Germany), Artpace (San Antonio, TX), The Kitchen (New York, NY), Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (San Francisco, CA), Broad Art Center (Los Angeles, CA), FILTER projectraum (Hamburg, Germany), Apex Art (New York, NY), John Connelly (New York, NY), Scaramouche Gallery (New York, NY), i8 (Reykjavík, Iceland), Black and White Gallery (New York, NY). In 2007 Lutz was the recipient of the International Painting Prize Diputación de Castellón, Spain. He has been a resident artist at The Banff Centre and Fogo Island Arts Corporation (CA), and a faculty member at The Banff Centre, Cornell University and a Lecturer at MIT.

November 6: Marisa Morán Jahn

Marisa Morán Jahn is an artist, multimedia designer, educator, and the founder of Studio REV-, a nonprofit organization whose public art projects and tools impact the lives of low-wage workers, immigrants, women, and youth. A graduate of UC Berkeley and MIT, Jahn was a CEC Artslink Fellow to Tajikistan, Estonia, Russia, and Armenia; an artist-in-residence at MIT’s Media Lab; and an MIT Open Doc Fellow. She has received awards from Creative Capital, Sundance Institute, Tribeca Film Institute New Media Fund, Rockefeller Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Open Society Foundation, MAP Fund (Creative Capital/Doris Duke Charitable Fund), New York State Cultural Affairs (NYSCA), Franklin Furnace, CEC Artslink, and more. Jahn currently teaches at MIT and The New School for Social research.

November 13: Nancy Shaver

Nancy Shaver is on the faculty of the Milton Avery School of Graduate Studies, Bard College. Shaver states, ‘I am an artist, and collector of visual sensation. Observation, for me, is a critical tool for identifying spaces between mass culture and the individual. Daily errands, chores, and daily exchanges are vehicles for examination. For me, art takes place in these gaps, defining a present situation, -personal or global which always moves fast, and out of grasp. Art, for me, happens in conjunction with decoration: The agreement or battle of art and decoration are truly engaging for me.’ Shaver has exhibited work at MoMA PS1, and in Robert Gober’s “The Heart is not a Metaphor” at MoMA. She currently has work in VIVA ART VIVA! in the Venice Biennale. She has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, Louis Comfort Tiffany Award, and Anonymous was a Woman award.

November 20: Derek Conrad Murray

Derek Conrad Murray is Associate Professor in the History of Art and Visual Culture Department at the UC, Santa Cruz. He is an interdisciplinary theorist specializing in the history, theory and criticism of modern and contemporary art. Murray completed a PhD in the History of Art and Visual Studies Department at Cornell. Murray is Associate Editor of Nka: Journal of Contemporary African Art. He also serves on the Editorial Board of Art Journal (CAA) and the Editorial Advisory Board of Third Text. Murray is author of Queering Post-Black Art: Artists Transforming African-American Identity After Civil Rights.

November 27: Rob Swainston

Rob Swainston is an Assistant Professor of Art+Design in Printmaking at SUNY Purchase College. He studied art and political science at Hampshire College, pursuing postgraduate studies in political science at Budapest’s Central European University and an MFA from Columbia University.  He attended Skowhegan, the Marie Walsh Sharpe Studio Program, the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, the Bronx Museum AIM program, the Robert Blackburn Printshop Fellowship, and is alumnus of the Philadelphia art collective Vox Populi. Rob is a cofounder and master printer of Prints of Darkness, a collaborative printmaking studio in Brooklyn, NY. He has had numerous solo exhibitions, and appeared in many arts publications, contemporary Printmaking books and art blogs.

December 4: John Opera

John Opera combines a deep interest in visual characteristics of natural and scientific phenomena with a rigorous experimental approach to techniques and apparatuses by which photographs have been defined and produced. Opera often returns to antiquated photographic tools and processes, including pinhole imaging, cyanotype and anthotype. Opera has had many exhibitions in venues such as Higher Pictures (NY), DOCUMENT (Chicago), The Suburban (Milwaukee), Museum of Contemporary Photography (Chicago), and The Burchfield-Penney. His work has been featured in MP3, co-published by Aperture and the Museum of Contemporary Photography (Chicago). His work is part of the permanent collections at a number of prestigious museums.

202 Center for the Arts, North Campus
Buffalo, New York 14260-6010
(716) 645-6878
(716) 645-6970 fax
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