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Friday, April 19, 2024

News in Brief: Art Studio Department presents Visiting Artist Lecture Series

The Visiting Artist Lecture Series, in which distinguished figures from the art world speak on campus, begins on Thursday with photographer Alec Soth.

“Soth takes photographs of workers in the South,” said Hearne Pardee, the chair for the Department of Art and Art History. “He really explores the American society in ways that are interesting to everyone.”

Soth’s work has been exhibited in the Whitney Museum in New York City, the 2004 São Paulo Art Biennial and the Jeu de Paume in Paris.

According to Pardee, the lecture series had existed in some form since the 1970s, although it became more ambitious around 2001, when the program began to feature seven to eight speakers a year.

The coordinator position for the lecture series is offered to a second-year graduate student in the Art Studio Department who volunteers for it. This year, the position is shared by Brett Davis and Alyssa Lempesis.

The speakers are chosen by the various faculty members and graduate students in the art department.

“We cast a fairly wide net to the other grads in the department,” Davis said. “We ask for suggestions for potential lecturers from various fields, and then meet with our mentors. We narrow the list down based on availabilities and who would be more likely to respond to our solicitations.”

Davis and Lempesis then contact the potential lecturers to discover their schedules and use that to select the most preferred speakers.

“Personally, I wanted to have the Los Angeles-based painter Laura Owens speak,” Davis said. “She was interested from the get-go and it happened to fit in her schedule, so she will be arriving later in the winter.”

Not all of the lecturers in the series are artists. For instance, Bill Arning, who will visit Davis in April, is the curator of Contemporary Arts Museum Houston.

“We have a writer and curator, a couple of painters, a sculptor and a new media artist,” Davis said. “It’s always good to mix it up, and I feel proud of the group.”

To see the full list of speakers, visit arts.ucdavis.edu.

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