Lecture Series-School of Art - Carnegie Mellon University

Internationally recognized artists, critics, and arts professionals from around the world visit CMU each semester to lecture on their practice and state of the arts today.

Visiting artists play an important role in our undergraduate and graduate education and students are expected to attend these events, and get to occasionally meet speakers for one-on-one and class critiques. 

See past semester programs in the lecture series Archive
View full schedule of events on the School of Art Calendar.

The Carnegie Mellon School of Art Lecture Series is made possible by the Elizabeth (Thompson) and Thomas M. Cox, A’29,  Distinguished Artists Fund, Orville M. Winsand Lecture for Critical Studies in Art and Jeff Pan Visiting Artist Fund,  to enhance the international dimension of the School of Art Lecture Series.

image: Ryoji Ikeda (Spring 2015 lecturer) "Superposition", performance, 2012 ; commissioned by the Festival d’Automne; Paris ; photo: Fidelis Fuchs

Spring 2015 Lectures Series


CARA BENEDETTO - Tues. Jan 20 / 5pm, Kresge Theater

Cara Benedetto is an instructor, not-for-profit worker and performance artist. Her art is about the process of becoming woman through a voice that’s emotional, vulnerable, considerate and assertive. Her new work Against Coming project dissolves the notion of “coming” as used in a phallocentric economy or patriarchy will be shown. She has exhibited at ICA Philadelphia; Chapter NY; Taxter and Spengemann, NY; Night Gallery, LA; and Metro Pictures, NY. Her work has been reviewed in Art in America, The Art Book Review, and the New York Times Magazine. She is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Art at Carnegie Mellon’s School of Art. 

oliver-vasiliev.jpgJULIAN OLIVER + DANJA VASILIEV - Tues. Jan 27 / 5pm, CFA 111 STUDIO For Creative Inquiry

presented by the Frank-Ratchye STUDIO for Creative Inquiry, accompanied by a workshop Jan 31 from 10am-5pm

Julian Oliver and Danja Vasiliev are artists and critical engineers, based in Berlin. Their concerns include software art, augmented reality, creative hacking, data forensics, computer networking, virtual architecture, artistic game-development, information visualization and open source software development practices in art and activism. Together, they are co-authors (with Gordan Savicic´) of the Critical Engineering Manifesto, and recipients of the 2011 Prix Ars Electronica Golden Nica. Their lecture is made possible through support from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, CMU IDeATe and the CMU CIT.

schumann.jpgPETER SCHUMANN - Tues. Feb 03 / 5pm, Kresge Theater

Peter Schumann founded Bread and Puppet Theater in New York City in 1963. From hand and rod puppet shows in the streets to giant puppet parades, they addressed local injustices and figured prominently in anti-Vietnam-War demonstrations in the US and abroad. In 1970, Bread and Puppet moved to Vermont. Our Domestic Resurrection Circus, an outdoor festival of music, art, puppetry and pageantry, ran almost every summer—attracting crowds of tens of thousands until 1998. In a reduced version it continues on Sundays in July and August. It continues touring throughout the year in New England and internationally.

catts.jpgORON CATTS - Tues. Feb 10 / 5pm, Kresge Theater

Oron Catts is an artist, researcher and curator whose projects transcend art’s realm. He is a founding director of SymbioticA, an artistic research center at the School of Anatomy, Physiology and Human Biology, The University of Western Australia. In 2009, Icon Magazine recognized him as one of the top 20 designers. The biological art project, Tissue Culture and Art (with Ionat Zurr), include experiments in speculative design and contemporary artistic practices. His work has been widely exhibited internationally.

je.jpgYUN-FEI JE - Tues. Feb 24 / 5pm, Kresge Theater

Jeff Pan Lecturer

Yun-Fei Ji’s art addresses social change and geological climates using the political forum of the scroll, an ancient art form of ink and mineral pigment on silk and paper. In 2002, he made his first reference to the theme of mass displacement and environmental cataclysm in Three Gorges Dam Migration, a series of woodblock-printed hand scrolls depicting flooding and social upheaval triggered by the creation of the Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze River. His work has been exhibited throughout the USA and Europe including the 2012 Biennale of Sydney, the 2011 Lyon Biennale, and the 2002 Whitney Biennial.

smith.jpgROBERTA SMITH - Tues. Mar 17 / 5pm, Kresge Theater

Lepper Lecturer

Roberta Smith is viewed by many as one of the most direct and forthright critics of today—writing not only about contemporary art but also about the visual arts in general, including decorative arts, popular and outsider art, design, and architecture. She has written art criticism for the New York Times since 1986, and was also a critic for the Village Voice, Artforum, Art in America, and Arts Magazine through the 1980s. Smith has contributed essays to museum catalogs on artists including Donald Judd, Alex Katz, Elizabeth Murray and Cy Twombly. She has received art criticism grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Frank Jewett Mather Award for Art Criticism. 

shiner.jpgERIC SHINER - Tues. Mar 24 / 5pm, Kresge Theater

Orville M. Winsand Lecturer

Eric Shiner is the Director of The Andy Warhol Museum, the most comprehensive single-artist museum in the world.   At The Warhol, Shiner organized Factory Direct: Pittsburgh, an exhibition of 14 established contemporary artists invited to conduct artist residencies in Pittsburgh-based factories. He led The Warhol team in creating Andy Warhol: 15 Minutes Eternal, the largest traveling exhibition of Warhol artwork in Asia and Before and Happily Ever After, the Armory Focus: USA at The Armory Show. He is a scholar of contemporary Japanese art and a leading authority on Andy Warhol. His hometown is New Castle, PA.

ikeda.jpgRYOJI IKEDA - Tues. Apr 07 / 5pm, McConomy Auditorium

Jeff Pan Lecturer

Ryoji Ikeda focuses on the essential characteristics of sound itself and that of visuals as light by means of both mathematical precision and mathematical aesthetics. He has gained a reputation as one of the few international artists working convincingly across both visual and sonic media. Ikeda elaborately orchestrates sound, visuals, materials, physical phenomena and mathematical notions into immersive live performances and installations. His albums +/- (1996), 0? (1998), and Matrix (2001) have been hailed by critics as the most radical and innovative examples of contemporary electronic music. Currently, Ikeda is working on cyclo, a collaborative project with Carsten Nicolai.

jacir.jpgEMILY JACIR - Fri. Apr 17 / 7:30pm, Carnegie Museum of Art Lecture Hall

Lepper Lecturer

Emily Jacir creates works about transformation, questions of translation, resistance, and the logic of the archive. Her projects investigate personal and collective movement through public space and its implications on the physical and social experience of trans-Mediterranean space and time—in particular between Italy and Palestine. Jacir is the recipient of a Golden Lion at the 52nd Venice Biennale, the Hugo Boss Prize, and the Herb Alpert Award. The largest survey to date of her work, A star is as far as the eye can see, and as near as my eye is to me is currently at Darat il Funun in Amman, Jordan. She is a full-time professor at the International Academy of Art Palestine in Ramallah.


RICK LOWE - Sun. Apr 19 / 7:30pm, Carnegie Museum of Art Music Hall

Lepper Lecturer

Rick Lowe has worked both inside and outside of art world institutions by participating in exhibitions and developing community-based art projects. In 1993, Lowe founded Project Row Houses, an arts and cultural community located in hood in Houston, Texas. In 2006, he spearheaded Transforma Projects in New Orleans, a collaborative effort to engage artists and creativity in rebuilding after hurricane Katrina. In 2013, President Obama appointed Lowe to the National Council on the Arts and in 2014 he was named a MacArthur Fellow. He has exhibited and worked with communities in the US and abroad, and has received numerous awards. 

JULES de BALINCOURT - Tues. Apr 21 / 5pm, Kresge Theater

Jules de Balincourt is interested in the both the physical and metaphysical properties of the images that surround us. His paintings’ imagery is taken from political, social or religious contexts and endowed with a new coherence to make the most of their paradoxes. In some cases, the real is dissolved by pixellization, evoking another way in which everyday images are appropriated in the digital age. de Balincourt’s work has been exhibited at National Museum of Modern Art in Paris; Palais de Tokyo, Paris; Mori Museum, Tokyo and included in group exhibitions at P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, NY; MoMA, NY; and at the Royal Academy, London.

Related Programming:


Presented by the Frank-Ratchye STUDIO for Creative Inquiry, in cooperation with the CyLab Usable Privacy and Security Laboratory, with support from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. More info at www.studioforcreativeinquiry.org


6-9:30pm, Miller Gallery, Purnell Center, CMU campus. Exhibition on view March 28 - April 12, more info http://millergallery.cmu.edu

April 2 - Elizabeth Buschmann, Jaewook Lee, Isla Hansen - Critique with Kelly Taxter, Assistant Curator, Jewish Museum NYC
April 9 - Rafael Abreu-Canedo, Dakotah Koniceck, Lucia Nhamo - Critique with John Massier, visual Arts Curator, Hallwalls Contemporary Art Center, Buffalo NY