Mason School of Art | Visual Voices
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Visual Voices

Buzz Spector: I stack things. I tear stuff up.

Visual Voices will be virtual for Spring 2023.

Visual Voices Colloquium is the Professional Lecture Series of the School of Art & Design and represents a window into the professional world of art and design. Speakers are chosen with faculty guidance to represent leading and emerging talented practitioners, as well as artists whose work lies beyond the subject areas of the program offerings.

The purpose of the course and the program is to broaden students’ exposure and vocabulary to professional work being created today. It also provides an opportunity for Art & Design students and members of the public to interact with speakers via a virtual Q&A following their lecture, giving them the chance to exchange ideas and pose questions to the guest speakers.

This semester our Visual Voices lecture series will be presented live virtually via Zoom. The following dates and times are for the live lectures hosted by Mason Arts at Home. If you miss the live presentations, recordings of the lectures will be available one week after the live event and will remain viewable until the close of the semester. Recordings of the lectures will be available at

To participate in the live events you must register. Registration links can be found below. These live events are free to attend and open to the public.

For more information please contact: Jeffrey Kenney –

Spring 2023 Schedule

For Spring 2023, all lectures will be presented virtually via a live Zoom meeting at the NEW TIME of 4:45- 6:30 PM. Attendees must register beforehand to receive a link to the Zoom meeting. Registration links are added to each event.

Students are encouraged to ask the artist questions directly. The artist will leave time at the end of their lecture to take questions asked live.

Please expand the artists’ names below to find out more about the speakers.


Thursday, February 9, 2023 @4:45- 6:30PM EST


Saki Mafundikwa is the founder and director of the Zimbabwe Institute of Vigital Arts (ZIVA), a design and new media training college in Harare, Zimbabwe. He was educated in the USA with a BA in Telecommunications and Fine Arts from Indiana University and an MFA in Graphic Design from Yale University. He returned home in 1998 to found ZIVA after working in New York City as a graphic designer, art director and design instructor.

Mafundikwa’s book, Afrikan Alphabets: the Story of Writing in Africa, was published in 2004. Besides being of historical importance, it is also the first book on Afrikan typography. His first film, Shungu: The Resilience of a People, a feature-length documentary had its world premiere at 2009’s International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA). It won the prestigious Ousmane Sembene Award at Zanzibar International Film Festival and Best Documentary at Kenya International Film Festival both in 2010 and has screened at some of the top film festivals in the world. The film is an objective, in-depth look at the causes and effects of Zimbabwe’s political and economic decline through the voices of ordinary Zimbabweans.

As an educator, Mafundikwa urges African designers to learn from the past and draw on the history of Africa’s written words and symbology for inspiration. “The dream,” he says, “is for something to come out of Africa that is of Africa.”



February 23, 2023- JAEWOOK LEE

Thursday, February 23, 2023 @ 4:45- 6:30 PM EST


Jaewook Lee is an artist, writer, amateur scientist, semi-philosopher, and sometime curator. Lee is the founder and director of Mindful Joint (, an annual symposium that focuses on non-hierarchical knowledge sharing in contemporary art.
Lee is the recipient of awards such as the 4th SINAP (Sindoh Artist Support Program) and the SeMA Emerging Artists and Curators Supporting Program by the Seoul Museum of Art. Lee has participated in exhibitions, talks, performances, and screenings at such venues as Museo de Antofagasta in Chile (2020), Hong-Gah Museum in Taiwan (2018), Art Sonje Center in Seoul (2017), the Guggenheim Museum in New York (2017), the Asia Culture Center in Gwangju (2016), MEINBLAU Projektraum in Berlin (2016), NURTUREart in New York (2014), the Museo Juan Manuel Blanes in Montevideo (2014), MANIFESTA 9 parallel event in Hasselt (2012), and the Chelsea Art Museum in New York (2011), among others. Sculpture Magazine featured the oeuvre of Lee’s work in May 2017. Lee’s work is in the permanent collections of several institutions, including the Gyeonggi Museum of Modern Art in Ansan, South Korea, and the Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts in Amman, Jordan.

Lee received MFAs from Carnegie Mellon University and the School of Visual Arts. Lee previously taught at the University of Chicago, the School of Visual Arts (SVA), and SUNY Old Westbury. Lee is an assistant professor of New Media Art at Northern Arizona University.




Thursday March 23, 2023 @4:45- 6:30 PM EST


Koyoltzintli Miranda-Rivadeneira is an Ecuadorian American artist and curandera from Queens, New York who investigates Indigenous ways of relating to the land, through photography, video, ceramics, and sound. The artist captures within a multifaceted exchange between herself and the land, achieving levels of intimacy as both a creator and a subject, an intimacy that is often withheld through the Westernized lens of photography and video’s history of colonial bias.

Miranda-Rivadeneira has exhibited at the United Nations and Aperture Foundation, both NY; and the National Portrait Gallery, Washington, DC. She has been an artist in residence in the United States, France, and Italy and has taught at CalArts, School of Visual Arts, International Center of Photography, and City University of New York. Miranda-Rivadeneira is a recipient of multiple awards and fellowships including the NYFA Fellowship, and the Photographic Fellowship at the Musée du Quai Branly, Paris. Her first monograph, Other Stories, was published in 2017 by Autograph ABP. Her work was featured in the Native America issue of Aperture (no. 240) published in fall 2020, as well as in the book Latinx Photography in the United States: A Visual History by Elizabeth Ferrer, published in January 2021.



April 13, 2023- BLACK KIRBY

Thursday, April 13, 2023 @ 4:45-6:30 PM EST


BLACK KIRBY  is a shared pseudonym that is Stacey Robinson and John Jennings (Professor of Media and Cultural Studies, UC Riverside). Black Kirby functions as a rhetorical tool by sampling and remixing comic legend Jack Kirby’s bold forms and energetic ideas combined with themes centered around Afrofuturism, social justice, representation, magical realism, and using the culture of Hip Hop as a methodology for creating visual communication. It also utilizes the notion of an alter-ego as a symbolic allegory for DuBoisian “double-consciousness” theory.

 Stacey Robinson is an artist from Albany, NY, who creates graphic novels, art exhibitions, and other multimedia works of art that explores the ideas of “Black Utopias” through an Afro-Futurist lens. Robinson graduated from Fayetteville State University with a Bachelor of Arts, and went on to complete his Master of Fine Arts as a Arthur Schomburg Fellow at the University of Buffalo. Stacey Robinson is currently an Assistant Professor of Graphic Design in the School of Art and Design and Illustration at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

John Jennings is a Professor of Media and Cultural Studies at the University of California at Riverside. Jennings is co-editor of the Eisner Award-winning collection The Blacker the Ink: Constructions of the Black Identity in Comics and Sequential Art. Jennings is also a 2016 Nasir Jones Hip Hop Studies Fellow with the Hutchins Center at Harvard University. Jennings’ current projects include the horror anthology Box of Bones, the coffee table book Black Comix Returns (with Damian Duffy), and the Eisner-winning, Bram Stoker Award-winning, New York Times best-selling graphic novel adaptation of Octavia Butler’s classic dark fantasy novel Kindred. Jennings is also founder and curator of the ABRAMS Megascope line of graphic novels.



Past Speakers have included:

Image at top of page: Buzz Spector: I stack things. I tear stuff up.