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.

9/10/14 - Charles Beneke
9/17/14 - Trudy Benson
9/24/14 - The M12 Collective
10/8/14 - Special Entertainment
10/15/14 - Ray Chi
10/29/14 - Kerstin Winking
11/5/14 - JD Beltran
11/12/14 - Kiel Johnson
11/19/14 - Christian Patterson
2/4/15 - Carol Golemboski
2/11/15 - Ryan Mandell
2/18/15 - A. Bill Miller
2/25/15 - Nick Tobier
3/4/15 - Zoe Nelson
3/25/15 - Annu Palakunnathu Matthew
4/1/15 - Rosa Menkman, Beyond Resolution
4/8/15 - Bob Ebendorf
4/15/15 - Souther Salazar
4/22/15 - Kryssi Staikidis
4/29/15 - Patricia Olynyk


Charles Beneke, Radiative Forcing 

September 10, 2014:
Charles Beneke, Radiative Forcing

Charles Beneke’s print-based, multi-media work views global warming through the lens of accumulation - not only of destructive industrial activity, greenhouse gasses and willful disregard, but also of human innocation and beauty. In his lecture, titled “Radiative Forcing,” he will discuss the development of, ideas and issues driving, and aspirations for his artwork.

Trudy Benson, Why Are You Still Painting? The Importance of Painting in a Post-Digital Age 

September 17, 2014:
Trudy Benson, Why Are You Still Painting? The Importance of Painting in a Post-Digital Age

Trudy Benson is known for her large-scale abstract paintings that utilize large swaths and globs of paint. Her style was influenced by early computer painting programs, such as MacPaint and Windows Paint.

The M12 Collective 

September 24, 2014:
The M12 Collective

The M12 Collective is known for groundbreaking and award-winning creative projects that explore the aesthetics of rural cultures and landscapes.

Andrew Swant 

October 8, 2014:
Special Entertainment, Andrew Swant & Bobby Ciraldo

Artists and filmmakers, Andrew Swant & Bobby Ciraldo are an award-winning partnership known mostly for what they thought of as side projects. Their works include the documentary feature William Shatner's Gonzo Ballet, YouTube phenomenon What What (In the Butt), and Hamlet A.D.D. Swant & Ciraldo are co-owners of Special Entertainment, their Milwaukee-based production company, and 2013 Mary L. Nohl Fund Fellows in the Established Artists Category.

Ray Chi, Playing for Keeps 

October 15, 2014:
Ray Chi, Playing for Keeps

Chi believes that playful experiences need not be limited to children and that they can be integrated into our designed world in challenging and sophisticated ways. This lecture will include Chi’s research into this subject, as well as personal sculptural investigations that promote the effect of play as a uniquely creative state of being.

Kerstin Winking, Global Collaborations & the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam 

October 29, 2014:
Kerstin Winking, Global Collaborations & the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam

Winking will discuss the dynamics of where contemporary art is made and shown, specifically the global collaboration within Amsterdam’s Stedelijk Museum.

JD Beltran, Materials, Metaphors and the Language of Storytelling  

November 5, 2014:
JD Beltran, Materials, Metaphors and the Language of Storytelling

JD Beltran will discuss her projects, which evolved from asking complete strangers to share their deepest secrets so she could reveal them online, to co-inventing the world’s first Cinema Snowglobe. Throughout, she will illuminate her own experience in what she considers every artist’s greatest challenge - to create a seamless and invisible conjunction of concept, material, execution and process to produce a result that both engages and leaves an indelible impression with the viewer.

Kiel Johnson 

November 12, 2014:
Kiel Johnson, Handmade, Hardwork, & Having Fun

Kiel Johnson is a Los Angeles-based artist, currently running around the West Coast and getting involved in any creative project that will have him. With an emphasis on drawings and sculpture, his works always say “handmade, hardwork and having fun.” Kiel brings the inanimate to live, giving us a world not unlike our own, but entirely his.

Christian Patterson, Photography, Narrative and the Book 

November 19, 2014:
Christian Patterson, Photography, Narrative and the Book

Christian Patterson will share and discuss his influences, multi-disciplinary work process, books and installations, including the critically-acclaimed Redheaded Peckerwood, which is based on a true crime story, and his most recent work, Bottom of the Lake, which revisits and re-presents his hometown of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, utilizing photographs, documents and objects.

Ryan Mandell, Shifting Utopia 

February 11, 2015:
Ryan Mandell, Shifting Utopia

In his talk, Ryan Mandell will discuss his research on historic and contemporary attempts at the formation of Utopian society in the Netherlands via architecture, urban planning and design. Almere, the Netherlands’ youngest city, located on the world’s largest artificial island, is the central focus of this research.

A. Bill Miller, Revisiting the Gridworks Collection Project Archive  

February 18, 2015:
A. Bill Miller, Revisiting the Gridworks Collection Project Archive

A. Bill Miller, an Assistant Professor of Art and Design at UW-Whitewater, will give a general overview of the developments within the Gridworks Collection Project Archive in recent years. The presentation will include a live audio/visual performance.

Nick Tobier, Starts in the Streets  

February 25, 2015:
Nick Tobier, Starts in the Streets

Tobier’s focus as an artist and designer is on the social lives of public places, both in built structures and events. Using seemingly utilitarian objects and tasks alongside eccentric objects in everyday places, his works offer interruptions as a way to build social situations and to prompt questions of what might be possible.

Zoe Nelson, Painting Through The Absence 

March 4, 2015:
Zoe Nelson, Painting Through The Absence

Nelson will discuss the importance of absence and negation as formal and conceptual frameworks for her current series of cut-out paintings. She will talk about her departure into perpendicular painting and installation and her interest in opening up the site of painting in order to explore sculptural, performative and multi-dimensional possibilities.

Annu Palakunnathu Matthew, Living Between Cultures 

March 25, 2015:
Annu Palakunnathu Matthew, Living Between Cultures

Matthew’s work explores her experience of living between cultures - England, India and the United States. The larger work draws on archival photographs and cultural memory. Matthew’s more recent work also mirrors the direction of the evolving media environment, where the concept of the single frame is being expanded and reevaluated.

Rosa Menkman, Beyond Resolution 

April 1, 2015:
Rosa Menkman, Beyond Resolution

In this lecture, Menkman will discuss media protocols and ask the question, “Have we become bad at constructing our own resolutions, or are we just oblivious to resolutions and their inherent compromises?”

Bob Ebendorf, Jewelry as Personal Adornment 

April 8, 2015:
Bob Ebendorf, Jewelry as Personal Adornment

Ebendorf will discuss his conceptual approach to jewelry-making and the way it questions the nature of adornment itself.

Souther Salazar, Half Imaged/Half Remembered 

April 15, 2015:
Souther Salazar, Half Imaged/Half Remembered

Portland-based, California bred artist Souther Salazar’s installations transport the viewer into a vibrant and endless world of overlappting drawn, painted, sculpted and animated narratives and dreamscapes - half remembered, half imagined places - where stores can develop and take on a life of their own. Through mixed media, found objects and layers of assemblage, Salazar’s work evokes the wonders and imagination that many of us abandoned in childhood.

Kryssi Staikidis, Two But Not Two: Artistry and Research as Personal and Cultural Narrative 

April 22, 2015:
Kryssi Staikidis, Two But Not Two: Artistry and Research as Personal and Cultural Narrative

Cultural Narrative Staikidis’ lecture will focus on her studio practice informed by her scholarly work with Guatemalan Mayan contemporary artists. Her work explores the practices of painting as a site for transformative research, as well as in two research sites, the painting studios of her Maya mentors.Through mixed media, found objects and layers of assemblage, Salazar’s work evokes the wonders and imagination that many of us abandoned in childhood.

Patricia Olynyk, The Mutable Archive  

April 29, 2015:
Patricia Olynyk, The Mutable Archive

Olynyk will discuss her creative work, which explores the dialectics of mind and body, human and artificial, and sensing and knowing. Her work often investigates the ways in which dominant culture and institutional structures shape our understanding of science and the natural world.