Lecture Series Archive


Ifeanyi Anene

Thursday, Nov. 17
Ifeanyi Anene is an artist originally from Lagos, Nigeria. He received his BSc in Psychology from the University of Lagos in 2010. Informed by his childhood in Western Nigeria and his background in psychology, Anene’s paintings “explore the ‘position’ where nature, society, and the general order of things meet”. In Anene’s words his work, “sheds light on social change, political advocacy, religion, moral adjudication, social welfare, and more.” He has shown his work at a variety of venues, including most recently at Richardson Civic Art Society (Richardson, TX), Rockwall Art League (Rockwall, TX), and the 2022 Other Art Fair (Brooklyn,NY). In 2022 he was awarded 1st place for his work in Materials: Hard+Soft at the Greater Denton Arts Council. He currently lives and works in Dallas, TX.

SMU’s Division of Art hosts an ongoing series of lectures and panels by an exciting group of artists, critics and curators. This series of discursive events is not only a crucial part of the graduate and undergraduate curriculum, it also provides a space for the Dallas community to engage with art and ideas.

Lectures are made possible with generous support from Debbie and Eric Green, Anonymous donor, Joanne Leonhardt Cassullo, the Dorothea Leonhardt Fund at the Communities Foundation of Texas Inc. and Ignite Art Dallas. 

Katie Bell

Thursday, April 1
Katie Bell is an artist originally from Rockford, Illinois (b.1985).  She received her BA from Knox College and her MFA in Painting from the Rhode Island School of Design. Bell has shown her work at a variety of venues, including the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center, Smack Mellon, Locust Projects, and the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum. She was an artist in residence at the Marie Walsh Sharpe Art Foundation’s Space Program and awarded a fellowship in painting by the New York Foundation for the Arts. Bell lives and works in New York, NY.

Surabhi Ghosh

Thursday, April 15 
Surabhi Ghosh is an artist and educator based in Montreal, Quebec, where she is Associate Professor of Fibres & Material Practices in the Department of Studio Arts at Concordia University. Recent projects have been exhibited at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, the Wing Luke Museum in Seattle, and Heaven Gallery in Chicago. Upcoming solo exhibitions will take place at Hawthorn Contemporary in Milwaukee, Confederation Centre of the Arts in Charlottetown, P. E. I., and the Maison des arts de Laval. Using repetitive actions like stitching, cutting, and beading, Ghosh exploits the tensions and imperfections in handmade patterns to give material and spatial form to cyclical narratives of pride and shame. Incorporating her experiences as a North American descendant of South Asian ancestors, her recent work investigates the transmission of cultural identity and nationalist ideology to and from the diaspora.

Anh-Thuy Nguyen

Thursday, September 16 
Anh-Thuy Nguyen is a multi-media/transdisciplinary artist, whose work spans from photography and video to installation and performance art. Using her personal history as a resource, Anh-Thuy's work delves deeply into conflicting emotions and thoughts through the portrayal of often strikingly strange yet hauntingly beautiful visual manifestations of gain and loss. She received a BFA in Photography from The University of Arizona and an MFA in Photography/ Video from Southern Methodist University. Anh-Thuy’s works are in permanent collections of the Amarillo Museum of Art, Tucson Museum of Art, and the Center for Photography at Woodstock among others. She is based in Tucson, Arizona, where she is the head of the photography program at Pima Community College.

Billie Mandle

Thursday, November 4
Billie Mandle is an artist working in California and Massachusetts. Her quiet photographs explore diverse subjects such as Catholic confessionals, Emily Dickinson’s bedroom, and a shelter for refugees. Her projects have been supported by grants from the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, and the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation, and her work has been featured in publications such as Aperture, Cabinet, and Wired. She received a BA in biology and English from Williams College and an MFA from Massachusetts College of Art and Design. She is an associate professor of photography at MassArt.

Jemila MacEwan

Thursday, November 18 
MacEwan has performed and exhibited extensively internationally including; ARoS Museum (Denmark), The Australian Consulate-General (NYC), Pioneer Works (NYC), Victori+MO (NYC), The Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts (NYC), NYCXDESIGN (USA), BRIC Biennial III (NYC), Skaftfell Center for Visual Art (Iceland) and The Castlemaine State Festival (Australia). They have been invited to host and participate in public talks and discussions on themes of intercultural practice, mental health, contemporary animism and environmental accountability. MacEwan has been generously supported by the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, The Australia Council for the Arts, New York Foundation for the Arts, Café Royal Foundation, the Dame Joan Sutherland Fund, the Ian Potter Cultural Council and the Graduate Women of Victoria.

Faculty Artist Lectures

SMU’s Division of Art hosts an ongoing series of lectures and panels by an exciting group of artists, critics and curators. This series of discursive events is not only a crucial part of the graduate and undergraduate curriculum, it also provides a space for the Dallas community to engage with art and ideas.


Signe Pierce

Wednesday, February 6, 2019
7 p.m.
O’Donnell Hall – Room 2130

Signe Pierce is a multimedia artist whose work straddles performance, photography, video, social media, light design and installation. She is a self-described “reality artist” whose work is inspired by the concept of reality as an artistic medium, and the idea that an artist’s life and work can both be viewed within a similar context. Her ideology often explores the myriad facets of perception involved in discerning what is “real” within the burgeoning era of hyperreality, new media and technological singularity. Over the past two years, Pierce has partaken in multiple performances, installations and exhibitions, including solo shows at Times Square Space in New York, Annka Kultys Gallery in London and Galerie Nathalie Halgand in Vienna; a performance at the Museum of Modern Art in New York; and an artist’s talk at Yale University. She is the star and co-creator of the acclaimed short film American Reflexxx, which has received multiple awards and been screened in over 15 countries. For more about the artist, visit here.

Holly Walker

Monday, April 1, 2019
7 p.m.
O’Donnell Hall – Room 2130
Artist’s demonstration: April 1-4 in the Doolin Gallery

Ceramicist Holly Walker is known for inventive terracotta forms that are spare, architectonic and Shakeresque. Pinched coils create a visual tempo and rhythm that is inherent in the process of building. Abstract geometric structure maps the geography of the pot, enlivened by painterly brushing of colored slips and glazes. Walker’s work has been exhibited at venues including AKAR, The Clay Studio, Harvard University and The Philadelphia Museum, among others, and is part of numerous collections including the Museum of Contemporary Craft (Portland, Ore.) and San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts. She has taught courses at Rhode Island School of Design and Nova Scotia College of Art and Design and presented lectures and workshops around the country. She has served as director of Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts (Maine), and as gallery assistant, archivist and educational outreach director at Penland School of Crafts (N.C.). She is a recent recipient of a Frog Hollow/Vermont Craft Association Artisan Grant and a Vermont Arts Council Development Grant. For more about the artist, visit here.

2018 Lecture Series

Wednesday, January 31, 7 p.m.
COBRA Tokyo-based artist and member of the artist run space XYZ Collective. XYZ is best known for presenting exhibitions which playfully question otherwise accepted assumptions behind art world presentation. Exhibited in New York, Tokyo and Warsaw, among other venues.
Location: TBA

Monday, February 5, 7 p.m.
Mariko Paterson Vancouver-born artist specializing in ceramic works and sculpture, now based in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, where she focuses on producing a subversive strain of ceramic work as well as serve the community with an education of the arts.
Location: TBA

Simonetta Moro
Wednesday, September 26, 7 p.m.

O’Donnell Hall – Room 2130
Simonetta Moro is a visual artist whose work focuses on painting, drawing and mapping practices. Through an interpretation of the phenomenological world, places become repositories of memory, points of departure for imaginary journeys, vectors of time and space, and sites of exploration and intervention. Moro studied art in Italy and the UK, and currently lives in New York City. She is the director and associate professor at the Institute for Doctoral Studies in the Visual Arts in Portland, Maine. For more about the artist, visit here.

Nyugen E. Smith
Wednesday, October 17, 7 p.m.

O’Donnell Hall – Room 2130
Nyugen E. Smith is a Caribbean-American interdisciplinary artist and educator who lives and works in Jersey City, N.J. His practice consists of found object sculpture, installation, writing, video and performance and is influenced by the conflation of African cultural practices and the remnants of European colonial rule in the black diaspora. He holds an M.F.A. from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and in 2016 won a two-year Leonore Annenberg Fellowship in the Performing and Visual Arts, with which he conducted fieldwork in the Caribbean on mythical and historical figures from Caribbean and American literature. For more about the artist, visit here.

José “Tony” Cruz Pabón
Wednesday, November 14, 7 p.m.

O’Donnell Hall – Room 2130
Artist Tony Cruz Pabón lives and works in Puerto Rico. His work has been shown in New York, London, Glasgow, Tenerife (Spain), Cuba and throughout Central and South America. It has also been featured in biennials in Ecuador, Dominican Republic and Havana, and most recently in the 2018 Berlin Biennale. Pabón received a Pollock-Krasner Foundation grant in 2014. He was the co-director and co-founder of the cultural space Beta-Local in San Juan, which includes a production program, experimental education project and platform for critical discussion. He is a graduate of the Escuela de Artes Plásticas in Puerto Rico. For more about the artist, visit here.

2017 Lecture Series

Monday, September 25, 7 p.m.
Robyn O'Neil American artist best known for large scale graphite on paper drawings. Numerous exhibits; based in Los Angeles.
Location: O'Donnell Hall

Saturday, October 14, 3-5 p.m.
Conversation with curator Laura Wellen, artists Hellen Ascoli and Reyes Josué Morales, and SMU Meadows Division of Art Chair James Sullivan
Location: Pollock Gallery

Wednesday, October 18, 7 p.m.
Jenni Sorkin writes on the intersection between of gender, material culture and contemporary art, and presents lectures at art institutions across the globe. Dr. Sorkin is assistant professor history of art and architecture at University of California Santa Barbara.
Location: O'Donnell Hall

Wednesday, November 8, 7 p.m.
Jon Rubin is an interdisciplinary artist who creates public life interventions that re-imagine individual, group and institutional behavior. Exhibited worldwide; associate professor and graduate director, School of Art at Carnegie Mellon University.
Location: TBA

Wednesday, November 15, 7 p.m.
MAOF (materials and crafts) examines the local culture of use and consumption of resources through relationships with the material environment, landscape, objects, ways of working, rhythms, scales and motives to produce. Projects conducted in Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Mexico, New York City. In collaboration with Ignite Arts Dallas.
Location: TBA

2015 Lecture Series

A Conversation with Franklin Sirmans and Noah Simblist (April, 2015)

Background: Noah Simblist, Chair and Associate Professor of Art at SMU Meadows, interviewed Franklin Sirmans about Sirmans’ work as the Artistic Director of art biennial Prospect.3 in New Orleans. Prospect.3: Notes for Now included exhibitions, site-specific installations and new works that addressed a series of curatorial themes: The New Orleans Experience, Seeing Oneself in the Other, The South, Crime and Punishment, Movie-going, The Carnivalesque, Abstraction, and Viral Sound. In addition to serving as Artistic Director of Prospect.3, Sirmans is Curator of Contemporary Art at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

The Lecture Series Presents: Jason Salavon (April, 2015)

Background: Using software processes of his own design, Jason Salavon generates and reconfigures masses of communal material to present new perspectives on the familiar. Often, the final compositions are exhibited as art objects – such as photographic prints and video installations – while others exist in a real-time software context. Follow Jason: @salavon

A Lecture with Emily Jacir (March, 2015)

Background: Emily Jacir creates works about transformation, questions of translation, resistance, and the logic of the archive. Her projects uncover silenced historical narratives and explore concerns such as movement and migration through a diverse range of media and strategies including film, photography, social interventions, installation, performance, video, writing and sound.

Visiting Artist Lecture Series Presents Regina Basha (February, 2015)

Background: Since 1993, Regine Basha has been curating innovative exhibitions for public institutions, civic spaces, magazines and private galleries nationally and internationally. With an exploratory approach to exhibition design, production and reception, Basha works closely with artists to create specific contexts in which to encounter the work. Recently she has worked with Nina Katchadourian, Judith Barry, Dario Robleto, Daniel Bozhkov and Stephen Vitiello.


Hear the Lecture Series from 2014-2015


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SEE MORE: The Visiting Artist Lecture Series Archives

2014 Lecture Series

Visiting Artist Lecture Series Presents Marie Lorenz (November, 2014)

Background: Marie Lorenz was born in Twentynine Palms, Calif., and grew up traveling with her military family. She received a B.F.A. from Rhode Island School of Design and an M.F.A. from Yale, where she now teaches in the Painting Department. Lorenz has received the Alice Kimball English Travel Fellowship and grants from Artists Space and the Harpo Foundation. In 2008 she was awarded the Joseph H. Hazen Rome Prize from the American Academy in Rome. Her work has been shown nationally and internationally, from High Desert Test Sites in Joshua Tree, Calif., to MoMA PS1 in New York City. She has completed solo projects at Ikon Gallery in Birmingham, England, Artpace in San Antonio, Texas, and Jack Hanley Gallery in New York. Her ongoing project Tide and Current Taxi, featured in the Frieze 2014 in New York, is an exploration of the coastline in New York City.

Visiting Artist Lecture Series Presents Jamal Cyrus (November, 2014)

Background: Houston-based artist Jamal Cyrus produces revisionist approaches to American history in his work through the appropriation and reinterpretation of racially charged political paraphernalia and cultural objects. He focuses on the formulation of African American identity through cultural and political movements, such as the Jazz Age of the Harlem Renaissance in the 1920s and the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s, and its consequent appropriation by mainstream culture. In his performances, sculptures, drawings and collages, Cyrus creates his own alternative account of African American history, causing the viewer to acknowledge the subjectivity of interpreting past events. He has had solo exhibitions in Texas and New York and participated in group exhibitions and performances from coast to coast, including in the Whitney Biennial.

A Conversation with Doug Ashford (October, 2014)

Background: Doug Ashford is an artist, teacher and writer based in New York. He is Associate Professor at The Cooper Union where he has taught sculpture, design, and interdisciplinary studies since 1989. Ashford’s principle visual practice from 1982 to 1996 was the multi-form practice of Group Material, who’s work has been recently compiled in the book Show and Tell: A Chronicle of Group Material (Four Corners Books, 2010). Since 1996 he has continued to produce paintings, essays and collaborative projects that engage sociality with artistic form. His most recent public effort ended in the project Who Cares(Creative Time, 2006), a book built from a series of conversations between Ashford and other cultural practitioners on public expression, ethics, and beauty. Recent exhibitions of his paintings include “Abstract Possible”, Tensta Konsthall and other locations (2010-12), dOCUMENTA 13, Kassel (2012) and Bureau Publik, Copenhagen. A collection of essays, Doug Ashford: Writings and Conversation, (Mousse Publishing, 2013), was published on the occasion of his retrospective exhibition at the Grazer Kunstverein last year. He is represented by Wilfried Lentz Rotterdam.

Visiting Artist Lecture Series: A.L. Steiner

Background: A.L. Steiner utilizes constructions of photography, video, installation, collage, collaboration, performance, lecturing, writing and curatorial work as seductive tropes channeled through the sensibility of a skeptical queer eco-feminist androgyne. Steiner is a collective member of Chicks on Speed, co-curator of Ridykeulous, co-founder/organizer of Working Artists and the Greater Economy (W.A.G.E.) and collaborates with numerous visual and performing artists. She is also assistant professor and director of the M.F.A. program at the University of Southern California Roski School of Art and Design and a visiting M.F.A. faculty member at Bard College in New York. Her work is featured in such permanent collections as the Brooklyn Museum and The Museum of Modern Art and was included in the 2014 Whitney Biennial. Her work is represented by Deborah Schamoni Gallerie in Munich and Koenig & Clinton in New York.

Gallery Talk with Aissa Deebi (September, 2014)

Background: Aissa Deebi’s The Trial (2013) was his contribution to the Palestinian pavilion at the 2013 Venice Biennale. This two-channel video installation is based on the story of Daoud Turki, a Palestinian Communist who was put on trial by an Israeli court in 1973. Dor Guez’s Watermelons Under the Bed (2010) includes the story of his grandparents’ displacement in 1948. 40 Days includes a video and a series of photographs tied to Guez’s grandfather’s death and the desecration of the Christian Palestinian cemetery in Lod.

Embrace Your Antithesis by Slavs and Tatars (July, 2014):

Background: This lecture-performance will be followed by a discussion with the art collective Slavs and Tatars; Gabriel Ritter, The Nancy and Tim Hanley Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art at the Dallas Museum of Art; and Noah Simblist, Chair and Associate Professor of Art at SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts. Arguably the most important periodical of the Muslim world in the 20th century,Molla Nasreddin: the magazine that would’ve, could’ve, should’ve was a legendary Azerbaijani periodical, featuring illustrations reminiscent of a Daumier of the Caucasus. Molla Nasreddin was read by an audience that stretched from Morocco to India, and addressed issues such as gender equality, education, colonialism, and Islam’s integration of modernity – all of which remain as relevant and pressing today as when the magazine was first published a century ago.

Molla Nasreddin: Embrace Your Antithesis includes a discussion of the book's historical context, a case study of the complexity otherwise known as the Caucasus, the figure of the antimodern, and the issue of self-censorship a century ago and today.

Slavs and Tatars, founded in 2006, is an art collective whose installations, lecture-performances, sculptures and publications contemplate the lesser-known similarities found in the mix of belief systems and rituals among peoples of the Caucasus, Central Asia and Eastern Europe. Pursuing an unconventional research-based approach, the group identifies the “area east of the former Berlin Wall and west of the Great Wall of China known as Eurasia” as the focus of their multidisciplinary practice.

Visiting Artist Myra Greene (February, 2014)

Background: Myra Greene is associate professor of photography at Columbia College Chicago, She writes, “Throughout my artistic practice, I have returned to the body to explore issues of difference, beauty, physical and emotional recollections as they play out on the surface of the skin.” Her work is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago, Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, The National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City and The New York Public Library.
Listen: Myra Greene Live at SMU Meadows

2013 Lecture Series

Tania Bruguera: Visiting Artist Lecture (2013)

Background: Tania Bruguera is one of the leading political and performance artists of her generation. Her work researches ways in which art can be applied to everyday political life; she seeks to create a public forum to debate ideas shown in their state of contradictions and to focus on the transformation of the condition of “viewer” into one of “citizenry.” Bruguera uses the terms “arte de conducta” (conduct/behavior art) and “arte útil” (useful art) to define her practice. She works on appropriating the resources of power to create power, and on creating political situations through art.

Visiting Artist Lecture Series: Deana Lawson (2013)

Background: Lawson refers to the subjects in her photos as her family even though there is no blood relation; her work focuses on “the psychological, personal, political and historical experiences that are implicated through the body.” Lawson received her M.F.A. from Rhode Island School of Design and currently lives in New York.
Listen: Deana Lawson: Live at SMU Meadows

Visiting Artist Lecture Series: Michelle Erickson (2013)

Background: Michelle Erickson is internationally recognized for her mastery of the lost ceramic arts of the age of exploration and colonialism. Her contemporary work makes use of these arcane ceramic techniques to create historical narratives about political, social and environmental issues – both past and present.
Listen: Visiting Artist Lecture Series: Michelle Erickson

Visiting Artist Lecture Series: Lilian Garcia-Roig (2013)

Background: Cuban-born artist Lilian Garcia-Roig earned a B.F.A. at SMU Meadows in 1988 and an M.F.A. at the University of Pennsylvania.
Listen: Lilian Garcia-Roig at SMU Meadows

A Conversation with Teddy Cruz (2013)

Background: Teddy Cruz’ work dwells at the border between San Diego, California and Tijuana, Mexico, where he has been developing a practice and pedagogy that emerge out of the particularities of this bicultural territory and the integration of theoretical research and design production. Teddy’ Cruz has been recognized internationally in collaboration with community-based nonprofit organizations such as Casa Familiar for its work on housing and its relationship to an urban policy more inclusive of social and cultural programs for the city. He obtained a Masters in Design Studies from Harvard University and the Rome Prize in Architecture from the American Academy in Rome. He has recently received the 2004-05 James Stirling Memorial Lecture On The City Prize and is currently a Professor in public culture and urbanism in the Visual Arts Department at UCSD in San Diego.

Visiting Artist Lecture Series: Gavin Morrison (2013)

Background: Morrison is a Scottish born curator, writer and publisher based in south of France, where he runs IFF, a project gallery which creates exhibitions and off-site works in Marseille. He is also an Exchange Fellow in the Department of Architecture at the University of Edinburgh and a co-director of the research project, What is Ignorance? at the Royal Institute of Art, Stockholm, Sweden. In addition he is also a director of Atopia Projects, a curatorial and publishing initiative. He is currently working on an exhibition about the modernist architect Berthold Lubetkin for the Art Academy in Tbilisi, Georgia. Recently he has begun to collaborate with a number of different artists, such as: A History of Type Design with Scott Myles. Further he is presently working on two books: The Unresolved Fate of the Kinetic Tower, an irregular history of a maligned public sculpture in Edinburgh and Falkirk Cannons for Corsica, an explorative travelogue searching for cannons sent from Scotland to Corsican rebels in the 1770s. From 2007-09 Morrison was Curator of Fort Worth Contemporary Arts, during which time he oversaw the opening and initial programming.
Listen: Gavin Morrison Sits Down with Noah Simblist

Visiting Artist Lecture Series: Alejandro Cesarco 

Cesarco’s work addresses, through different formats and strategies, his recurrent interests in repetition, narrative and the practices of reading and translating, often involving text, photography, film and video. He has represented Uruguay in the 2011 Venice Biennale, shown extensively in the U.S. and Europe, and was the 2011 winner of the Baloise Art Prize with his installation The Streets Were Dark With Something More Than Night or The Closer I Get to the End the More I Rewrite the Beginning at Art 42 Basel. Listen: A Conversation with Alejandro Cesarco


The Visiting Artist Lecture Series in Video


The Visiting Artist Lecture Series in Audio

Past Lecturers

Arning, Bill
Ashton, Dore
Ault, Julie
Bartana, Yael
Bauer, Ute Meta
Beshty, Walead
Bordowitz, Gregg
Diao, David
Eisenman, Nicole
Gates, Theaster
Hardy, K8
Jaar, Alfredo
Kuitca, Guillermo
Mackenzie, Dave
Magid, Jill
Pfeiffer, Paul
Quaytman, RH
Raad, Walid
Smith, Michael
Sussman, Eve
Westfall, Stephen
Yau, John