Gary Ambrose Sculpture Lecture Series 2021–22

Gary Ambrose Sculpture Lecture Series 2021–22

Maine College of Art & Design

Clockwise, from top left: Hannah Epstein; Maria Molteni; J Morgan Puett (Photo: Jorge Colombo); Danielle Scott; Bonnie Collura; Lee Mingwei (Photo: Museum Villa Stuck); Alyson Shotz (Photo: Barbara Donaubauer).

September 8, 2021
Gary Ambrose Sculpture Lecture Series 2021–22
September 13, 2021–April 4, 2022
Maine College of Art & Design
522 Congress St
Portland, Maine 04101
United States
Hours: Monday–Sunday 9pm–7am

T +1 800 699 1509
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The Gary Ambrose Sculpture Lecture Series is supported by a generous gift from Dr. Edward M. Friedman ’08 and Carole J. Friedman. The series is established in honor of Sculpture Professor Emeritus Gary Ambrose, who has been an integral part of MECA&D’s evolution for over 30 years and who helped define and advance the Sculpture Major at MECA&D with great care, skill, and dedication.

The Gary Ambrose Sculpture Lecture Series will be held in person for students and faculty of MECA&D in Osher Hall, and free and open to the public to tune in via Zoom.  Zoom ID: 851 2148 1527.

All lectures take place Monday, 6:30–7:45pm unless noted otherwise. 

Fall 2021

September 13
Hannah Epstein
Hannah Epstein (b.1985) is a techno-humourist & fyberspace artist. She holds an MFA from Carnegie Mellon University (2017) and a BA in Folklore & Religious Studies from Memorial University (2009). 

Raised in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Epstein was nursed by a Zenith television set and a Latvian grandmother. The sharp contrast between the saturated images on television and the tragic retelling of family history, launched a lifetime obsession with popular forms of entertainment as remedy and escape. 

Using a folkloric lens, Epstein is devoted to highlighting the cultural negotiation between bottom-up (folk-to-commodity) and top-down (institution-to-mashup) storytelling. In her work, she continues to cultivate a visual vocabulary of cartoon and pop culture images that resonate with archetypal figures of the collective unconscious - taking the traditional east coast craft of rug hooking and modifying it for contemporary contexts. She often uses video game technology and imagery to develop a world of characters that playfully reflects our own. Epstein is currently represented by Steve Turner Gallery, Los Angeles. 

September 27
Maria Molteni
This lecture is co-presented with the Portland Society for Architecture.
Maria Molteni (They/She, b 1983, Nashville) descends from white Europeans who immigrated to the US and settled in Tennessee as farmers and later small business owners. They are the grandchild of competitive square dancers, stunt motorcyclists, quilters, beekeepers and opera singers. Today Molteni is a Boston-based multimedia & performing artist, educator & mystic. Their practice has grown from traditional, formalist roots, studying Painting, Printmaking and Dance at Boston University, to incorporate research, social engagement and collaboration. They pull from a well of historical contexts, reimagining traditional narratives for visionary revolution. They playfully ask audiences to imagine them as the PE coach at Black Mountain College. 

In 2010 They launched the international collective New Craft Artists in Action which pioneered the field of basketball court “murals” and published the instruction manual “Net Works: Learn to Craft Handmade Basketball Nets for Empty Hoops in Your Neighborhood”. They co-founded the participatory project Festooning the Inflatable Beehive while studying with beekeepers from across the country, including Treatment Free Apiculturalists Golden Rule Honey and Queer/Trans-run apiary They Keep Bees. 

Since living on the East Coast, they have also developed a passion for the sea, its mysterious ecosystems and island lore. They have addressed their relationship to feminist and queer identities via Mermaids, Anglerfish, Moon Jellies and other nautical “species” in collaborative performances such as They Were Sunbeams…, Aurelian Baptism and There Are Plenty of Single Ladies in the Sea. They currently live and work on the Boston Harbor in Midway Artist Studios and enjoy their membership of the Boston Rowing Center on their neighborhood’s Fort Point Channel. 

October 4
J Morgan Puett

J. Morgan Puett was born in Hahira, Georgia, in 1957. She received her BFA in painting and sculpture in 1981; then an MFA in sculpture and experimental filmmaking from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1984. Puett is a transdisciplinary creative producer with accomplished work in installation art practices, clothing/furniture design, architecture, film, photography, and more – rearranging these intersections by applying conceptual tools, including research-based methods. Morgan’s early work forged new territory by intervening into the fashion system with a series of storefront installations and clothing/dwelling/event projects in Manhattan in the eighties and nineties. These experiences led her to produce a long series of art installations about the histories of the needle trade systems in museums worldwide. Puett is the architect of The Mildred’s Lane Project (since 1997), which continues to forge new ground citing that being is profoundly a social and political practice. 

Puett received several awards, including the Magdalena Abakanowicz Arts and Culture 2019, John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation 2016, the Pollock-Krasner Foundation 2016, the Brown Foundation Fellowship/Dora Maar, the John and Marva Warnock Foundation 2014, the United States Artists 2011, the Smithsonian Institution Artist Research Fellowship 2009, the Anonymous Was A Woman Award 2005, the PEI in Philadelphia 2005.

Puett exhibits, lectures, and teaches extensively in venues that include MoMA, New York (2012-13); Musashino Art University, Tokyo (2012); Contemporary Art Center, Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia (2012); Creative Time, NYC (2011); Queens Museum of Art, NYC (2010); MoMA, NYC (2010); The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (2008); University of Venice, Italy (2005); American Fine Arts Co., NYC (2004); ARTEX, Arnheim, Netherlands (2004); WaveHill, Bronx, NYC; The Fabric Workshop and Museum of Philadelphia (2003-4); Mass MoCA, Ma. (2004); Spoleto, USA, Charleston, SC, (2002); The Serpentine Gallery & Victoria and Albert Museum, London (2001). Her artworks are in the Tate Modern in London, The Fabric Workshop and Museum of Philadelphia, and The Museum of Fine art, Philadelphia, amongst other collections. Her curatorial projects include Mildred’s Lane Sessions, The Mildred Complex(ity) Project Space, and A Guide to the Field Projects.

October 25 
Alyson Shotz
Alyson Shotz lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.  She was included in the recent exhibition Art & Space at the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, and has been included in exhibitions such as The More Things Change, at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Contemplating the Void and The Shapes of Space, at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, Light and Landscape, Storm King Art Center, and Living Color, at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, DC and Pattern: Follow the Rules at the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation.  She has had solo exhibitions at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis, IN, The Wellin Museum of Art at Hamilton College, The Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, OH, the Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas, TX, and Espace Louis Vuitton, Tokyo, among others.  Shotz was an Arts Institute Research Fellow at Stanford University in 2014- 2015, a Sterling Visiting Scholar, Stanford University, 2012, she received a Pollock Krasner Award in 1999 and 2010, the Saint Gaudens Memorial Fellowship in 2007, and was the 2005-2006 Happy and Bob Doran Artist in Residence at Yale University Art Gallery.  Her work is included in numerous public collections, such as the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, The Guggenheim Bilbao, The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC, The Whitney Museum of American Art, The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, and the Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis, IN, among others. 

November 8, 12pm (Zoom)
Lee Mingwei

Born in Taiwan in 1964 and currently living in Paris and New York City, Lee Mingwei creates participatory installations, where strangers can explore issues of trust, intimacy, and self-awareness, and one-on-one events, in which visitors explore these issues with the artist through eating, sleeping, walking and conversation. Lee’s projects are often open-ended scenarios for everyday interaction, and take on different forms and change over the course of an exhibition.

Lee received an MFA from Yale University in 1997, and has held solo exhibitions internationally including at Whitney Museum of American Art (1998), Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (2000, 2012), The Museum of Modern Art (2003), Los Angeles County Museum of Art (2004), Queensland Gallery of Modern Art (2008), Brooklyn Museum (2011), Mori Art Museum (2014), Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (2015), Taipei Fine Arts Museum (2015), The Metropolitan Museum of Art (2015, 2020), Centre Pompidou (2017, 2018), Gropius Bau (2020), Museum Villa Stuck (2021) and has been featured in biennials in Venice, Lyon, Liverpool, Taipei, Sydney, Whitney, and Asia Pacific Triennials. 

Spring 2022

March 28
Bonnie Collura

Bonnie Collura received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Virginia Commonwealth University in 1994 and her Master of Fine Arts degree from Yale University in 1996. She is the recipient of a 1997 Emerging Artist Award from the Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, a 2003 Rolex Protégé nomination, a 2005 John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship, a 2010 United States Artists Fellowship nomination, a 2010 MacDowell Colony Fellowship, and has received six research grants from Penn State University, including a 2010 Stuckeman Endowment for Design Computing. Collura’s sculptures, textiles, drawings, and outdoor works have been exhibited in national and international galleries and museums spanning the United States, France, Italy, Belgium, Germany, and India.  Reviews and media mentions of her work can be seen in the New York Times, The New Yorker, Art Forum, Art in America, Art News, Art Net, Flash Art, BOMB magazine, Beautiful Decay, Teme Celeste, Sculpture Magazine, Time Out New York, and numerous print and on-line publications. Toggling a rigorous studio practice with a dedicated teaching career, she has been invited to speak about her work and teaching practice at numerous art schools and universities in North America. In 2021, she was honored with an 2021 Outstanding Educator Award from the International Sculpture Center. 

Collura is a full professor at Penn State University, teaching in the School of Visual Arts. Prior to her appointment at Penn State she taught at Yale University, Columbia University, Virginia Commonwealth University, Rhode Island School of Design, Tyler School of Art, University of the Arts, and Parsons The New School for Design. Collura currently lives and works in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania with her husband, Matthew J.Olson and their extraordinary cat, Louise Bourgeois. 

April 4
Danielle Scott 
(Scott will be an artist in residence for two weeks)
Danielle Scott is a mixed-media assemblage artist who grew up in Jersey City, New Jersey.  Her work expresses politically and socially charged messaging. She recently received the 2021 Artist of the Year from ESKFF, which is the Eileen S. Kaminsky Family Foundation Artist Residency Program in Mana Contemporary, Jersey City, NJ.

A soft-spoken artist, Danielle has begun to use her art as a conduit to explore bold; fearless, thought-provoking works which draws its inspiration largely from her own journey and life experience. Her latest pieces are brazen offerings conveying the intense beauty and wretched pain the artist absorbs from the world around her. She creates using photo montage, found objects, paint, raw materials, old books and collage. From vivid paintings to piercing photography to striking sculptures, all of Danielle’s artistic offerings aim to arrest the viewer and transport them away from the pretentious and into a realm rooted in truth.  


For more information, please contact Joshua Reiman, Sculpture Program Chair. jreiman [​at​]

Sculpture Faculty include: Ling-Wen Tsai, Professor of Sculpture + Foundations / Joshua Reiman, Associate Professor of the MFA in Studio Art + Sculpture / Benjamin Spalding, Visiting Assistant Professor of Foundations + Sculpture / Brian Smith, Adjunct Instructor / Addy Smith-Reiman, Adjunct Instructor / Mia Fabrizio, Adjunct Instructor / Athena Lynch, Sculpture Technician

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Maine College of Art & Design
September 8, 2021

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