University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee

Artists Now!


Guest Lecture Series

The Department of Art & Design proudly presents Artists Now!, a Wednesday evening lecture series designed for a broad audience with an interest in contemporary visual art. It presents a diverse group of artists working across traditional, hybrid and emergent disciplines. Join these nationally and inter- nationally recognized practitioners as they explore and expand the boundaries of creative visual practice today.

All lectures take place on Wednesdays at 7 pm in the Arts Center Lecture Hall on the UWM campus. FREE and open to the public!

This series is supported in part by the Frederick R. Layton Fund, the John Colt Memorial Art Fund, CASA, Object and Inova.

9/11/13 - Kukuli Velarde
9/18/13 - Renee Zettle-Sterling
9/25/13 - Shaurya Kumar
10/2/13 - Chip Thomas
10/9/13 - Faythe Levine
10/23/13 - Lois Bielefeld
11/6/13 - Karen Kunc
11/13/13 - Fred Stonehouse
2/5/14 - Gustav Reyes
2/12/14 - James Haywood Rolling, Jr.
2/26/14 - Sandra de la Loza
3/12/14 - Katherine Ross
3/26/14 - Leslie Smith III
4/2/14 - Mendi and Keith Obadike
4/9/14 - Aimee Beaubien
4/16/14 - Paul Catanese


 Kukuli Velarde - Keeping History Alive

September 11, 2013:
Kukuli Velarde - Keeping History Alive

Velarde will show images of what has made her an artist - from the landscapes of Perú and its people to its pre-Columbian past and the traditional arts that are a vital part of Peruvian aesthetics today. Velarde will also show her progression from an “artist” child to an artist, and the importance of family support.

Renee Zettle-Sterling - Objects of Mourning 

September 18, 2013:
Renee Zettle-Sterling - Objects of Mourning

Zettle-Sterling will discuss the trajectory of her art and design work, going in depth with recent projects, as they relate to her interests in “Things and Thingness” at large.

Shaurya Kumar - Glimpses into the Vanishing Originals 

September 25, 2013:
Shaurya Kumar - Glimpses into the Vanishing Originals

Loss of art is a loss of history, a loss of spirit of time. A progeny of the society that gestated it, an artwork embodies a past and a history in itself. It therefore survives as a filial relic of the parent civilization, fossilized in time yet fresh as a Mayflower. Yet art itself is far from immortal. Its preservation and salvation has always been a battle against nature, time—and, man. Kumar will discuss his latest work, that rhetorically raises concerns regarding methods of documentation, archiving, curation and preservation in the “Post-Post” society; a society that is often mediated through the plastic pixels of the computer screen.

Chip Thomas - Life with the Navajo through Images, Words and Wheat Paste 

October 2, 2013:
Chip Thomas - Life with the Navajo through Images, Words and Wheat Paste

Lessons learned in 25 years on the “rez.” Stories told and retold. Merging photography, street art, public art and public health in native communities in Arizona.

Faythe Levine - Busy Hands, Happy Heart 

October 9, 2012:
Faythe Levine - Busy Hands, Happy Heart

Levine (2012 Nohl Fellow - Established Category) takes you on a tour of inspiration guided with her photographs documenting subjects such as rural land projects, sign painters and artists from around the globe. The core of her creativity centers on community, art, empowerment and documentation. Levine will discuss her creative process, and building art community.

*Levine talks in conjuncture with a show at INOVA, which runs Sept. 27-Dec. 15.

Lois Bielefeld - The Conceptual Portrait 

October 23, 2013:
Lois Bielefeld - The Conceptual Portrait

Bielefeld (2012 Nohl Fellow - Emerging Category) will focus on three points of contact. First, the conceptual portrait: historically, in her own work, and with artists from which she finds inspiration. Second, her own creative process. And third, the technical and experiential aspects of her practice.

*Bielefeld talks in conjuncture with a show at INOVA, which runs Sept. 27-Dec. 15.

Karen Kunc - Printedness: An Inner Dialogue

November 6, 2013:
Karen Kunc - Printedness: An Inner Dialogue

Kunc discusses her work as a printmaker, in an eclectic presentation that draws associations and implications on her graphic instinct.

 Fred Stonehouse - Deacon’s Seat

November 13, 2013:
Fred Stonehouse - Deacon’s Seat

Stonehouse’s work is positioned somewhere between the magic realist and imagist traditions of the Midwest and the growing phenomenon of Pop Surrealism. Stonehouse will talk about his work of the last ten years and a variety of specific references that have been important in developing his visual vocabulary, showing examples of work alongside reference images ranging from Mexican folk art to the hand-painted signs of Milwaukee’s inner city.

Gustav Reyes - Life Before Mind 

February 5, 2014:
Gustav Reyes - Life Before Mind

Humans surpass biological processes by creating. The desire to create is the vehicle by which we extend our minds and souls beyond the limits of our physical selves. Through the material and creation of the work, Reyes considers the complexities of the life cycle.

James Haywood Rolling, Jr. - Cinderella Story 

February 12, 2014:
James Haywood Rolling, Jr. - Cinderella Story

This lecture presents the notion that a poststructural and unexpected identity can be created from the charred embers of self-imagery strewn about an ash heap of stereotypes—a negotiated identity reinterpreted atop a pyre of modern identity constructs, authoritative stories, and assigned names. Consequentially, a Cinderella ending is not the end of a story; rather, it is the inauguration of a new ever after.

Sandra de la Loza - Art as a Living Practice 

February 26, 2014:
Sandra de la Loza - Art as a Living Practice

De la Loza returned home to LA from college three weeks after the 1992 riots. She’s spent the last 20 years approaching art as a space to enact personal and collective agency on contemporary political, social and cultural landscapes. Through a performative lecture that combines visuals from her personal archive and an experimental narrative, de la Loza reflects on her journey as an artist and the potential of art to shape our own identities and the world.

Katherine Ross - Propositions, Conversations and Unforeseen Outcomes 

March 12, 2014:
Katherine Ross - Propositions, Conversations and Unforeseen Outcomes

Ross describes the redirection of her ceramic practice through the use of animal collaborations and the histories of porcelain. The starting point is to accept an unknowable outcome, and then it gets interesting.

 Lesley Vance

March 26, 2014:
Leslie Smith III

Construction lumber, cubed structures, veils, and shrouded bits of architecture are the repeating characters in Smith’s current abstractions. Inspired by personal narrative and day-to-day interpersonal relationships, his paintings concentrate on employing abstraction to communicate the poetics of the human experience. Smith will talk about his formal, conceptual, and narrative concerns, focusing on the significance of process and the role signifiers have in creating his casts of characters and their relationship to the overall development of his paintings.

Mendi and Keith Obadik - Recent Works 

April 2, 2014:
Mendi and Keith Obadike - Recent Works

A presentation focusing on excerpts from Mendi and Keith’s recent intermedia works, opera-masquerades and single media art. The pair work across music and sound art, poetry and literature, installation and performance.

 Aimee Beaubien - Always Wherever

April 9, 2014:
Aimee Beaubien - Always Wherever

Beaubien will discuss how photography is used to complicate collage forms that overlap, intersect, and upend expectations of foreground, background, object, subject and motion.

 Paul Catanese - The Hybrid Media Works of Paul Catanese

April 16, 2014:
Paul Catanese - The Hybrid Media Works of Paul Catanese

Catanese incorporates the strengths of digital and traditional art materials, creating artworks of many forms, including virtual and physical. He will be presenting installations, printmaking, hand papermaking w/electronic inclusions, site-specific projects, and electronic media artworks. He will also discuss his recently published book Post-Digital Printmaking: CNC, Traditional, and Hybrid Techniques.