Washington University in St. Louis: Sam Fox School announces fall Public Lecture Series

Eyes emerge from an empty background. A young woman gazes into the distance, a skull grinning at her shoulder. Thick paint strokes, recalling both graffiti and thought balloons, overrun the scene.

In his stop-motion drawing animation “A Portrait of Berenice Sarmiento Chávez” (2018), Los Angeles artist Hugo Crosthwaite traces an immigrant’s journey from Tijuana, Mexico, to the United States. The piece, which won first prize in the fifth triennial Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition, currently is featured in “The Outwin: American Portraiture Today,” on view this fall at the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum at Washington University in St. Louis.

On Saturday, Sept. 11, Crosthwaite will discuss his artistic practice in a free online talk with Taína Caragol, co-curator of “The Outwin” as well as curator for painting and sculpture and Latinx art and history at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery, which organizes the competition. Presented by the Kemper Art Museum’s “In Conversation” series, the talk also marks the beginning of the fall Public Lecture Series, sponsored by WashU’s Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts.

In all, the Public Lecture Series will include 17 virtual and in-person events featuring nationally and internationally renowned artists, architects, designers and scholars.

Events will continue Sept. 18, with Jess T. Dugan, the Sam Fox School’s 2020-21 Henry L. and Natalie E. Freund Teaching Fellow, discussing their fall “Currents” exhibition at the Saint Louis Art Museum. On Sept. 20, Marcelo Spina, founder of the Los Angeles architecture firm PATTERNS, will join the Sam Fox School’s Constance Vale, assistant professor and chair of undergraduate architecture, and Robert McCarter, the Ruth and Norman Moore Professor of Architecture, to discuss the book “Mute Icons & Other Dichotomies of the Real in Architecture” (2021), authored by Spina and Georgia Huljich and edited by Vale.

On Sept. 27, the Sam Fox School will host a panel discussion centering on the Memorial to Enslaved Laborers at the University of Virginia. The event will feature several collaborators on the project, including Eric Höweler and J. Meejin Yoon, co-principals of the design firm Höweler + Yoon Architecture.

Other talks will include artists Stephanie Syjuco (Oct. 19), Taryn Simon with curator Ingrid Schaffner (Oct. 27) and Cole Lu (Nov. 17) as well as architects Kenneth Frampton (Oct. 21) and Ken Tadashi Oshima (Nov. 4), and a panel discussion of the book “Designing the Modern City: Urbanism Since 1850” (2018) by the Sam Fox School’s Eric P. Mumford, the Rebecca and John Voyles Professor of Architecture (Oct. 22). For a complete list of events, see below.

The “In Conversation” series will continue Oct. 23 with Dugan and Outwin artist David Antonio Cruz speaking with Saint Louis University’s Amber Johnson; Nov. 2 with the panel discussion “Colonizing the Past: Constructing Race in Ancient Greece and Rome”; Nov. 20 with “The Outwin” artist Sheldon Scott speaking with the University of Pennsylvania’s Gwendolyn DuBois Shaw; and Dec. 4 with “The Outwin” artists Deborah Roberts and Adrian Octavius Walker speaking with WashU’s Adrienne Davis.

All events are free and open to the public. Some will be hosted in person, in accordance with the university’s event guidelines with respect to the COVID-19 pandemic. Other events will be hosted online, with RSVPs required; links will be provided via the Sam Fox School website closer to the event dates.

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