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 2021.

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 –

Fall 2021 Schedule

For Fall 2021, 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.


Thursday, September 9, 2021 @ 7:30 PM EST


Eddie Opara is a multi-faceted designer whose work encompasses strategy, design and technology. His projects have included the design of brand identity, publications, packaging, environments, exhibitions, interactive installations, websites, user interfaces and software, with many of his projects ranging across multiple media. Opara is a partner at the New York office of prestigious design firm Pentagram. Before joining Pentagram in 2010,  he founded the studio, the Map Office. He has won numerous awards including a Gold Cube from the Art Directors Club and honors from D&AD, the Society for Experiential Graphic Design (SEGD), Type Directors Club, Tokyo Type Directors Club, The American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) and Communication Arts. His work is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art and has appeared in publications such as Wired, Fast Company, Creative Review, Archis, Surface and Graphis.

Opara is a senior critic at the Yale University School of Art. He has taught at the Rhode Island School of Design, the Columbia University School of Architecture and the University of the Arts, Philadelphia. He is a member of the distinguished design society, Alliance Graphique Internationale. Opara recently authored a book, Color Works, published by Rockport. He was named one of Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People in Business in 2012 and 2014, and was featured in Ebony Magazine’s Power 100 and Adweek’s Creative 100. He studied graphic design at the London College of Printing and received an MFA from Yale University.

Follow the links below for more information about Eddie Opara


Book Design for Dawoud Bey Retrospective 

Designer Interview (99U.ADOBE.COM)

Watch a recording of the lecture:

September 23, 2021 - DARIO ROBLETO

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 23, 2021 @ 7:30


Dario Robleto is a transdisciplinary artist, citizen-scientist, researcher, writer, and teacher. Tapping into multiple creative traditions ranging from astrophysics to paleontology to poetry to DJ culture, his work has focused with particular intensity on theories and practices of recording and on the material and emotional structures of intergenerational relay and memory. His work has been profiled in numerous publications and media including Radiolab and Krista Tippett’s On Being. He has been an artist-in-residence and scholar at institutions such as the Smithsonian Museum of American History and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University. In 2015 he joined a distinguished team of scientists as the artistic consultant to “Breakthrough Message”—a multi-national effort that aims to encourage intellectual and technical debate about how and what to communicate if the current search for intelligent life beyond Earth is successful. In 2016 he was appointed as the Texas State Artist Laureate. In 2020, he was a research consultant to the popular science television series, Cosmos: Possible Worlds, which aired on National Geographic and Fox. He is currently serving as Artist-at-Large at Northwestern University’s McCormick School of Engineering and the Block Museum of Art, and is working on his first book, Life Signs: The Tender Science of the Pulsewave, published through the University of Chicago Press and co-authored with art historian Jennifer Roberts, the Elizabeth Cary Agassiz Professor of the Humanities at Harvard.

Follow the links below for more information about Dario Robleto

Interview with Krista Tippett 

Personal Website

Radiolab: Space (Featuring Dario Robleto)

Watch a recording of the lecture:

October 7, 2021 - LESLIE HEWITT

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 7, 2021 @ 7:30


Leslie Hewitt explores political, social, and personal narratives through photography, sculpture, and site-specific installations. Drawing on material from black popular culture of the 1970s and ’80s, Hewitt is interested in how we rely on images to provide memories of personal experience, how collective memory of past events is shaped and preserved, and in how the two overlap, coexist, and inform each other.  Her work varies in scale from small compositions to billboard sized photographs which rest in wooden frames that lean against the wall and invite viewers to experience a space that rests between sculpture and traditional photography. 

Hewitt studied at the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, the Yale University School of Art, and at New York University, where she was a Clark Fellow in the Africana and Visual Culture Studies programs. She was included in the 2008 Whitney Biennial and the recipient of the 2008 Art Matters research grant to the Netherlands. A selection of recent and forthcoming exhibitions include the Museum of Modern Art in New York; the Studio Museum in Harlem; Artists Space in New York; Project Row Houses in Houston; and LA > < ART in Los Angeles. Hewitt has held residencies at the Studio Museum in Harlem, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University and the American Academy in Berlin, Germany amongst others. Hewitt was part of the faculty at Barnard College in the department of Art History from  2012 – 2017, where she was actively engaged in the development of the Harlem Semester partnering with the Studio Museum in Harlem. She is currently Associate Professor of Art at The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art and co-organizes the Cooper Union School of Art Intra-Disciplinary Lecture Series with curator and writer Omar Berrada.

Follow the links below for more information about Leslie Hewitt

Perrotin Gallery

New York Times Profile

Artist Interview (The Brooklyn Rail) 

Viewing of this presentation is restricted – please contact Jeff Kenney ( for access.

October 21, 2021 - AMANDA ROSS-HO

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 21, 2021 @ 7:30


Amanda Ross-Ho is an interdisciplinary artist and a professor of sculpture at the University of California, Irvine. Amanda Ross-Ho’s work takes the form of sculptural installations and material environments that propose dynamic and imagined ecologies of labor, time, and the building of speculative archives. Through close observation, she identifies and brings into form connective tissues between personal and eternal conditions.

She holds a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and an MFA from the University of Southern California. She has exhibited, lectured, and taught widely, nationally, and internationally, including the 2008 Whitney Biennial, The Museum of Modern Art, The Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles, The Walker Art Center, the Bonner Kunstverein, and the Vleshaal Contemporary Art Center. Recently she was included in Crack Up Crack Down, the 33rd Ljubljana Biennial of Graphic Arts curated by Slavs and Tatars, and presented a solo exhibition at the Kunsthall Stavanger, Norway. She has presented commissioned public works at The Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, City Hall Park, New York City, the Parcours Sector of Art Basel Switzerland, and the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. Her work has been featured in Artforum, The New York Times, ArtReview, Modern Painters, Art in America, Flash Art, Art + Auction, and Frieze among others. Ross-Ho lives and works in Los Angeles.

Follow the links below for more information about Amanda Ross-Ho

Mitchell- Innes & Nash Gallery

Artist Interview (Bomb Magazine) 

Contemporary Art Review Podcast


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Past Speakers have included:

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