Visiting Artists, Scholars and Designers

Hito Steyerl Wolgin Lecture
Image provided by Bob Shuman.

Visit Tyler's Calendar of Events for the latest information on upcoming events,


About Our Signature Lecture Series 

Each year, the Tyler School of Art and Architecture welcomes scores of artists, scholars, architects, designers and professionals from the top of their fields. These inspiring individuals connect with students through lectures, readings and demonstrations to encourage further collaboration and excellence both within the Tyler community and the broader public.

The Critical Dialogue Series brings leading practitioners, scholars, curators and other arts professionals to discuss current issues in art and design. Over the last two decades, the program has featured hundreds of speakers.

Architecture and Environmental Design (AED) Presents is a combined series of architecture, landscape architecture and city planning lectures.

The Laurie Wagman Visiting Artist and Artist-in-Residence Series, presented by our Glass program, reflects Tyler's emphasis on interdisciplinarity as a school that marries research with practice. Artists bring their diverse backgrounds, experience, and expertise to the studio—from traditional, to innovative, to experimental—and speak to students, offer demonstrations, and stimulate exchanges of new ideas.

The Knowles Architecture Alumni Lecture was established in 2013 in honor of Brigitte Knowles, professor emerita in Tyler's Department of Architecture and Environmental Design. Initiated by alumni of the program, the lecture series has welcomed renowned visionary creatives from fields across the built environment to share innovative work. Past lecturers include:

  • MASS Design Group, Shawn Evans and Garron Yepa, 2024
  • Olalekan Jeyifous, 2022
  • Sharon Johnston, 2021
  • David Adjaye
  • Craig Dykers
  • Walter Hood
  • Clive Wilkinson

The Jack Wolgin Annual Visiting Artist and Lecturer is an endowed visiting artist program that brings one of the nation's most influential artists and thinkers to campus to work with Tyler students and present a free public lecture each year. Previous Wolgin artists include:

  • Hito Steyerl, 2023 
  • Jennie C. Jones, 2022
  • Cecilia Vicuña, 2020 
  • Nick Cave, 2019
  • Rick Lowe, 2018
  • LaToya Ruby Frazier, 2017 
  • Judy Pfaff, 2016

The Jackson Lecture in Byzantine Art, generously sponsored by Lynn Jackson and hosted by the Art History Department, is an annual event connecting the Tyler community to cutting-edge research on visual and material culture of the medieval Mediterranean. Previous Jackson Lecture scholars include:  

  • Dr. Andrea Achi (Metropolitan Museum of Art): “Byzantium and Africa (4th—15th centuries CE)” 
  • Dr. Roland Betancourt (University of California, Irvine): “The Ethiopian Eunuch: Gender and Racialization in Byzantium” 
  • Dr. Ivan Drpić (University of Pennsylvania): “Byzantine Pectorals: Piety and Poetry” 
  • Dr. Michael W. Cothren (Swarthmore College): “Surveying Islamic and Gothic Art and Architecture: Reflections of a Textbook Author” 
  • Dr. Andrea Olsen Lam (Biola University): “The Expectant Icon: Transformation and Ritual in Byzantium” 
  • Dr. Amy Papalexandrou (Stockton University): “Listening In: Soundways and Sonic Spaces of the Byzantines” 

Recent Event Highlights

AED Presents: Lake House: One step at a time with Bob Shuman and Joyce Lenhardt 

Overview of Robert ‘Bob’ Shuman’s trajectory as an architect and educator, including the presence of his partner Joyce Lenhardt. Shuman has over 35 years of institutional architectural practice with contributions to projects for institutions and public agencies.

AED Presents: Contesting Displacement in Chinatown

Panel discussion on activism surrounding the Philadelphia 76ers arena proposal in Chinatown with speakers including Domenic Vitiello, Assistant Professor of City Planning and Urban Studies at UPenn's Weitzman School of Design, and Cinthya Hioe of the nonprofit organization Asian Americans United. 

2024 Knowles Architecture Alumni Lecture: Shawn Evans and Garron Yepa of MASS Design Group 

Shawn Evans and Garron Yepa of MASS Design Group discussed their focus on community-based design and cultural heritage preservation, particularly in Indigenous communities, and their work with the federal government on standards for Indigenous housing and settlements.

(re)FOCUS Panel: (im)positions - Women Portraying Women’s Bodies

Tyler and Temple Contemporary hosted an alumni panel discussion featuring a conversation among visual artists Erin M. Riley (MFA ’09), Autumn Wallace (BFA ’18), and Chelsey Luster (BFA ’19), moderated by art historian and Tyler Professor Emerita Therese “Terry” Dolan, PhD. The event was part of (re)FOCUS 2024, a citywide festival (January 27—May 31) celebrating the 50th anniversary of the groundbreaking 1974 festival Philadelphia Focuses on Women in the Visual Arts, one of the first large-scale surveys of the work of contemporary American women artists.

Critical Dialogues and AED Presents

The Critical Dialogue Series and AED Presents offer a diverse lineup of practicing artists, faculty, designers and arts professionals to speak. Recent speakers include:

  • Sebastian Duncan-Portuondo, a Miami-based artist who participates in multi-directional cultural traditions
  • Ilana Savdie, an artist who draws from the history of abstraction, folklore, human anatomy, horror, and pop culture, to create uncanny abstractions considering how power structures can be resisted, transgressed, and dismantled
  • Jordan Kantor, a San Francisco-based artist whose interdisciplinary practice explores the intersections of painting and photography
  • Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, a writer, disability justice activist, and transformative justice practitioner