The Visiting Artist Program
Spring 2021 Lecture Series
For over 45 years our visiting artist and scholars' program has reinforced the mission of the Art and Art History Department by affirming the power of art to transform individuals and society. Our faculty invites leading artists and scholars to present an array of artistic practices, historical discourse and divergent perspectives that can increase access to creativity and forge new territories between the arts and broader cultural movements.
All lectures will be live on our YouTube channel — Tuesday nights at 6:30 PM (MST)
Questions? Please reach out by email
Nydia Blas uses photography, collage, video, and books to address matters of sexuality, intimacy, and her lived experience as a girl, woman, and mother. She delicately weaves stories concerning circumstance, value, and power and uses her work to create a physical and allegorical space presented through a Black feminine lens. The result is an environment that is dependent upon the belief that in order to maintain resiliency, a magical outlook is necessary. In this space, props function as extensions of the body, costumes as markers of identity, and gestures/actions reveal the performance, celebration, discovery and confrontation involved in reclaiming one's body for their own exploration and understanding.
Blas is a visual artist who grew up in Ithaca, New York and currently resides in Atlanta, Georgia. She holds a B.S. from Ithaca College, and received her M.F.A. from Syracuse University in the College of Visual and Performing Arts. She is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Art and Visual Culture at Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia. She also works as a freelance photographer for clients such at The New York Times, The Atlantic, The Washington Post, and The New Yorker.
Live presentation: Tues, JANUARY 26, 6:30 PM (MST)
Suchitra Mattai received an MFA in painting and drawing and an MA in South Asian art, from the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. Recent projects include a commission for the Sharjah Biennial 14, inclusion in “State of the Art 2020” at Crystal Bridges Museum/the Momentary, a Denver Art Museum/Biennial of the Americas jointly sponsored installation, a group exhibition at Pen and Brush NYC and solo/two-person exhibitions at K Contemporary Art, Hollis Taggart NYC, and the Center for Visual Arts, Metropolitan State University of Denver (Denver, CO). Her work has been reviewed/included in publications and on-line platforms such as Hyperallergic, Document Journal, Widewalls, Cultured Magazine, the Denver Post, and Wallpaper Magazine and is in the collections of Crystal Bridges Museum, the Denver Art Museum, and the Taylor Art Collection. She is represented by K Contemporary Art (Denver).
Live presentation: Tues, FEBRUARY 9, 6:30 PM (MST)
Mark Salvatus (b. 1980) studied at the University of Santo Tomas in Manila and since 2006 has produced his artistic project as “Salvage Projects” working across various disciplines and media. Basing it to the word ‘salvage’ or to save or rescue which is also the meaning of Salvatus' surname, he builds direct and indirect engagements using objects, photography, archives, videos, installations, participatory projects, and platforms that present different outcomes of energies and experiences. Salvatus preoccupations are based on constant movements and travels - coming from the countryside to the city and elsewhere, addressing and building new imaginations of the contemporary land –urban and rural, the global migrant and the vernacular historiographies. He is interested in communication and miscommunication as a form and as a structure and not as a process. His practice deals a lot with collecting, repetition and series based on lived experiences and the artists relationship to the world.
Live presentation: Tues, MARCH 2, 6:30 PM
Sana Musasama received her BA from City College of New York in 1973 and her MFA from Alfred University, New York in 1988. Sana received the 2018 Achievement Award from the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts for her years of teaching and her humanitarian work with victims of sex trafficking in Cambodia. Sana is the coordinator of the Apron Project, a sustainable entrepreneurial project for girls and young women reintegrated back into society after being forced into sex trafficking. In 2016, she was a guest speaker on “Activism through Art” at ROCA. A recently published article by Cliff Hocker, “If I can Help Somebody: Sana Musasama’s Art of Healing” appears in the International Review of African American Art. In 2015, the Museum of Art and Design in New York selected four works from The Unspeakable Series for their private collection; Sana was awarded the ACLU of Michigan Art Prize 7 and Art Prize 8. In 2002, she was awarded Anonymous Was a Women and in 2001, Sana was featured in the 2001 Florence Biennial. Her work is in multiple collections such as The Mint Museum in Charlotte, North Carolina; The Museum of Art and Design in New York, New York; the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum in New York, New York; the Hood Museum of Art in Hanover, New Hampshire; The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York; Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem, New York; Bluffton University in Bluffton, Ohio; and in numerous private collections. Sana lives and works in New York.
Live presentation: Tues, MARCH 9, 6:30 PM (MST)
The recollection of events and structures that lead one’s daily life such as maps, the magic of belief in the forces of physics, and deep embedded images from baroque Mexican facades are present in Miguel Rivera's work. Layers of signifiers appear and disappear as if dormant memories that the artist reinvents through form and color processing his experience as outsider living in an adopted environment. Rivera's work is a progression of manipulated photos and vector drawings, images are distilled from memories in Argentina, Mexico and the US, which are then edited by the destructive nature of laser energy. Patterns such as the Spanish colonial immigration, nautical routes, and viruses are also incorporated into his work. When finished the final piece serves as a historic record of Rivera's process of exploring, collecting, and creating a visual memory. (Weinberger Fine Arts)
Miguel Rivera, associate professor and chair of printmaking, is a practicing artist who has had many solo and group exhibitions in Romania, Poland, China, Argentina, Mexico, Japan and the United States. Before joining KCAI, he was chair of the art department at the University of Guanajuato in Mexico, where he also served as an associate professor of printmaking and computers in art. He has lectured as a visiting artist in Argentina, Peru, Mexico and the United States, appearing at the Contemporary Arts Festival in Guanajuato, the Southern Graphics Council conference and an alternative printmaking workshop at the second annual Art Students Conference in Queretaro. He has been a visiting artist in the Italy, Mexico, Japan, US, Argentina, China and Peru. His work is collected by university collections, private collections and museums. His work is now part of the Nelson Atkins Museum permanent collection and the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art permanent collection in Kansas City, Missouri.
Live presentation: Tues, MARCH 16, 6:30 PM (MST)
Robert Pruitt works in a variety of materials, but his practice is chiefly 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 was born in 1975 in Houston Texas. He is a founding member of the Houston artist collective Otabenga Jones & Associates. He has had solo exhibitions at The Pennsylvania College of Art & Design; The Fabric Workshop and Museum in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Contemporary Art Museum, Houston, Texas; McKinney Art Center, Dallas, Texas; The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York; Bakersfield Museum of Art, Bakersfield, California; and most recently, a solo exhibition at the California African-American Museum in Los Angeles, CA.
Pruitt was a participating artist in the 2006 Whitney Biennial and the 2010 SITE Santa Fe Biennial, which traveled to MoMA PS1 in New York. He is a recipient of the Artadia Artist Award, Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation award and Joan Mitchell Foundation award (2013). Pruitt recently was awarded residencies at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Art(2015) and The Joan Mitchell Center in New Orleans, Louisiana(2016). Pruitt’s work is in the collections of The Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, Durham, North Carolina; The Studio Museum of Harlem; the Dallas Museum of Art; the University Museum of Texas Southern University in Houston; the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston; and most recently the Arkansas Arts Center, Little Rock, Arkansas (2016); The Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston, Massachusetts (2016) and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (2016).
Live presentation: Tues, MARCH 16, 6:30 PM (MST)