Visiting speaker series at the School of Art

Visiting speaker series at the School of Art

Kathrine G. McGovern College of the Arts at the University of Houston

From left: (top) Dr. Joan Kee, Na Mira, (bottom) Benvenuto Chavajay Ixtetel, Mark Thomas Gibson.

September 29, 2023
Visiting speaker series at the School of Art
October 17–November 9, 2023
University of Houston School of Art
3700 Cullen Blvd
Houston, Texas 77204-4039
United States

The University of Houston School of Art is thrilled to announce its 2023–24 visiting speaker series featuring practitioners and thinkers at the forefront of contemporary art and design. These distinguished guests offer a rich range of approaches to the most pertinent issues facing today’s makers and scholars. Join us for these compelling talks; four occur this fall and two more will be announced in the Spring.

All lectures take place in Dudley Recital Hall, located in the School of Art on the University of Houston campus. All events are free and open to the public. 

Dr. Joan Kee: October 17, 2:30pm
Dr. Joan Kee is a professor of the History of Art at the University of Michigan. Her research focuses on how modern and contemporary artworks challenge our understanding of words like “world,” “value,” “abstraction,” and “scale.” Published in 2023, her latest book The Geometries of Afro Asia: Art Beyond Solidarity, asks how we might tell a history of art that begins with the global majority, spanning Asia, Africa, North America, and Europe. Kee is a contributing editor at Artforum, an editor at large for the Brooklyn Rail, as well on the advisory boards of Art History, the Oxford Art Journal, Modernism/modernity, and Art Margins. She was the Robert Sterling Clark Visiting Professor of Art History at Williams College in 2021, a 2019 Kresge Artist Fellow, and a 2022–23 Ford Scholar at the Museum of Modern Art, New York.  

Na Mira: October 26, 3pm
Na Mira is an American artist and educator, known for her installation art. Mira received a BFA in 2006 in Film, Video, and New Media at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago; and an MFA in 2013 in New Genres at the University of California, Los Angeles. Mira was selected to participate in the 2022 Whitney Biennial titled Quiet as It’s Kept curated by Adrienne Edwards and David Breslin. Mira presented Night Vision (Red as never been), 2022, a video installation at the 2022 Whitney Biennial, a work in conversation with the work of Theresa Hak Kyung Cha. 

Benvenuto Chavajay Ixtetela: November 2, 3pm
Benvenuto Chavajay Ixtetela’s body of work includes sculpture, interventions into objects, installation, performance, and painting. The artist rearranges unconventional materials in ways that often appear innocuous at first glance, but are in fact deeply political, based on the cancellation of objects as they relate to the violence that surrounds them. Chavajay draws inspiration from many different contextual realities in order to produce his work. His creative process alludes to the present context not only in Guatemala, but also in Latin America and beyond, in the sense that one part always affects the whole. The lecture will be in Spanish with an interpreter, Houston artist JD Pluecker.  

Mark Thomas Gibson: November 9, 3pm
Mark Thomas Gibson’s personal lens on American culture stems from his multifaceted viewpoint as an artist—as a black male, a professor, and an American history buff. These myriad and often colliding perspectives fuel his exploration of contemporary culture through languages of drawing, painting, print, and sculpture revealing a vision of a satirical, dystopian America where every viewer is implicated as a potential character within the story.  

Mark Thomas Gibson received his BFA from The Cooper Union in 2002 and his MFA from Yale School of Art in 2013. He is represented by M+B in Los Angeles and Loyal in Stockholm. In 2016, he co-curated the traveling exhibition Black Pulp! with William Villalongo. Gibson has released two artist books, Some Monsters Loom Large (2016) and Early Retirement (2017). In 2021, Gibson was awarded residencies at Yaddo and the Elizabeth Murray Artist Residency. He was awarded a Pew Fellowship from the Pew Center for Arts and Heritage, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and a Hodder Fellowship from Lewis Center for the Arts, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey. Gibson was most recently awarded a 2022 Guggenheim Fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, New York, New York and a Louis Comfort Tiffany Biennial Grant from the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation, New York, New York. 

The University of Houston School of Art is a collection of impressive resources—both human and material—focused on creating and sustaining the intellectual, emotional, and physical environments necessary to cultivate young artists, designers, theorists, critics, and art historians. 

The School of Art faculty is comprised of 28 full-time members and prestigious visiting instructors who are practicing professionals well-known in their respective fields. School of Art faculty have received grants from the Guggenheim Foundation, Getty Foundation, the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Andy Warhol Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Academy in Rome, the Fulbright Foundation and many others. Faculty have exhibited their works in major museums and galleries around the world and in important exhibitions including the Whitney Biennial, São Paulo Art Biennial, and Venice Biennale. 

Houston (our extended campus) is the fourth-largest city in the country and third-largest visual arts center outside of New York and Los Angeles. It is a city with world-class cultural institutions including the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Menil Collection, and Contemporary Arts Museum Houston. 

The University of Houston, founded in 1927, is the second most ethnically diverse research university in the nation and the leading urban teaching and research institution in Texas. 

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Kathrine G. McGovern College of the Arts at the University of Houston
September 29, 2023

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