Skip to Content


No results


No results


No results

Search Results


No results
Search events using: keywords, sponsors, locations or event type
When / Where
All occurrences of this event have passed.
This listing is displayed for historical purposes.

Presented By: Penny W Stamps School of Art & Design

Penny Stamps Distinguished Speaker Series

Brings respected emerging and established artists/designers from a broad spectrum to conduct a public lecture and engage with students, faculty, and the larger University and Ann Arbor communities.

Unless otherwise noted, all programs take place on Thursdays at 5:10 pm at the historic Michigan Theater, located at 603 E. Liberty Street in downtown Ann Arbor, and are free of charge and open to the public.

January 17: RENOIR and SURREALIST PARIS in Black & White
A short film directed by Renoir in the late twenties, right after he had discovered jazz, Sur un air de Charleston is a little masterpiece, albeit unknown, of the silent movie period. In 2028 Paris, a mysterious African explorer lands with his aeronef on Terra Incognita. There, he meets a beautiful young Parisian dancer, who eventually initiates him to the pleasures of Charleston.
An essay in reverse anthropology, a burlesque and surrealist vaudeville, Sur un air de Charleston is a singular piece of art. A product of the roaring twenties, it can be construed as a critique of France’s racial context, then at the height of its colonial Empire. But it also has to be considered on the much broader scale of transatlantic cultural exchanges. Thus, we start to envision some of the unsuspected links that irrigate and reconfigure the seamingly neat cartography of Western modernism.
Two musicians, Olivier Thémines and Guillaume Hazebrouck, invite you with anthropologist Emmanuel Parent to discover this astonishing movie with a ciné-concert/conference. The movie, accompanied by a live original music, will be followed by a lecture and discussion on the question of race within the artistic context of 1920s France.

January 24: WILSON SMITH
Wilson W. Smith III is a Design Director at Nike, Inc., Beaverton, Oregon. Smith is currently involved in Nike's Better World projects, and is a lead designer as a part of Nike's "Innovation Kitchen". After becoming a Senior Designer in 1990, Smith was involved primarily with the concepts of Nike's cross-training and basketball products.
Smith established much of the design direction for Tennis footwear throughout the 1990s, and created many athlete-endorsed products including Andre Agassi's signature line. In 1997, Wilson Smith became the first dedicated designer for Jordan brand, and is best known for designing the Jordan 16(XVI) and 17(XVII). In 2003, Wilson became the Design Director of Nike Court, encompassing all tennis & racquet driven footwear, while also designing signature products for Nike endorsees Serena Williams, and Roger Federer. Black Enterprise Magazine recently named Wilson one of America’s Top Black Designers.

Lisa Strausfeld’s work lies at the intersection of physical and virtual space: where information structures and physical structures meet, and where the navigation of information and the navigation of buildings join in a single experience. She and her team specialize in digital information projects including the design of large-scale media installations, software prototypes and user interfaces, signage and websites for a broad range of civic, cultural and corporate clients including One Laptop per Child, GE, Litl, Bloomberg, Gallup, The New York Times, M.I.T., Brown University, the Museum of Arts and Design and the Detroit Institute of Arts.
Strausfeld holds four patents relating to user interfaces and intelligent search and retrieval, and in 2006 she was named to the Senior Scientist program at the Gallup Organization. In addition to many awards and honors, Strausfeld was selected as one of Fast Company's "Masters of Design" in 2009 and received the National Design Award in the category of Interaction Design in 2010.

February 7: El ANATSUI
El Anatsui was born in Anyanko, Ghana in 1944. Many of Anatsui’s sculptures are mutable in form, conceived to be so free and flexible that they can be shaped in any way and altered in appearance for each installation. Working with wood, clay, metal, and–most recently–the discarded metal caps of liquor bottles, Anatsui breaks with sculpture’s traditional adherence to forms of fixed shape while visually referencing the history of abstraction in African and European art. The colorful and densely patterned fields of the works assembled from discarded liquor-bottle caps also trace a broader story of colonial and postcolonial economic and cultural exchange in Africa, told in the history of cast-off materials. The sculptures in wood and ceramics introduce ideas about the function of objects (their destruction, transformation, and regeneration) in everyday life, and the role of language in deciphering visual symbols. El Anatsui received a BA from the College of Art, University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana (1969) and since 1975 has taught at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. His works are in the public collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Indianapolis Museum of Art; British Museum, London; and Centre Pompidou, Paris, among many others. Major exhibitions of his work have appeared at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown (2011); Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto (2010); National Museum of Ethnology, Osaka (2010); Rice University Art Gallery, Houston (2010); Venice Biennale (2007); and the Biennale of African Art, Senegal (2006). El Anatsui lives and works in Nsukka, Nigeria.

Tania Bruguera is one of the leading political and performance artists of her generation. Her work researches ways in which art can be applied to everyday political life, creating a public forum to debate ideas in a state of contradiction, focusing on the transformation of the "viewer" into one of "citizenry." Bruguera's terms “arte de conducta” (conduct/behavior art) and “arte útil” (useful art) define her practice. In 2010, Bruguera launched Immigrant Movement International, a five-year project that helps define the immigrant as a unique, new global citizen in a postnational world and tests the concept of “useful art,” by artists actively implementing the merging of art into society’s urgent social, political, and scientific issues.
Bruguera’s work has been presented internationally at Documenta 11, Kassel, Germany and several biennials including Performa, Venice, Gwangju, and Havana. She has exhibited at the Tate Modern, London; Künsthalle Wien, Vienna; Centre Pompidou, Paris; and the New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York.

Lynda Barry has worked as a painter, cartoonist, writer, illustrator, playwright, editor, commentator and teacher and found they are very much alike. She is the inimitable creator behind the seminal comic strip that was syndicated across North America in alternative weeklies for two decades, Ernie Pook's Comeek, as well as the books One! Hundred! Demons!, The! Greatest! of! Marlys!, Cruddy: An Illustrated Novel, Naked Ladies! Naked Ladies! Naked Ladies! and The Good Times are Killing Me, which was adapted as an off-Broadway play and won the Washington State Governor's Award. In 2011, Drawn & Quarterly published Blabber Blabber Blabber, the first in a 10-volume retrospective series of her comics work. Her bestselling and acclaimed creative writing-how to-graphic novel for Drawn & Quarterly, What It Is (2008), won the Eisner Award for Best Reality Based Graphic Novel and R.R. Donnelly Award for highest literary achievement by a Wisconsin author.
What It Is (2008) is based on “Writing the Unthinkable”, a tried-and-true method creative method that is playful, powerful, and accessible to anyone with an inquisitive wish to write or remember. With What It Is and Picture This (2010), Barry explores the depths of the inner and outer realms of creation and imagination, where play can be serious, monsters have purpose, and not knowing is an answer unto itself.

March 21: KEN BURNS
Documentary filmmaker Ken Burns has been producing films for PBS for more than 25 years. Since the Academy Award nominated Brooklyn Bridge in 1981, Ken has gone on to direct and produce some of the most acclaimed historical documentaries ever made. A December 2002 poll conducted by Real Screen Magazine listed The Civil War as second only to Robert Flaherty’s Nanook of the North as the “most influential documentary of all time,” and named Ken Burns and Robert Flaherty as the “most influential documentary makers” of all time. In March, 2009, David Zurawik of The Baltimore Sun said, “”¦ Burns is not only the greatest documentarian of the day, but also the most influential filmmaker period. That includes feature filmmakers like George Lucas and Steven Spielberg. I say that because Burns not only turned millions of persons onto history with his films, he showed us a new way of looking at our collective past and ourselves.” The late historian Stephen Ambrose said of his films, “More Americans get their history from Ken Burns than any other source.” Ken’s films have won twelve Emmy Awards and two Oscar nominations, and in September of 2008, at the News & Documentary Emmy Awards, Ken was honored by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences with a Lifetime Achievement Award.
Burns' documentaries include The Civil War, Baseball, Jazz, Thomas Jefferson, Lewis and Clark: The Journey of the Corps of Discovery, Frank Lloyd Wright, Mark Twain, Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson, The War, The National Parks: America’s Best Idea, Prohibition and The Dust Bowl.

Carmelita Tropicana (a.k.a. Alina Troyano) is a performance artist, playwright, and actor. Troyano burst on New York’s downtown performing arts scene in the eighties with her alter ego, the spitfire Carmelita Tropicana and her counterpart, the irresistible archetypal Latin macho Pingalito Betancourt, followed by performances as Hernando Cortez’s horse and la Cucaracha Martina from her childhood fairy tales in Cuba. In Tropicana’s work humor and fantasy become subversive tools to rewrite history.
Tropicana’s performances plays and videos have been presented at venues such as the Institute of Contemporary Art in London, Hebbel Am Ufer in Berlin, Centre de Cultura Contemporanea in Barcelona, the Berlin International Film Festival, the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York, the Mark Taper Forum’s Kirk Douglas Theater in Los Angeles, and El Museo del Barrio in New York. Her work has received funding support from the Independent Television Service, the Jerome Foundation, and the Rockefeller Suitcase Fund. She has received numerous awards including the prestigious Anonymous Was a Woman and fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts as well as an Obie for Sustained Excellence in Performance. She is the author of a collection of performance pieces and short essays called I, Carmelita Tropicana: Performing between Cultures (2000).

Paola Antonelli is Senior Curator in the Department of Architecture and Design and Director of Research and Development at the Museum of Modern Art. Her first MOMA exhibition was, Mutant Materials in Contemporary Design (1995). Her latest exhibition was 2011’s Talk to Me: Design and the Communication between People and Objects. Antonelli earned the “Design Mind” Smithsonian Institution’s National Design Award and was named one of the 25 most incisive design visionaries by Time Magazine. She has been a contributing Editor for Domus magazine, an editor of Abitare, and the author of the publication Humble Masterpieces: Everyday Marvels of Design. Antonelli’s goal is to insistently promote design’s understanding until its positive influence on the world is fully acknowledged and exploited. She is currently at work on contemporary design exhibitions, and on Design Bites, a book about foods as examples of outstanding design.
Paola Antonelli's lecture, originally scheduled for November 1, 2012, will take place on April 4, 2013.
With support from Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning and the U-M Museum of Art.

Massimo Banzi is the co-founder of the Arduino project. He is an Interaction Designer, Educator and Open Source Hardware advocate. He has worked as a consultant for clients such as: Prada, Artemide, Persol, Whirlpool, V&A Museum and Adidas.
Massimo started the first FabLab in Italy which led to the creation of Officine Arduino, a FabLab/Makerspace based in Torino.
He spent 4 years at the Interaction Design Institue Ivrea as Associate Professor. Massimo has taught workshops and has been a guest speaker at institutions all over the world.
Before joining IDII he was CTO for the Seat Ventures incubator. He spent many years working as a software architect,both in Milan and London, on projects for clients like Italia Online, Sapient, Labour Party, BT, MCI WorldCom, SmithKlineBeecham, Storagetek, BSkyB and
Massimo is also the author of Getting Started with Arduino, published by O’Reilly Press. He is a regular contributor to the italian edition of Wired Magazine and Che Futuro, an online magazine about innovation.
He currently teaches Interaction Design at SUPSI Lugano in the south of Switzerland and is a visiting professor at CIID in Copenhagen.

Explore Similar Events

  •  Loading Similar Events...
Report Event As Inappropriate Contact Event Organizers
Back to Main Content