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 Fall 2022.

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 https://art.gmu.edu/visual-voices/.

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 – jkenney5@gmu.edu

Fall 2022 Schedule

For Fall  2022, all lectures will be presented virtually via a live Zoom meeting at 7:30 PM. Attendees must register beforehand to receive a link to the Zoom meeting. Registration links are forthcoming and will be added below 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.

September 15, 2022- Bahia Shehab

Thursday, September 15, 2022 @ 7:30 PM EST

Bahia Shehab

Bahia Shehab is a multidisciplinary artist, designer, political activist, and historian whose work focuses on the interaction and intersection of modern identity and ancient cultural heritage. Her imaginative combination of calligraphy and Islamic art history produced cutting-edge, beautiful, impactful street art during the Arab Spring and continues to inform her work as an educator and designer.

Having always been concerned with identity and preserving cultural heritage, she investigates art history to reinterpret contemporary Arab politics, feminist discourse and social issues. Her culturally oriented work enables her to use history as a means to better understand the present and find solutions for the future.

Bahia believes that art may be employed for the purposes of social change and has explored this phenomenon through her artwork, which focuses on socially charged themes such as the Arab identity and women’s rights. Her research is largely concerned with understanding the Arabic letters and has been preoccupied with Arabic calligraphy in much of her work. Her work has been displayed in exhibitions around the world and she has received several awards and recognition for her achievements.

Registration Link

September 29, 2022- Jon Henry

Thursday, September 29, 2022 @ 7:30 PM EST

Jon Henry

Jon Henry is a visual artist working with photography and text, from Queens NY (resides in Brooklyn). His work reflects on family, sociopolitical issues, grief, trauma, and healing within the African American community. His work has been published both nationally and internationally and exhibited in numerous galleries including Aperture Foundation, Smack Mellon, and BRIC among others. Known foremost for the cultural activism in his work, his projects include studies of athletes from different sports and their representations.

He was recently named one of The 30 New and Emerging Photographers for 2022,  TIME Magazine NEXT100 for 2021.  Included in the Inaugural 2021 Silver List.  He recently was awarded the Arnold Newman Grant for New Directions in Photographic Portraiture in 2020, an En Foco Fellow, one of LensCulture’s Emerging Artists and has also won the Film Photo Prize for Continuing Film Project sponsored by Kodak.

Registration Link

October 20, 2022- Silas Munro

Thursday October 20, 2022 @7:30 PM EST

Silus Munro

Silas Munro engages multi-modal practices that inspire people to be the best versions of themselves in order to effect positive change on society as a whole. He earned his BFA from Rhode Island School of Design and holds an MFA from California Institute of the Arts.

His design studio, Poly-Mode, primarily works with cultural institutions and community based organizations including collaborations with The Center for Urban Pedagogy, Housing Works, MoMA, Walker Art Center, and Wynwood in Miami, Florida. These collaborations have lead to everything from information design of NYC Public City Schools, graphics for protesting activists at Housing Works, publication design for Jacob Lawrence, and the identity of an entire formerly predominately Puerto Rican neighborhood. His community based projects have been supported by grants and residencies from Designers Talking, Sappi Ideas that Matter, and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

Munro’s research addresses the relationship between the designer’s personal identity, formal systems and strategies s/he utilizes, and how both interact with the communities s/he serves. He is particularly interested in the often unaddressed post-colonial relationship between design and marginalized communities. This has taken tangible form in design work and writing that have been published via books, exhibitions, and websites in Germany, Japan, Korea, the US, and the UK such as: Chronicle Books, IDEA magazine, and Slanted magazine.

A seasoned and dedicated educator, Munro’s pedagogy focuses on image making and typographic systems, expanded and inclusive design studies, our present experience ecology, and novel formats of design pedagogy. He has been a critic at CalArts, Maryland Institute College of Art, Miami University, NC State, and York University. Munro serves as Assistant Professor in Communication Arts / Graduate Graphic Design at Otis College of Art and Design, and Faculty in the MFA Program in Graphic Design at Vermont College of Fine Arts.

Registration Link

November 3, 2022- Ellen Lesperance

Thursday, November 3, 2022 @ 7:30 PM EST

Ellen Lesperance

Ellen Lesperance’ paintings on paper, rendered in gouache in universal knitting shorthand, can be followed as patterns to recreate historic garments worn by women activists, warriors, and cultural figures. For the past decade, she has additionally archived protest knitwear worn by the separatist feminists of the Greenham Common Women’ Peace Camp who demonstrated against U.S. nuclear weapons storage in Berkshire, England (1981 to 2000). In 2020, Lesperance published a book of this archive titled Velvet Fist.

Lesperance’ work has been exhibited widely in the United States and in Europe, at venues including: The Drawing Center (NYC), The New Museum (NYC), the Brooklyn Museum of Art, the Portland Art Museum (Oregon), the Seattle Art Museum, the Baltimore Museum of Art, the Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University, Bonniers Konsthall (Stockholm, Sweden), the Tate St. Ives (Cornwall, England), and the Nottingham Contemporary (Nottingham, England). She is represented by Derek Eller Gallery in New York, and Adams and Ollman Gallery in Portland, Oregon — where she lives and works.

Registration Link

Past Speakers have included:

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