Lecture Series

Critical Dialogues Lecture Series in partnership with the Fibers and Materials Studies Department- Jeffrey Gibson

Jeffrey Gibson grew up in major urban centers in the United States, Germany, Korea, England and elsewhere. He is also a member of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians and half Cherokee. This unique combination of global cultural influences converge in his multi-disciplinary practice of more than a decade since the completion of his Master of Arts degree in painting at The Royal College of Art, London in 1998 and his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in painting from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1995.

Gibson’s artwork intermingles elements of traditional Native American art with contemporary artistic references. Thus powwow regalia, 19th century parfleche containers, and drums are seamlessly merged with elements of Modernist geometric abstraction, Minimalism, and Pattern and Decoration. Here there is an echo of Frank Stella and Josef Albers – canonized in our current dialogue which has little or no inclusion of Native American art which Gibson provides comparable weight and equivalence.

Gibson’s artworks are in the permanent collections of many major art museums, including the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Smithsonian, the National Gallery of Canada, the Nasher, the Nerman, Crystal Bridges, and the Denver Art Museum. Recent solo exhibitions include SCAD Museum of Art (Savannah and Atlanta), the National Academy Museum in New York, The Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, and the Cornell Museum of Fine Art. The Denver Art Museum will mount a traveling mid-career survey in the Spring of 2018, to be followed by a smaller solo exhibition at the Ruth and Elmer Wellin Museum of Art in the fall of 2018. He has participated in Greater New York, Prospect New Orleans, the Everson Biennale, and Site Santa Fe. Gibson is a member of the faculty at Bard College and a past TED Foundation Fellow and Joan Mitchell Grant recipient.

J.J. McCracken Visiting Artist Lecture

J.J. McCracken creates messy situations where performers grovel for access to resources. They
are socially disconnected and eternally hungry. They are martyrs, misanthropes, thieves, ghosts,
and the wronged.

Absurd and often painful tasks are endured as stress cracks form and failures reveal the body's
limitations. Wet, shivering, clay-covered women eat potatoes made of clay for hours; blindfolded
women hoard water, hauling it in pots that leak or break; a timekeeper fills a one-directional
hourglass that slowly drains.

Built from the details of extensive research, these characters interrogate our corporate, political,
and social landscapes while examining the artist’s own patterns of consumption. Recurring
themes include malnutrition, water rights, free speech, and shouldering the weight of passing


Black Quantum Futurism Lecture

Black Quantum Futurism (or BQF) is a new approach to living and experiencing reality by way of the manipulation of space-time in order to see into possible futures, and/or collapse space-time into a desired future in order to bring about that future's reality. This vision and practice derives its facets, tenets, and qualities from quantum physics, futurist traditions, and Black/African cultural traditions of consciousness, time, and space. Inside of the space where these three traditions intersect exists a creative plane that allows for the ability of African-descended people to see "into," choose, or create the impending future. 

Lesley Ware Guest Lecturer

Lesley Ware is an author, entrepreneur, and fashion educator. Lesley helps tweens and teens discover their personal style and talents through fun and creativityShe has written two books: Sew Fab: Sewing and Style for Young Fashionistas, selected by Amazon.com editors as one of the best children’s nonfiction books of 2015, and the recently-published My Fab Fashion Style File.

Tanya Aguiñiga Artist Talk

Tanya Aguiñiga is a Los Angeles based furniture designer/maker raised inTijuana, Mexico. Tanya’s work is informed by border experiences: the interconnectedness of societies, the beauty in struggle and the celebration of culture. Aguiñiga uses furniture as a way to translate emotions into a three dimensional objects and tell stories trough color and touch. She encourages users to reconsider the objects they use on a daily basis by creating work that explores an objects’ unseen aspect, such as half chairs that rely on the wall to function and whose image is only complete as its shadow is cast upon the wall. She has dedicated much of her time to using art as a vehicle for community empowerment. 

Tanya Aguiñiga will be speaking about her current work, that uses craft as a performative medium to generate dialogues about identity, culture and gender while creating community. This approach has helped Museums and non-profits in the United States and Mexico diversify their audiences by connecting marginalized communities through collaboration.

Marissa Johnson-Valenzuela Guest Lecturer

Marissa Johnson-Valenzuela’s poetry and prose has been recognized by The Leeway Foundation, Hedgebrook and others, and can be found in print and online. She is a 2015 Lambda Literary Fellow and the editor of their annual anthology for that year, is a member of the Rogue Poetry Workshop, and is the organizer of a quarterly literary salon, still untitled, in West Philadelphia. She is the founder and primary obsessor at Thread Makes Blanket press, which publishes a range of historical and creative work including Dismantle: An Anthology of Writing from the Vona/Voices Writing Workshop. As part of her teaching at Community College of Philadelphia, Marissa teaches in Philadelphia jails. For more information go to threadmakesblanket.com

Allyson Mitchell Artist Talk

Allyson Mitchell mixes heavy portions of pop culture and feminism to shape an autobiographical body of work out of abandoned crafts and used textiles.  From January 18 - 22, 2016 Mitchell will be working in residence at Temple Contemporary with a selection of students from a range of disciplines across Tyler School of Art and Temple University.  These students, along with Mitchell, will engage in a haptic process of exploring the conditions and emotions of non-medicalized depression.  Through an exploration of materials, readings and shared bodily experiences this private study group will shape a free and public experience tonight at 6pm. 

Allyson Mitchell is a Toronto-based fiber artist working in sculpture, installation and film.  She is an Associate Professor in the School of Women's Studies at York University and represented by Katharin Mulherin Contemporary Art Project.  Mitchell has exhibited her work in prestigious museums around the world including Tate Modern, The Walker Art Center, the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, and the Andy Warhol Museum. Her talk and residency are generously co-sponsored by the Fibers & Material Studies department and Temple Contemporary

Electric Origami Workshop

Play with simple electronics and the art of paper folding. We will explore various origami figures and then activate them with simple motors and lights. After the hands-on portion of the workshop we will discuss the process and background of technological craft in art education: what can we learn from digital materials, and what can we help our students to achieve? 

Sean Justice is an Instructor of Art & Technology at Teachers College, Columbia University. He advises students and faculty on the use of digital technologies in art and education and teaches courses in digital fabrication, creative coding, web design, digital montage, photography and digital fine art printing.

Sponsored by the General Activities Fund of the Art Education and Community Arts Practices Department (AECAP) at Tyler School of Art, Temple University

Contact Dr. Andrea Kantrowitz, andrea.kantrowitz@temple.edu, for more information