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Sharing Notes: Personal Narratives from the Philadelphia Arts Community

Elizabeth Spungen, Executive Director of the Print Center

Elizabeth Spungen, Executive Director of the Print Center. Tintype by Keliy Anderson-Staley.

The List Gallery, Swarthmore College is pleased to announce Sharing Notes: Personal Narratives from the Philadelphia Arts Community, a four-part virtual lecture series highlighting individuals who have been making important contributions to the arts in the Philadelphia area. The distinguished speakers will share insights about how they have navigated the art world and discuss how the pandemic has led to innovative programming and strategies at their respective institutions. The List Gallery is honored to feature: Christina Vassallo, executive director of the Fabric Workshop and Museum; Ricky Yanas, artist, educator and co-founder of Ulises bookshop and curatorial platform; Jennifer-Navva Milliken, artistic director of the Center for Art in Wood; and Elizabeth Spungen, executive director of the Print Center, Philadelphia.

2021 Lecture series Schedule 

5/03: Elizabeth Spungen, Executive Director, The Print Center, Philadelphia
Zoom RSVP for the above lecture via this Zoom RSVP for the below lecture is closed. 

Elizabeth Spungen is the Executive Director of The Print Center, Philadelphia, a non-profit gallery dedicated to encouraging the growth and understanding of photography and printmaking as vital contemporary arts. Since the beginning of her tenure in 2006, Director Spungen has broadened The Print Center’s internationally-recognized programming, including: solo and group exhibitions for emerging and established artists; the Artists-In-Schools Program, a visual arts education program for youth in Philadelphia public schools; the ANNUAL International Competition; The Print Center’s publication program and the Gallery Store. Under her leadership, The Print Center has received numerous awards, including grants from the Pew Center for Arts and Heritage, the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts. In response to the pandemic, Director Spungen has facilitated new ways for The Print Center to support artists, such as the on-going Windows on Latimer series, and created online exhibitions, including the forthcoming Fit to Print.

2/22: Christina Vassallo, Executive Director, Fabric Workshop and Museum
 Zoom RSVP for the below lecture is closed. 

Christina Vassallo is the executive director of the Fabric Workshop and Museum (FWM) where she oversees the museum’s internationally renowned permanent collection, Artist-In-Residence Program, exhibition programming, and educational initiatives. Director Vassallo’s particular interests are in expanding the FWM’s collaboration with artists who experiment using new processes and media. Her attention to innovative and experimental works of art builds upon her former experience as executive and artistic director of SPACES in Cleveland, Ohio from 2014–2019. Previously, as the executive director of Flux Factory in New York City she led effective grant initiatives, implemented both international and community-centered programming, and created unconventional artist opportunities. Currently, Director Vassallo sits on Philadelphia’s Arts and Culture Task Force, where she is establishing the infrastructure necessary to help local communities recover from the effects of COVID-19. She was a member of the National Arts Strategies’ Chief Executive Program for 2019–2020 and is a forthcoming German Marshall Fellow. She received a BA in art history and MA in non-profit visual arts management from NYU.

3/15: Ricky Yanas, Artist, Educator and Co-Founder of Ulises
 Zoom RSVP for the below lecture is closed.

Ricky Yanas is a Philadelphia-based artist, educator, and curator. His interdisciplinary work in photography, installation, and sculpture explores socially-engaged, philosophical, and aesthetic issues. He prioritizes collaborative making and thinking and often works outside of traditional art spaces and limitations. He received a BFA from the University of Texas at San Antonio in 2006 and a MFA from the University of Texas at Austin in 2011. In 2014, Yanas moved to Philadelphia and quickly established roots in the city’s art communities. He was a member of the artist-run space Tiger Strikes Asteroid, Philadelphia (TSA/PHL) from 2015–2018 and has held teaching positions at Moore College of Art and Design and Tyler School of Art and Architecture. In 2016, Yanas founded Ulises, a non-profit bookstore and curatorial platform, with Lauren Downing, Joel Evey, Nerissa Cooney, Kayla Romberger and Gee Wesley. Over the past five years, Ulises has collaborated with dozens of outside contributors to create artists’ books, independent art publications, residencies, exhibitions, workshops, panels and lectures. In February 2021, Ulises co-published its first book with Inventory Press, Publishing As Practice: Hardworking Goodlooking, Martine/Syms, Bidoun. The book documents the three-part publishing residency Publishing As Practice hosted by Ulises from 2017–2019. In 2019, Yanas organized an exhibition and symposium, The Green Sun, with Kristen Neville Taylor, which focused on solar power’s relationship to art, policy and equity. The Green Sun has since expanded to a three-part program, Solar Imaginaries: Play and Pragmatism in Energy Futures, hosted by the Penn Program in Environmental Humanities. Yanas’s other recent projects and exhibitions include Extension or Communication: Puerto Rico presented by TSA/PHL and Taller Puertorriqueno in 2018, and Bodies of a Different Mass presented by Tiger Strikes Asteroid, Los Angeles in 2018.

4/19: Jennifer-Navva Milliken, Artistic Director, Center for Art in Wood
Zoom RSVP for the above lecture is closed.

Jennifer-Navva Milliken is the artistic director of the Center for Art in Wood, Philadelphia – an organization dedicated to studying, interpreting, and engaging with the material of wood through art, craft, and design. Since 2018, Director Milliken has guided the Center’s extensive programming, which includes rotating public exhibitions and accompanying publications, the permanent collection of well over 1000 objects, the research library, and two residency programs: the Windgate International Turning Exchange Residency Program and the Winter Residency in collaboration with NextFab. She has continued to expand the organization’s purview through exhibitions such as Making a Seat at the Table: Women Transform Woodworking, dedicated to broadening the representation of and conversation about women in the historically male-dominated field of woodworking. Her commitment to continuing and guiding the Center’s influential and inclusive programming follows from her experience as a nationally and internationally renown curator and art historian. Before moving to Philadelphia, she was Curator of Craft at the Bellevue Arts Museum in Washington. Previously, Director Milliken held positions at the Museum of Arts and Design, New York and the Israel Museum, Jerusalem. She also established INTER ALIA projects, an independent curatorial project based in New York and Tel Aviv. Currently, Miliken is on the board of the Furniture Society.

All lectures are virtual and will begin at 5:30pm. Registration required.
Please register in advance via this links above for each upcoming lecture.

Sharing Notes 2021 Lecture Series. List Gallery.



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