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Visiting Artists and Scholars Series 2022-2023

The Studio Art MFA program at American University presents visiting artists throughout the academic year. 

Jonathan VanDyke

Jonathan VanDykeMarch 9, 6:00 pm, Katzen 201

Jonathan VanDyke's work reflects on the unfolding of art objects in dynamic relationship to the passing of time. He seeks a reclamation of the sensorial realm, with an emphasis on modes of attention and embodiment. Manifested through installations, paintings, videos, sculpture, writings, collaborative projects, and live and durational works featuring performers from the queer community of which he is a part, VanDyke's work prioritizes slowness, pauses, subtexts, and doubt.

His intensive formal experimentation is informed by the immersive, hands-on workshops that he leads internationally. VanDyke proposes a relational art practice – one that tempers the will of the individual artist, taking into account the life of objects, the sustainable use of materials, the possibilities of collaboration, and the myriad points of view and points of entry of diverse audiences.

Jonathan VanDyke grew up in the countryside in Pennsylvania and has been based in Brooklyn since 2002. Solo exhibitions have appeared at 1/unosunove, Rome; abc Berlin; Four Boxes Gallery in Denmark; Loock Galerie Berlin; Tops Gallery Memphis; Vox Populi Philadelphia; Scaramouche in NYC; The Columbus Museum in Georgia; and Luis de Jesus Los Angeles, among others. Solo performances have appeared at Este Arte in Uruguay; Storm King Art Center; The Albright Knox Art Gallery; The National Academy Museum; the Power Plant in Toronto; and as part of Performa 11 in NYC. In 2019 he was included in the landmark exhibition Queer Abstraction at The Des Moines Art Center, and in 2022 he was appointed as Artist in Residence for The Chelsea Music Festival, through which he presented multi-media work in various venues in NYC. He had served as a Visiting Artist in Residence at The University of Alaska, The University of Chicago, and Krabbesholm Højskole in Denmark, and has served on the faculty of Mass Art, The University of the Arts, The Corcoran School at GWU, Cornell University, and The University of the Arts. He is currently an Artist in Residence in Studio Arts at Bard College. Learn more about VanDyke.
Register for 3/9

Brendan Fernandes

Brendan FernandesMarch 23, 6:30 pm, Katzen 201

Brendan Fernandes (b. 1979, Nairobi, Kenya) is an internationally recognized Canadian artist working at the intersection of dance and visual arts. Currently based out of Chicago, Brendan’s projects address issues of race, queer culture, migration, protest and other forms of collective movement. Always looking to create new spaces and new forms of agency, Brendan’s projects take on hybrid forms: part Ballet, part queer dance hall, part political protest...always rooted in collaboration and fostering solidarity. Brendan is a graduate of the Whitney Independent Study Program (2007) and a recipient of a Robert Rauschenberg Fellowship (2014). In 2010, he was shortlisted for the Sobey Art Award, and is the recipient of a prestigious 2017 Canada Council New Chapters grant. Brendan is also the recipient of the Artadia Award (2019), a Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship (2020) and a Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation grant (2019). His projects have shown at the 2019 Whitney Biennial (New York); the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (New York); the Museum of Modern Art (New York); The Getty Museum (Los Angeles); the National Gallery of Canada (Ottawa); MAC (Montreal); among a great many others. He is currently Assistant Professor at Northwestern University and represented by Monique Meloche Gallery in Chicago. Recent and upcoming projects include performances and solo presentations at the Noguchi Museum, New York, NY; Munch Art Museum, Oslo, Norway; The Richmond Art Gallery, Richmond, BC; and The Girl’s Choir + Danish National Radio, Copenhagen, Denmark.
Register for 3/23

Past Visiting Artists 2022-2023

Dominic Chambers with paintings

Dominic ChambersOctober 27, 6:00 p.m., Katzen 201

With the Tephra Institute of Contemporary Art

Dominic Chambers (b. 1993, St. Louis, MO; lives and works in New Haven, CT) creates vibrant paintings that simultaneously engage art historical models, such as color-field painting and gestural abstraction, and contemporary concerns around race, identity, and the necessity for leisure and reflection.

Chambers will be joined in conversation by Andrew Wasserman, Professorial Lecturer, Department of Art, American University. Moderated by Jaynelle Hazard, Executive Director and Curator, Tephra Institute of Contemporary Art (Tephra ICA). This program is presented in anticipation of the Dominic Chambers: What Makes the Earth Shake exhibition at Tephra ICA.

Marcus Civin October 27, 6:00 p.m., Katzen 201

Marcus Civin by Jeff Weber

In this presentation, Marcus Civin will share the various ways he works with text through writing about other artists and in performance. Marcus' writing has appeared in Afterimage, AIGA Eye on Design, Artforum, Art in America, Art Papers, Aufgabe, Boston Art Review, The Brooklyn Rail, Camera Austria, Damn Magazine, Maake Magazine, Memoir Mixtapes, and Momus. Exhibition and performance venues include St. Charles Projects, School 33 Art Center, Boston Center for the Arts, Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, Station Gallery at the University of Southern California, and UMASS University Hall Gallery. He is Assistant Dean in the School of Art at Pratt Institute. Please visit and @marcuscivinwriting on Instagram.

Erika Ranee November 17, 6:00 p.m., Katzen 201

Erika Ranee, "Good Egg," 2021. Acrylic, shellac, oil stick, spray paint, and paper collage on canvas. 60 x 60 in.

"My recent paintings express the hums and beats of small worlds writ large. I build each painting through a form of layering, drawing from the detritus of my daily experiences. I'm interested in the preservation of stories and in harnessing moments of stasis as a counterpoint to the transient impermanence of this digital communication age." - Erika Ranee

Erika Ranee received her MFA in painting from UC/Berkeley. She is the recipient of a New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) Fellowship in Painting 1996 and 2021, an AIM Fellowship from the Bronx Museum, and was granted artist residence at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. She was an AIRspace resident at Abrons Arts Center/2009 and was awarded a studio grant from Sharpe Walentas/2011. In 2018 her work was featured in group shows at the Southampton Arts Center, at Klaus von Nichtssagend Gallery and Freight+Volume—as well as two concurrent solo exhibitions at Ground Floor Gallery and BRIC/Project Room. The following year she exhibited in her first international show at Wild Palms in Dusseldorf, Germany. In 2021 her work was featured in New York at Steven Harvey Fine Art Projects, Platform Project Space and in a solo at Freight+Volume. Selected group shows in 2022 include The Landing Gallery in Los Angeles, CA, Hollis Taggart Gallery in Southport, CT and at Klaus von Nichtssagend Gallery, NYC. She is represented by Klaus von Nichtssagend Gallery and works in New York. Learn more about Ranee.

Holly Bass, "Still Life, with Flowers (for Laure)" (detail of video still), 2022.

Holly Bass, Deirdre Darden, and Hannah Barco January 27, 6:00 p.m., Katzen 201

With the Tephra Institute of Contemporary Art

Holly Bass is a multidisciplinary performance and visual artist, writer, and director. Her work has been presented at spaces such as the Kennedy Center, the Smithsonian Museums, the Seattle Art Museum, Art Basel Miami Beach (Project Miami Fair) and the South African State Theatre. Her visual artwork includes photography, installation, video and performance and can be found in the collections of the Corcoran Gallery of Art and the DC Art Bank, as well as private collections.

Bass will be joined in conversation by independent curator Deirdre Darden, who guest curated between a rock and a soft place, currently on view at Tephra Institute of Contemporary Art (Tephra ICA), and Hannah Barco, Associate Curator and Festival Director, Tephra ICA.

Sam Vernon

Sam VernonFebruary 2, 6:00 pm, Katzen 201

The phenomenon—“transgenerational epigenetic inheritance” – can be proven by studying powerful historical intersections between art and activism amidst globalization and paradigm shifts in the States and beyond. This talk will explore the essential function of Sam Vernon's interdisciplinary studio practice and archival research to address socio-political impact using installation to confront questions concerning personal narrative, historical memory and identity. Learn more about Sam Vernon.


Earlier Series

View an archive of past Visiting Artists Series.


Tim Doud, Professor, Department of Art.