Lecture Series

Lecture at deSalle Auditorium.

Lectures Held in Cranbrook Art Museum’s deSalle Auditorium

The Public Lecture series at Cranbrook Academy of Art is a critical and idiosyncratic look into the conversations and inquiry that drives the 11 departments in Art, Architecture and Design. Our open structure allows for a responsive approach to curating our lecture series so that the conversations on campus are timely and urgent issues in our fields. Our open pedagogy means between 30 and 50 visiting artists, designers, curators and thinkers are bringing their research to our studios and impacting the practices of this community.

All lectures are held in Cranbrook Art Museum’s deSalle Auditorium and are free to ArtMembers and students with identification, and included with Museum admission for the general public. Cranbrook Art Museum is located at 39221 Woodward Ave., Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.

Upcoming Lectures:


October 18 
Mariah Garnett

Mariah Garnett mixes documentary, narrative and experimental filmmaking practices to make work that accesses existing people and communities beyond her immediate experience. Using source material that ranges from found text to iconic gay porn stars, Garnett often inserts herself into the films, creating cinematic allegories that codify and locate identity. She has received numerous awards and held solo exhibitions around the world.

This event is FREE.
This lecture is sponsored by the Photography Department.

October 20 
Ridley Howard

In paintings ranging from jewel-like to large-scale, abstract to figurative, Ridley Howard explores the nuances of color, shape, and composition with exquisite sensitivity. All of his works—whether precisely composed geometric abstractions, land- and cityscapes, portraits of individuals, or scenes of couples making love—are, at their core, color studies. Howard strips his subjects down, forgoing narrative and visual details, transforming them into pristine, velvety planes of pigment and collections of shapes.

This event is FREE.
This lecture is sponsored by the Painting Department.

October 25 
Tom LaDuke

Tom LaDuke deploys meticulous and labor-intensive processes in the creation of his paintings and hyper-realistic sculptures. His recent paintings involve the application of four distinct layers of paint to the canvas: the first three are delicately applied with an airbrush to depict the screen of a TV that captures scenes of his studio as reflected in the glass, as well as glimpses of films playing on the screen. The fourth layer is a jarring, thick, and apparently haphazard application of oil paint that produces the effect of two separate paintings colliding on the same canvas. Using delicate materials, his sculptures painstakingly replicate objects, as seen in Flemish Veil (2010) where LaDuke recreates the cracks in a Dutch painting using eyelashes and arm hair.

This event is FREE.
This lecture is sponsored by the Sculpture Department.

October 30 
John Corso Esquivel

“Matrixial Shadows in Gego’s Reticulárea”
John Corso is the 2018-19 Critical Studies and Humanities Fellow at Cranbrook Academy of Art. He is a tenured associate professor of art history at Oakland University in Rochester, Mich., where he is finishing a term as Doris and Paul Travis professor. He holds a Ph.D. in the History of Art and Archaeology from Cornell University, master’s degrees in art history from Cornell and Tufts, a Master of Fine Arts from The School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts, and a bachelor’s degree in art from Williams College.
Sponsored by the Critical Studies and Humanities Program

This event is FREE.
This lecture is sponsored by the Critical Studies and Humanities Program.

November 10
Lucy Kim

The lecture will cover Kim’s work and process from the last 20 years, with a focus on her use of mold-making and casting as a sculptural surrogate for photography. By combining her sculptural process with painting, her work explores the mechanisms involved in the transition from subject to image. Reference and process images will be shown alongside images of art works.

This lecture is FREE.
This lecture is sponsored by the painting department.

November 13, 2018
Melissa Hilliard Potter
Pulp Feminism: Interdisciplinary Fiber Works

Raised among multiple generations of crafters, artists and feminists, Potter’s interdisciplinary practice considers women’s handicraft and social customs as a distinct language and history. Through socially engaged practice, she explores marginalized, and in some cases, endangered craft forms as contemporary media with social, political and artistic potential. This lecture will focus on her long-term engagement in papermaking, as well as other materials and methods to build new narratives.

This lecture is sponsored by the Fiber Department
This lecture is FREE.

November 15
Daniel Bozhkov

The work of Daniel Bozhkov involves acts of resistance to institutionalized homogenization, aiming to be more infectious than disruptive. He uses a variety of media, from fresco to performance and video, and often works with professionals from different fields to activate public space. His projects are embedded in the worlds of genetic science, department mega-stores and world-famous tourist sites, where he enters as an intruder/visitor who produces new strains of meaning into seemingly closed systems. As a collaborator with reality, he tries to set in motion a process of accelerated archeology that is faster than the institutions’ built-in obsolescence.
This lecture is sponsored by the Print Media Department
This lecture is FREE.

November 29
Brittany Nelson

Brittany Nelson works with 19th century photographic chemistry techniques to address themes of feminist science fiction and queer abstraction. She is a 2011 graduate of Cranbrook Academy of Art’s Photography department. She is the recipient of a 2015 Creative Capital Grant in Visual Arts and a Theo Westenberger Foundation Grant for advancing women in the arts. She has hosted exhibitions around the world and been published extensively.
This lecture is sponsored by the Photography Department
This lecture is FREE.

December 4 
Julia Bryan-Wilson

This talk investigates Bruce Nauman’s persistent performance of anxious masculinity from a feminist and queer perspective. What might be at stake in Nauman’s fantasies of penetration, metaphors of ejaculation, and fixations on anality, and how might we envision his work as offering new– if fraught– models of inter-subjective, porous embodiment?

Julia Bryan-Wilson is professor of modern and contemporary art at the University of California, Berkeley and the director of the Berkeley Arts Research Center. She is the author of Art Workers: Radical Practice in the Vietnam War Era (2009), Art in the Making: Artists and their Materials from the Studio to Crowdsourcing (with Glenn Adamson, 2016), and Fray: Art and Textile Politics (2017, winner of the 2018 Robert Motherwell Book Award). With Andrea Andersson, she co-curated the exhibition Cecilia Vicuña: About to Happen, which opened at the Contemporary Arts Center New Orleans in 2017.

This event is FREE.
This lecture is sponsored by the Fiber department.

February 5, 2019
Casey Droege
Money and Making

How do you make a living in cultural production? Can an arts ecosystem fully function without a market? Droege will discuss how her studio practice and entrepreneurial tendencies grew into a business that is generating significant revenue streams for the local arts economy of Pittsburgh and new models for smaller cities around the country.

This lecture is FREE.
This lecture is sponsored by the Fiber Department.