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Saint Vincent College to host ViVA artist series

ViVA is pleased to partner with Saint Vincent College’s dual museums – the Foster and Muriel McCarl Coverlet Gallery and Verostko Center for the Arts – to announce their upcoming joint fall series of virtual visiting artist talks and conversations. Scheduled for four Thursday evenings throughout the semester, each talk will take place over Zoom at 7:00 PM Eastern.


All four artists and collectives are united by their focus on interrelated themes that motivate their artistic work and creative practices, teaching, and community activism, including anti-racism, Black Lives Matter and racial inequality; the history of slavery; resilience, wellness and mental health; and power and privilege, as they intersect with climate change and environmental justice. The schedule is as follows:


Jordan Weber: Thursday, September 30, 7:00 PM Eastern

Interdisciplinary and socially engaged artist Jordan Weber grew up as a biracial environmentalist in Iowa. He consistently works at the intersections of racial justice and environmental rejuvenation with a commitment to centering the voices and needs of Black, Brown, and Indigenous communities and fostering self-empowerment by replacing food deserts and irremediable landscapes with edible gardens. Examples of this work include a recent Walker Art Center commission at the urban Youth Farm in North Minneapolis, and 4MX Greenhouse (4 Malcolm X Greenhouse), near Malcolm X’s birth house in North Omaha, Nebraska. He locates connections between the pillaging of indigenous land to the modern high rates of mass incarceration in Iowa, and has participated in an incarcerated youth self-empowerment exhibition, KnowJustice, with ArtForce Iowa. He is an active member of the Close the Workhouse campaign to shut down St. Louis’ Medium Security Institute; part of a current Pulitzer Arts Fellowship. He is also an inaugural Loeb/ArtLab Fellow at Harvard (2021-2022).


Ghana Think Tank: Thursday, October 7, 7:00 PM Eastern

Award-winning Ghana ThinkTank is an international artist collective that “develops the first world” by asking their “third world” think tanks to intervene in problems centered in the so-called “developed” nations, thereby undermining the traditional power dynamics of geopolitical relationships. Their think tanks include: a group of bike mechanics in Ghana; a rural radio station in El Salvador; Sudanese refugees in Israel; an artist collective in Iran; and a group of incarcerated girls in the Boston penal system. As the groups propose solutions that are implemented in the “first world” stereotypes are exposed. They have worked in Ghana, Cuba, El Salvador, Mexico, Iran, Serbia, Indonesia, Sudan and Morocco, and their projects have been featured in the Venice Biennial of Architecture, the National Museum of Wales, Hong Kong/Shenzhen Biennial of Architecture and Urbanism, among others. Collective members in this series: Christopher Robbins (Associate Professor and Director, School of Art + Design, SUNY-Purchase) and Maria Del Carmen Montoya (Assistant Professor of Art, Corcoran School of Art at George Washington University).


Rania Lee Khalil: Thursday, October 21, 7:00 PM Eastern

Rania Lee Khalil makes live performances and moving-images that reflect on the beauty and disappearance of indigenous plant, animal and human cultures, ecology, third world feminism, post coloniality and healing. Originally trained in dance, somatic movement, and Butoh—in her videos she explores lo-fi and analog systems of making. She has received many prestigious awards and her work has been featured at The Judson Church, La Mama Galleria, Martin Segal Theater, Utopia Station, and The Ontological-Hysteric Theater (New York); the 56th Venice Biennale, and venues in Japan, Palestine, Egypt, and Finland. She recently completed a practice-based doctorate at the University of Arts Helsinki, and teaches at Parsons, The New School. She completed her BA at Hampshire College and two MA degrees: the first at Hunter College (social work and community organizing; New York) with postgraduate training in the Diversity program at Ackerman Institute for the Family; and second in International Performance as Research from the University of Warwick (England).The daughter of Egyptian immigrants to the U.S., Khalil lived and worked in Cairo, Egypt (2007-2016).


Courtney Desiree Morris: Thursday, November 11, 7:00 PM Eastern

Courtney Desiree Morris employs photography, video, installation, and performance art to examine our sense of place—through migration, ancestry, and shared social memory—and how places inhabit us. Her creative practice acknowledges the way history persists in both the body and the environment, surfacing connections between ecology, memory, and a constant search for “home.” She often uses her body to remember experiences of loss, dispossession and the persistent struggle to make a place for oneself, with a particular emphasis on the African Diaspora in North America, Latin America, the Caribbean, and West Africa; and the experiences of female ancestors and elders whose stories are often disappeared. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, including at that Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (San Francisco), the National Gallery of Jamaica, Photographic Center Northwest (Seattle), the SF LGBT Center (San Francisco), and others. Morris’ creative practice draws on her work as a social anthropologist and assistant professor of Gender and Women’s Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, where she teaches courses on critical race theory, feminist theory, and environmental politics.


This low carbon virtual visiting artist series is organized by the Foster and Muriel McCarl Coverlet Gallery and Verostko Center for the Arts at Saint Vincent College and curated by ViVA Virtual Visiting Artists. By hosting virtual visiting artist talks instead of on-campus in-person visits, Saint Vincent reduced travel-related consumption by 2.1 metric tons of CO2. That equates to traveling around the world 8.7 times by electric train or being vegetarian for 3.9 years. Virtual programs also enable inclusion and accessibility for many disabled audience members, those who are unable to travel, or for patrons who live a great distance from campus.


For more information on this and other Saint Vincent College museum and gallery programs, please contact: Lauren Churilla, Director of the Foster and Muriel McCarl Coverlet Gallery at lauren.churilla@stvincent.edu, 724-805-2188.


To learn more about ViVA Virtual Visiting Artists, please visit the website and sign up for our newsletter at vivavirtualartists.org. Or, contact Dr. Natalie Marsh, Executive Director & Chief Curator, natalie.marsh@vivavirtualartists.org, 740-202-8069.



photo: Saint Vincent College



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