Visiting Artists and Critics Program

The Visiting Artists & Critics Program (VAPC) fosters a greater understanding and appreciation of contemporary art through dialogue. Artists of national significance working in all media are invited to the Department of Art to present public lectures and meet with graduate students in seminars and for individual critiques. All are welcome to attend workshops and lectures.

Unless otherwise noted, all lectures are at 7:00 pm in InFlux Auditorium, E110, at the Regis Center for Art. All events are free and open to the public.

Fall 2018 Schedule - Upcoming

Wafaa Bilal - Domestic Tension
Wafaa Bilal - "Domestic Tension" 2007

Wafaa Bilal
Thursday, November 1st
Artist Talk | 7:00 PM | Influx Auditorium, E110
Events Cal - Facebook

Iraqi-born artist Wafaa Bilal, an Associate Arts Professor at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, is known internationally for his on-line performative and interactive works provoking dialogue about international politics and internal dynamics. Bilal’s work is constantly informed by the experience of fleeing his homeland and existing simultaneously in two worlds – his home in the “comfort zone” of the U.S. and his consciousness of the “conflict zone” in Iraq. Using his own body as a medium, Bilal continued to challenge our comfort zone with projects like ​3rdi​ and ​...and Counting​. Bilal’s recent body of work, ​Canto III​, premiered in a solo booth at the New York Armory Show in 2015 and went on to be shown in the 2015 Venice Biennale.

Wafaa Bilal is a Boss Foundation Visiting artist. 

Anthony Horse Road

Anthony Horse Road
Thursday, November 8th
Artist Talk | 7:00 PM | Influx Auditorium, E110
Events Cal - Facebook

Anthony Horse Road is an artist, historian and elder in the Lakota Community in Pine Ridge, South Dakota. Anthony has been doing quill work and working in various other media for many years, approaching the work through ceremony and ancestors.

Anthony’s talk is co-sponsored by Backyard Phenology.

Fall 2018 Schedule - Past

Sarah Cwynar - VACP

Sara Cwynar 
Wednesday, September 12
Artist Talk | 7:00 PM | Influx Auditorium, E110
(Events Cal) (Facebook)

Sara Cwynar ​will discuss the exhibition of her work, ​Image Model Muse​, which​ ​opens at Mia on September 14th. ​Her work explores the subjects of color and design, both in film and photography, and considers the ways they have operated politically, socially and historically, particularly in the context of how we conceptualize beauty.

Within her work, Cwynar builds multi-layered theses that look not just to the history of design and production, but also to how the political realm we inhabit dates, fades, and changes. Cwynar extensively quotes philosophers, cultural theorists, and writers in her films through voiceovers; sources range from the writings of Jean Baudrillard and Martin Heidegger to Lauren Berlant and Toni Morrison. She also considers how a post-feminist landscape can make both the sexism and counter-sexism of earlier decades appear dated, even kitsch. Yet Cwynar constantly returns to the theme of progress and reaction and explores how these are still powerful forces, regardless of the forms they may now take. Cwynar's talk is co-sponsored by the Minneapolis Institute of Art.

Pablo Helguera - VACP 

Pablo Helguera

Friday, September 21
Workshop | 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM | Regis West Performance Space
Artist Talk | 7:00 PM | Weisman Art Museum
(Events Cal) (Facebook)

Pablo Helguera ​(Mexico City, 1971) ​is a New York based artist working with installation, sculpture, photography, drawing, socially engaged art and performance, and is the education director at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. Helguera's four hour workshop will guide students through creation of a performance lecture. In a collaborative process involving the entire group, students will learn how to combine their individual ideas and interests to create a productive collective process of ideation, design and performance. Please watch for an email to sign up for this workshop. Helguera's visit is co-sponsored by the University of Minnesota's Weisman Art Museum, Department of Chicana/o & Latino Studies, and Center for Urban and Regional Affairs.

Liz Tenebaum - Visiting Curator Talk

Liz Tennenbaum
Thursday, October 18
Artist Talk | 7:00 PM | Influx Auditorium, E110
(Events Cal) (Facebook)

Elizabeth Tenenbaum is an art advisor, collection manager and art appraiser who lives in Brooklyn, New York. Her career began at Art in General, a nonprofit organization that assists artists with the production and presentation of new work. She has been active in the New York City art world for over 20 years working with galleries, assisting artists in residency programs, working as the art director for a nationwide publication and as the assistant director at an art foundation. She is the director of Syzygy, a curatorial study platform focused on unique contemporary works on paper.

Spring 2018:

Land, Body Industry
Panel, Thursday February 1, 7pm

This Panel discussion features three artists in the upcoming show in the Katherin . Nash Gallery, Land, Body, Industry, curated by Teréz Iacovino.  Leslie Grant, Alexa Horochowski, and Rini Yun Keagy respectively use photography, sculpture, and film to investigate the body’s collective and individual relationships to industrial histories, labor, and landscape.

Bo Zheng
Artist Talk, Thursday,  February 22nd, 7pm
In conjunction with the exhibition the Politics of Weeds.

Jeffrey Dell 
Talk, Tuesday,  March 20th, 7pm

Jeffrey Dell utilizes traditional printmaking materials in an unconventional manner. His work responds to and elicits desire and impulse in a playful, illusionary space. Bohemian press is running a workshop with Jeffrey, learning his tricks in screen printing methods and materials by assisting Jeffrey in printing an edition of six layer screen prints on yupo paper.

This artist is sponsored by Bohemian Press.

Cecilia Aldarondo
Film Screening and Artist Discussion, Monday, March 26, 5:30pm
with Jane Blocker, Associate Dean for Arts and Humanities, Professor, Art History Department

Aldorando’s film Memories of a Penitent is a documentary that charts Aldarondo’s excavation of a buried family conflict around her uncle Miguel’s death. It is a cautionary tale about the unresolved conflicts wrought by AIDS, and a nuanced exploration of how faith is used and abused in times of crisis.

This event is co-sponsored by the Interdisciplinary Center for the Study of Global Change. Additional sponsors include Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature (CSCL), Moving Image and Media Studies (MIMS).

Nicholas Galanin
Artist Talk Wednesday,  March 28th at 7pm

Galanin’s installations and interventions encourage reflection on the cultural amnesia that actively obscures collective memory and acquisition of knowledge. His practice includes numerous collaborations with visual and recording artists and he is also a member of two artist collectives: Black Constellation and Winter Count. 

This Artist talk is co-sponsored by the Walker Art Center in collaboration with the Department of Art and American Indian Studies.

Patricia Olynyk
Artist Talk Friday, March 30th at 7pm

Patricia Olynyk’s work examines the ways in which culture and institutional structures shape our knowledge and understanding of history, science and the natural world.  Appropriating medical imaging technologies and methods of collecting, documenting, and exhibiting scientific artifacts, her work addresses how interpretation fluctuates between fact and speculation. Her installations, sculpture, photography and performances operate at the intersections between sensing and knowing, and order and affect.

This artist talk is supported by the Boss Foundation.

Emer Grant
Artist Lecture April 18, 7pm

Material and Immaterial Architectures: Navigating platform capitalism and institutional critique through exhibition making & artistic practice. Institutions by nature can be limited and limiting. They are excluding, interpersonal, impersonal, hierarchical, bounded and dominating. The rise of global networks of computation has left the institution to face further crisis as digital platforms compete for the data (and responsibility) once accredited to brick and mortar institutions.

Justine Johnson & Bobby Zokaites
Artists Lecture April 19, 7pm

Justine Johnson (London and Wales) and Bobby Zokaites (Arizona) will be participating in the 49th Annual University of Minnesota Iron Pour as resident visiting artists. They will be giving their joint talk here one day before the Iron Pour.

This Artist talk and residency is supported by the Foundry Club and the Sculpture Foundry program.

Cristóbal Martínez: Postcommodity​
Artist Talk April 26, 7pm

Postcommodity's art functions as a shared Indigenous lens and voice to engage the assaultive manifestations of the global market and its supporting institutions, public perceptions, beliefs, and individual actions that comprise the ever-expanding, multinational, multiracial and multi ethnic colonizing force that is defining the 21st Century through ever increasing velocities and complex forms of violence.

Marcel van Eeden
Artist Lecture May 1, 7pm

Dutch-born Marcel van Eeden lives and works in Switzerland, Germany, and the Netherlands. He is known for black-and-white charcoal drawings and graphically powerful work. Van Eeden uses historical documents and found imagery, including photographs, exhibition catalogues, newspapers, magazines, and illustrations, as a basis for his work. 


Fall 2017:

Lecture Wednesday, October 18, 7pm

Sonia Barrett
Lecture Thursday, October 26, 7pm

Hannes Brunner
Lecture Thursday, November 2, 7pm

Dorit Cypis
Lecture Wednesday, November 15, 7pm

Cynthia Daignault
Lecture Thursday, November 30, 7pm



Spring 2017:

Lori Felker

February 9, 2017

Nyeema Morgan

February 16, 2017

Shaurya Kumar

March 7, 2017

Laura Feldberga

March 23, 2017

Hasan Elahi

Boss Foundation Visitor

March 30, 2017

Park McArthur

April 19, 2017

Laida Lertxundi

April 24, 2017


Fall 2016:


Marcel van Eeden

Marcel van Eeden

September 13, 2016

Marcel van Eeden presented in conjunction with the Department of Art’s exchange program with the State Academy of Art in Karlsruhe, Germany, where he teaches in the area of Drawing and Painting.

Dutch-born Marcel van Eeden lives and works in Switzerland, Germany, and the Netherlands. He is known for black-and-white charcoal drawings and graphically powerful work. Van Eeden uses historical documents and found imagery, including photographs, exhibition catalogues, newspapers, magazines, and illustrations, as a basis for his work. 


Daniel Barrow
Daniel Barrow, Richard Tremblay image (photo credit Richard Tremblay) The Thief of Mirrors, performance document at the Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art, 2014

Daniel Barrow

October 6, 2016

Winnipeg-born, Montreal-based artist Daniel Barrow works in video, film, print-making and drawing, but is best known for his use of antiquated technologies, his “registered projection” installations, and his narrative overhead projection performances. Barrow describes his performance method as a process of, “creating and adapting comic narratives to manual forms of animation by projecting, layering and manipulating drawings on overhead projectors”.





Sue Coe
Sue Coe, "You Consume Their Terror," Drawing, 2011

Sue Coe

Boss Foundation Visitor
October 13, 2016

Sue Coe is one of the foremost political artists working today. Her work has been featured on the cover of ARTnews and in numerous museum collections and exhibitions, including a retrospective at the Hirshhorn Museum, Washington, DC. A firm believer in the power of the media to change attitudes, Coe has had artworks published in The New York Times, The New Yorker, Rolling Stone, Blab! and many others. Coe’s books include How to Commit Suicide in South Africa (1983), [Malcolm] X (1986), Police State (1987), and Bully! Master of the Global Merry-Go-Round (2004). Her print cycle The Tragedy of War (2000) was inspired by Francisco Goya’s Disasters of War etchings (1810–20) and examines the phenomenon of human violence and the horrors of combat. The artist is best known for documenting the atrocities committed by people against animals, starting with her award-winning book Dead Meat (1996). Other publications on the subject include Pit’s Letter (2000), Sheep of Fools . . . A Song Cycle for 5 Voices (2005), and Cruel (2012). A series of drawings and paintings, Elephants We Must Never Forget (2008), documents the abuse of elephants in the circus and elsewhere.

Watch the lecture here (UMN Faculty/Staff/Students).



Travis McEwen
Travis McEwen, The Arch, 16” by 24”, Oil on linen on board, 2016

Travis McEwen

November 3, 2016

Travis McEwen was born in Red Deer, Alberta, Canada. He received an MFA from Concordia University, Montreal, and a BFA from the University of Alberta, Edmonton. Primarily working within the medium of painting as well as collage his work has been preoccupied with experiences of otherness and peripheral positions especially in regard to western limitations of gender and sexuality. More recently this has extended to Science Fiction and utopian motifs. He has shown work throughout Canada, including shows at Latitude 53 in Edmonton, Galerie La Centrale Powerhouse in Montreal, Owens Art Gallery in Sackville, New Brunswick and at the Art Gallery of Alberta, Edmonton in which he was included in Future Station: 2015 Alberta Biennial of Contemporary Art. Currently he is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Minnesota, Department of Art, Minneapolis. He is represented by dc3 art projects in Edmonton.



Nina Beier

Nina Beier

Boss Foundation Visitor
November 15, 2016








Bernard Perlin, Vacant Lots
Bernard Perlin (1918-2014), Vacant Lots, 1948, Tempera on Masonite, 24 x 30 in., Myron Kunin Collection of American Art

Robert Cozzolino

December 1, 2016
Robert Cozzolino began at Mia on February 29, 2016—a leap day. He has been called the “curator of the dispossessed” for championing underrepresented artists and uncommon perspectives on well-known artists. He has collaborated with many contemporary artists, and in 2014 organized the largest American museum exhibition of David Lynch’s visual art. A native of Chicago, he studied at the University of Illinois at Chicago before receiving his MA and PhD (2006) from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. In his work on American art he has emphasized regional diversity, integrating artists of Illinois, Wisconsin, California, and other areas into installations, thematic exhibitions, and his scholarship. Before joining Mia he was the senior curator and Evelyn and Will Kaplan Curator of Modern Art at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) in Philadelphia, where he oversaw more than 30 exhibitions, including retrospectives of George Tooker, Peter Blume, and Elizabeth Osborne. He acquired more than 2,000 objects for PAFA, mostly gifts, including the Linda Lee Alter Collection of Art by Women and major collections of work by Sue Coe, Ellen Lanyon, and Miriam Schapiro.

Dr. Cozzolino's lecture will be "Bernard Perlin and The Unification of Opposites." In histories of Modern art, abstraction has most often been privileged as the language of the avant-garde. Realism has often been cast as conservative, retrograde. Neither generalization fits and reexamining the American art world ca. 1950 makes this clear. Dr. Cozzolino will discuss the ways in which realism and abstraction were separated by critics but integrated by artists using the work of Bernard Perlin (1918-2014) as a case study.



Spring 2016:

Blanket, Lum and Desranleau
Chloe Lum and Yannick Desranleau, Blanket

Chloe Lum & Yannick Desranleau

January 25, 2016

Chloe Lum & Yannick Desranleau are multidisciplinary visual artists based in Montreal. Their work focuses on the lifespan of material, and how material stresses cause reactions that can be said to animate the materials. The duo is equally interested in collaboration; with each other, other artists, and their materials, as both subject matter and research interest. These interests in collaboration and materiality inform their practice in installation, sculpture, photography, dance, print and video wherein objects perform via their decay; to be reused and redeployed wearing the traces of past use. They have exhibited widely, recently at The Confederation Center for The Arts Gallery in Charlottetown, and The Center for Book and Paper Arts at Columbia College in Chicago. Find more information about their presentation here.




Tonja Torgerson, Plagued, 2013



Tonja Torgerson

February 25, 2016

Tonja Torgerson creates printmaking based installation work that embraces and questions the current direction of the medium and use of the multiple. Torgeson employs traditional printmaking methods, wheat paste and installation to broach the subjects of human impermanence and decay. Torgerson holds a BFA from the University of Minnesota and an MFA from Syracuse University. She is currently a Print Studio Fellow at the Lawrence Arts Center in Lawrence, Kansas.

This talk is in conjunction with Free Radicals: Remixing History Through the Power of Print.





Scott Nedrelow, Earthrise/Earthset
Scott Nedrelow, Earthrise/Earthset

Scott Nedrelow

February 29, 2016

Scott Nedrelow is a multidisciplinary artist working across platforms including photography, video, and sculpture.  

In 2011 Nedrelow presented Movie, a six-channel video installation, as a Minnesota Artists Exhibition Program show at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. Movie was acquired and installed in the exhibition 75 Gifts for 75 Years at the Walker Art Center in 2015. Earthrise/earthset, a two-channel video, was shown in The Nature of Nature at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts in 2014. A work from his 2014 solo exhibition Afterlight at David Petersen Gallery is included in Ordinary Pictures, a survey of conceptual image-based practices at the Walker Art Center in 2016. Nedrelow is a 2015/16 McKnight Visual Artist Fellow and has received a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. 

Trenton Doyle Hancock, Knowledge from Samantha, 2015

Trenton Doyle Hancock

April 7, 2016

Trenton Doyle Hancock  earned his BFA from Texas A&M University, Commerce, and his MFA from the Tyler School of Art at Temple University, Philadelphia. Hancock’s prints, drawings, and collaged-felt paintings work together to tell the story of the Mounds—a group of mythical creatures that are the tragic protagonists of the artist’s unfolding narrative. Each new work by Hancock is a contribution to the saga of the Mounds, portraying the birth, life, death, afterlife, and even dream states of these half-animal, half-plant creatures. Influenced by the history of painting, especially Abstract Expressionism, Hancock transforms traditionally formal decisions—such as the use of color, language, and pattern—into opportunities to create new characters, develop sub-plots, and convey symbolic meaning. Hancock’s paintings often rework Biblical stories that the artist learned as a child from his family and local church community. Balancing moral dilemmas with wit and a musical sense of language and color, Hancock’s works create a painterly space of psychological dimensions. He is represented in New York by James Cohan Gallery and was featured in PBS' Art:21.

Coral Lambert
Coral Lambert

Coral Penelope Lambert

April 14, 2016

Coral Penelope Lambert is internationally recognized for large scale cast metal sculpture. Born and raised in London, UK she studied sculpture with Sir Anthony Caro and other leading figures in the field since living in America. She was an international research fellow at the University of Minnesota from 1995-98 and continues to utilize foundry practice to harness metals rich history in myth and mining. She is currently Associate Professor of Sculpture at Alfred University in Upstate New York where she directs the National Casting Centre Foundry. Her work can be seen in many sculpture parks, prestigious exhibitions and collections around the world. 

This talk in conjunction with the 47th Annual Iron Pour: Iron Disco.

Fallah_Great Mystery
Amir H. Fallah, The Great Mystery Into Which We Were Born, 2015

Amir H. Fallah

April 28, 2015

Amir H. Fallah received his BFA from Maryland Institute College of Art in 2001 and his MFA from University of California Los Angeles in 2005. His artistic oeuvre encompasses painting, drawing and sculpture/installation, with collage and complex patterning forming a large part of the visual vocabulary. The works are decidedly ornate but present a critical observation of the deconstruction and appropriation of portraiture in all its various forms. In his more recent body of work, aside from unravelling a different perspective to art historical portraiture traditions and the dynamics of modern day art collection and art making, he also reflects upon concerns of identity and representation that are central to his practice. 

Amir has exhibited widely across the United States and internationally. Amir is a 2015 recipient of the Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters & Sculptors Grant. His works are part of several private and public collections, including the Nerman Museum Of Contemporary Art and the Salsali Private Museum Collection. Amir lives and works in Los Angeles, California.


For a complete list of upcoming public programs in the Department of Art, visit the UMN events calendar

See an archive of past VACP and other lectures.