Robert Pruitt Lecture

Robert Pruitt
lecture: Sept 20, 2:30pm
The Depot                                    
814 W Broad St
Richmond, VA 23220


Born in Houston in 1975, Robert A. Pruitt received a BA. from Texas Southern University (2000) in Studio Art and an MFA from The University of Texas in Austin(2003) with a concentration in Painting. He has exhibited his work locally, nationally and internationally most notably at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, The Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, The Dallas Museum of Art, The Bronx Museum of Art, the 2006 Whitney Biennial, and the Studio Museum of Harlem. He has participated in influential residencies such as Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, ArtPace, Fabric Workshop Museum, and the Bemis Center for Contemporary Art. He has received numerous awards including the Louis Comfort Tiffany Award, The Joan Mitchell Artist Grant, The Artadia Award, a project grant from the Creative Capital Foundation and the William H. Johnson award. Pruitt works in a variety of materials but his practice is largely centered on rendering portraits of the human body, specifically the black body. He projects onto these bodies a juxtaposing series of experiences and material references, denoting a diverse and radical black past, present and future. Pruitt is currently living and working in New York City.


Torkwase Dyson Lecture

Torkwase Dyson (with sculpture)
lecture: Sept 25, 12pm
student commons                           
907 Floyd Ave
Richmond, VA 23284


Torkwase Dyson was born in Chicago Illinois, and spent her developmental years between North Carolina and Mississippi. Traversing these regions helped develop a fundamental sensitivity towards urban development, southern landscape and black spatial justice. During her years at Tougaloo College where she majored in Sociology and double minored in Social Work and Fine Art, she began to examine the spatial dynamics of black history and environmental justice. Over the next 10 years, Dyson traveled to Africa and South and Central America to strategize with communities of color on ways to attain resource equality. During this time she earned her Bachelors in Fine Arts in Painting from Virginia Commonwealth University and her Masters in Fine Arts in Painting from Yale School of Art. In 2016 Dyson designed and built Studio South Zero (SSZ) a solar-powered mobile studio where the context of nomadicity became the framework for learning and making art about the environment. It was traveling with SSZ that inspired her experimental project The Wynter-Wells Drawing School for Environmental Justice where she explores contemporary theorizations of space, architecture and the infrastructure of extraction economies. Though working through multiple mediums, Torkwase Dyson describes herself as a painter who uses distilled geometric abstraction to create an idiosyncratic language that is both diagrammatic and expressive. The works are deconstructions of natural and built environments that consider how individuals negotiate and negate various types of systems and spatial order.


Dyson’s work has been exhibited at the Studio Museum in Harlem, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Corcoran College of Art and Design, the Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education, and the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art. Dyson is the recipient of Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters & Sculptors award, Nancy Graves Grant for Visual Artists, Visiting Artist grant to the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University, the Culture Push Fellowship for Utopian Practices, Eyebeam Art and Technology Center Fellowship, and the FSP/Jerome Fellowship. Dyson’s work has also been supported by The Drawing Center, Lower Manhattan Cultural Center, The Laundromat Projects, the Green Festival of New York, the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University, the Mural Arts Program of Philadelphia, The Kitchen, and the Rebuild Foundation. In 2016 Dyson was elected to the board of the Architecture League of New York as Vice President of Visual Arts. Torkwase is now based in Brooklyn, New York and is a visiting critic at Yale School of Art.


NYC MFA show


August 26- September 17,2017

Opening Reception August 26, 2017 6:00-8:00 pm


254 Johnson Ave

Brooklyn, NY 11206

Whateverbeing showcases artwork from 15 graduates of the Painting and Printmaking MFA program.

Artists: Saulat Ajmal, Carolina Aranibar-Fernande, Wesley Chavis, Sarah Coote, Eric Diehl, Mat Gasparek, Devin Harlerode, Will Matherson, Beatrice Modisett, Jon Rehwoldt, Jake Reller, Ricardo Ruiz,  Kristen Sanders, Ryan Syrell, Maria Tinaut

Curated by Owen Duffy

Noontime Lecture: Howard Risatti


Howard Risatti is emeritus professor of contemporary art and critical theory in the Department of Art History at Virginia Commonwealth University where he was chair of the Department of Craft/Material Studies from 2001–2005. He is the author of five books: A Theory of Craft: Function and Aesthetic Expression (University of North Carolina Press, 2007); Skilled Work: American Craft in the Renwick Gallery (Smithsonian Institution Press, 1998), co-authored with Kenneth Trapp; The Mountain Lake Workshops: Artists in Locale (Anderson Gallery, Virginia Commonwealth University, 1996), which accompanied the exhibition he curated of the same title; Postmodern Perspectives: Issues in Contemporary Art(Prentice Hall, 1990); and New Music Vocabulary (University of Illinois Press, 1975). His work has appeared in Art Journal, Latin American Art, Woman’s Art Journal, The Studio Potter, Sculpture Magazine, Ceramics Monthly, Ceramics: Art and Perception, Korean Monthly Ceramic Art, Winterthur Portfolio, and Britain’s Crafts Magazine, among others. He has lectured at many conferences, including the Cheongju International Craft Biennale 2003 Academic Symposium and “CRITICAL Santa Fe: Developing Criticism in Ceramics,” a conference organized by the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts.

Noontime Lecture Series: Paul Ryan


Paul Ryan is a painter and art critic living and working in Staunton, Virginia.  Since 1983 he has shown his work in numerous solo and group exhibitions in a variety of venues, including Reynolds Gallery (Richmond, VA),  Marion Gallery, Rockefeller Arts Center at SUNY Fredonia (Fredonia, New York), 1708 Gallery (Richmond, VA), Hartell Gallery at Cornell University (Ithaca, NY), The McLean Project for the Arts (McLean, VA), The University Gallery at The University of South Carolina (Spartanburg, SC), Fine Arts Building Gallery at Virginia Commonwealth University (Richmond, VA), The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (Richmond, VA), Leeds Gallery at Earlham College (Richmond, Indiana), the Armory Gallery at Virginia Tech (Blacksburg, VA), Space 301 (Mobile, Alabama), and the Taubman Museum of Art (Roanoke, VA), among others.  He teaches drawing, painting, and courses on contemporary art and art criticism in the Department of Art and Art History at Mary Baldwin College.  He also teaches critical theory in the MFA program of the Department of Painting and Printmaking in the School of the Arts at Virginia Commonwealth University.  He has been a contributing editor for Art Papers Magazine since 1990.  Since 1989 his writing has appeared in publications such as Art Papers Magazine, Sculpture Magazine, ArtLies, and Art in America.  He is represented by Reynolds Gallery in Richmond, Virginia, and his paintings are in numerous public, corporate, and private collections.