2018-2019 Welch Visiting Artist and Scholar Lecture Series


This year-round calendar of lectures provides students and the public with access to a diverse mix of renowned artists and scholars encouraging artistic discourse, and leading studio critiques and workshops. The visiting artists are proposed and hosted by the faculty.


Artist: Art Chantry

Date: Wednesday, September 5

Time: 7-9pm

Location: Speaker’s Auditorium, Student Center East, 55 Gilmer St SE, Atlanta, GA 30303


Art Chantry has been recognized for his intrepid exploration of subculture visual communication and his fearless celebration of cultural diversity.

Graphic design has never been a narcissist’s job. Ephemeral, anonymous, disposable, the work usually vanishes into the trash or ether. For Art Chantry, a designer rooted in the Pacific Northwest and a celebrated interpreter of old-fashioned commercial art, the purest graphic design bears the imprint of a community. Even if it lasts just a moment, it concentrates the essence of a place and time.

Chantry believes design is “the language of culture itself.” It flows like a stream from creator to creator, picking up bits of thinking and depositing others, eventually washing up on the shores of mainstream commercial practice. Now based in Tacoma, Washington, Chantry is known for his cultural posters and music packaging featuring old-style iconography and production techniques.

Arthur Samuel Wilbur Chantry II was born in Seattle on April 9, 1954, and raised in Tacoma. After restlessly attending a succession of three colleges, he earned a painting degree in 1978 from the school in Bellingham, Washington now known as Western Washington University. When he settled in Seattle, he encountered a boom in art galleries, regional theater companies, and rock bands. Crudely executed punk posters lined the streets, sparking a new creative energy.

Working as a one-man design company, Chantry helped visually define Seattle’s cultural scene. His layered, textured graphics for plays, concerts, and festivals formed a bridge between the energetic designs of untrained artists and the smooth expressions of professional communicators.

In 1983 he began a relationship with The Rocket, a Seattle-based music biweekly publication that lasted a decade. Robert Newman, who was the magazine’s editor, recalls Chantry as “a brilliant visual storyteller. In the trenches as an editorial designer, he’s just masterful.” Most notoriously, Chantry rotated the publication’s logo a full 360 degrees over the course of six months. Newman remembers it as a smart and respectful way to engage readers.

When grunge music emerged in the early 1990s, Chantry was in the thick of the scene, working with Sub Pop and other music labels associated with the movement. He mixed nostalgic references with slightly barbed irony and used his talent for composition to turn designs into ocular bull’s eyes—it was hard not to look.

At the turn of the millennium, Chantry found himself increasingly alienated from Seattle. He believed that the gritty city, which had been his muse as well as canvas, was losing its true self as it prospered. He moved to St. Louis for several years, but Washington State called him back, and he relocated to Tacoma, which he has always insisted is the unacknowledged cultural center of the galaxy.

In today’s digital climate, collaged retro imagery and rough textures often suggest authenticity. But Chantry pioneered this approach. He creates artwork with stencils, label makers, and multiple passes of imagery through photocopiers. He borrows the jagged hand-lettering of vintage science-fiction paperbacks and the split-fountain rainbows of ink on psychedelic posters. Long after computers brought polish and consistency to design production, he continues to celebrate the look of printers’ accidents—the splotches and registration failures that were common when people had to master unwieldy tools. For Chantry, it was this struggle that humanized design when it entered the industrial age, and revealed the printer as an unsung creative partner. “Whenever you see a bit of distressed typography, even if it’s a font premade to look distressed, you’re seeing the influence of his thinking,” says Jesse Reyes, a protégé who worked with Chantry on The Rocket and other Seattle design projects. “You see it on Ford truck ads on TV. You see it on microbrewery packaging, and that’s because Art has seeped that thinking into the mainstream.”

Charles Spencer Anderson, the Minneapolis designer who has similarly spent decades reinterpreting vintage graphics with a loving heart, says of Chantry, “He’s just one of the most genuine people in this business. He will sacrifice money, will sacrifice anything to do great work he believes in.”

“Art is in love with the actual process of making graphic design,” says Robert Newman. “He will do work that he does just so he can use the materials, or have the tactile experience.” Comparing Chantry to John Cassavetes and Jimi Hendrix, Newman points out that he is far more strategic than the spontaneous appearance of his design suggests. “Art took all the threads of graphic design from the ’30s and ’40s, and especially ’50s and ’60s, and gave it this modern approach that just tore your head off,” he says. “The influences are so deep and yet the way he speaks visually is so contemporary. My kids could look at it and think, ‘That’s cool.’  ”

Long dismissive of computers as design tools, Chantry has had to adjust to certain realities. Formerly he would create mechanicals, preparing artwork that emerged magically, or with happy mutations, on press. Now he designs comps that are scanned and passed on for digital production. But if he mourns the loss of outmoded technology, he also finds compensations. He is happy that the Internet has become a warehouse for design ephemera. Social media has allowed him to conduct regular online conversations with a large gang of enthusiasts. In 2015, Feral House published Art Chantry Speaks, a collection of his essays on design history that first appeared on Facebook. The shift to the digital world, he points out, “took the language of graphic design away from the elite academia—the world that defined what it was and what it was not—and put it into the hands of the every man.”

(Biography by Julie Lasky, from AIGA website)



Artist: Ghada Amer

Date: Thursday, September 20

Time: 5pm

Location: Speaker’s Auditorium, Student Center East, 55 Gilmer St SE, Atlanta, GA 30303


Ghada Amer will give a lecture on her artistic practice which will be immediately followed by a reception in the Welch School Galleries. The event is free and open to the public but seating is limited. Please reserve your free tickets on Eventbrite.

Ghada Amer is a NY-based artist who was born in Cairo, Egypt in 1963 and spent part of her upbringing in France. She studied at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, received her MFA in painting from the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Nice, and moved to New York City in 1996. She explores numerous themes in her paintings, sculptures, and public garden projects, including cultural identity, definitions of East and West, feminine and masculine, and art and craft. Amer has exhibited at the Venice Biennale, the Sydney Biennale, the Whitney Biennale, and the Brooklyn Museum, among other locations. In October 2018, she will be an honoree at the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art’s Awards.

Much of Amer’s production is informed by her personal history. Although Amer’s parents encouraged her academically and her family traveled internationally due to her father’s position as a diplomat, her position as an “outsider” in the West lead her to contemplate questions of cultural identity and hybridity. Amer subsequently applied a hybrid approach to some of her production by combining painting, which she considers a more masculine art form, with sewing and embroidery, which she considers more female forms of expression. Further, in reaction to some of the stereotypical representations of the female in Islamic culture she encountered in both Egypt and France, Amer appropriates images of women that are directed at the male gaze and reinterprets them in her own, often erotic, embroideries and paintings. Through her visually abstract works, Amer engages in a type of post-gender rebellion against pre-established cultural values, commodification, and male-dominated societies.

“Ghada Amer: The Breakthrough” features a lecture by the New York-based artist Ghada Amer, and two related gallery projects:

  1. “Ghada Amer: The Breakthrough Resource Room,” curated by GSU Associate Professor of Art History Kimberly Cleveland and Gallery Director Cynthia Farnell
  2. “The Economy of a Woman’s Touch: Contemporary Female Artists in Dialogue with Ghada Amer,” curated by GSU Associate Professor of Art History Kimberly Cleveland and MFA Candidate Jack Michael, will feature pieces by Jessica Caldas, Jack Michael, Maria Ojeda, Carla Powell, and Parker Thornton, artists whose production engages in a conceptual or material dialogue with Amer’s work.

Ghada Amer’s lecture, as well as Ghada Amer: The Breakthrough Resource Room and The Economy of a Woman’s Touch: Contemporary Female Artists in Dialogue with Ghada Amer are supported by the Center for Collaborative and International Arts at GSU (CENCIA), The Welch School Galleries, and The Welch Visiting Artist and Scholar series of the Ernest G. Welch School of Art & Design.



Artist: Leigh Ledare

Event #1: Film screening with Q&A

Date: Tuesday, September 25

Time: 5:45pm – 8:15pm

Location: The Atlanta Contemporary 535 Means St NW, Atlanta, GA 30318


Visiting artist and Guggenheim recipient, Leigh Ledare, discusses his recent film, “The Task,” followed by a discussion. “Twenty-eight strangers shuffle into a nondescript room where they sit down for day three of a radical social experiment orchestrated by taboo-breaking artist Leigh Ledare. Veering between brutal honesty, righteous indignation, manipulative caginess, and suspicion of the inscrutable “task” at hand, the participants—spread across race, age, gender, and class lines—relentlessly analyze each and every interaction that passes between them until even an act as small as changing one’s seat becomes charged with explosive tension. Provocative, at times uncomfortable, and always riveting, The Task is an unsettling mirror reflection of our societal fault lines.”  The Task will be screened for the full 118 minutes, followed by a Q&A. This screening is part of Welch Visiting Artist & Scholar Series at Georgia State University, co-sponsored by GSU Photo and Atlanta Contemporary.


Event #2: Artist talk followed by a Q&A

Date: Wednesday, September 26

Time: 11:00am-12:30pm

Location: The CMII Building Georgia State University , 25 Park Place, Screening Room 306, Atlanta GA 30303

The work of artist Leigh Ledare maps psychosocial relations inscribed within the various orders of photography, language, and public and private social constructions. Ledare’s exhibitions and projects have been exhibited extensively in the US and abroad. Recent exhibitions include: The Plot, The Art Institute of Chicago (2017); Vokzal, The Box, Los Angeles (2017); as well as numerous group exhibitions including the 2017 Whitney Biennial, The Whitney Museum of Modern Art, New York; and Manifesta 11, Zurich (2016). Ledare’s work has also been the subject of major surveys at Charlottenborg Kunsthal, Copenhagen (2013), and WIELS Contemporary Art Centre, Brussels (2012). Publications by Ledare include: Double Bind Conversations (Art Resources Press, 2015), a book length dialog co-authored with Rhea Anastas; Ana and Carl and some other couples (Andrew Roth, 2014), a collaboration with Nicolas Guagnini; Leigh Ledare, et al. (Mousse Publishing, 2012), edited by Elena Filipovic; An Invitation (Leroy Neiman Center for Print Studies, Columbia University, 2012), a photolithography edition; Double Bind (MFC-michèle didier, 2012); and Pretend You’re Actually Alive (PPP Editions and Andrew Roth, 2008). In 2017 Ledare was awarded a John Simon Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship.




Artist: Mark Dion

Date: Monday, October 15

Time: 6pm

Location: The CMII Building Georgia State University , 25 Park Place, Screening Room 306, Atlanta GA 30303

Mark Dion was born in 1961 in New Bedford, Massachusetts. He initially studied in 1981-2 at the Hartford Art School of the University of Hartford in Connecticut, which awarded him a BFA (1986) and honorary doctorate in 2002. From 1983 to 1984 he attended the School of Visual Arts in New York and then the prestigious Whitney Museum of American Art’s Independent Study Program (1984-1985). He is an Honorary Fellow of Falmouth University in the UK (2014), and has an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters (Ph.D.) from The Wagner Free Institute of Science in Philadelphia (2015).

Dion’s work examines the ways in which dominant ideologies and public institutions shape our understanding of history, knowledge, and the natural world. The job of the artist, he says, is to go against the grain of dominant culture, to challenge perception and convention. Appropriating archaeological, field ecology and other scientific methods of collecting, ordering, and exhibiting objects, Dion creates works that question the distinctions between ‘objective’ (‘rational’) scientific methods and ‘subjective’ (‘irrational’) influences. The artist’s spectacular and often fantastical curiosity cabinets, modeled on Wunderkammen of the 16th and 17th Century, exalt atypical orderings of objects and specimens. Dion also frequently collaborates with museums of natural history, aquariums, zoos and other institutions mandated to produce public knowledge on the topic of nature. By locating the roots of environmental politics and public policy in the construction of knowledge about nature, Mark Dion questions the objectivity and authoritative role of the scientific voice in contemporary society, tracking how pseudo-science, social agendas and ideology creep into public discourse and knowledge production.

Dion has received numerous awards, including the ninth annual Larry Aldrich Foundation Award (2001) The Joan Mitchell Foundation Award (2007) and the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Lucida Art Award (2008). He has had major exhibitions at the Miami Art Museum, Miami (2006); Museum of Modern Art, New York (2004); Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, Ridgefield, Connecticut (2003); Tate Gallery, London (1999), and the British Museum of Natural History, London (2007). “Neukom Vivarium” (2006), a permanent outdoor installation and learning lab for the Olympic Sculpture Park, was commissioned by the Seattle Art Museum. Dion produced a major permanent commission, ‘OCEANOMANIA: Souvenirs of Mysterious Seas’ for the Oceanographic Museum in Monaco. In 2016 Dion and his curatorial collaborator Sarina Basta produced the large scale exhibition, ExtraNaturel: Voyage initiatique dans la collection des Beaux-Arts de Paris, at the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Paris.

Mark Dion is co-director of Mildred’s Lane an innovative visual art education and residency program in Beach Lake, Pennsylvania.

For over two decades Dion has worked in the public realm in a wide range of scales, from architecture projects to print interventions in newspapers. Some of his most recent large scale pubic project include “The Amateur Ornithologist Clubhouse” a Captain Nemo-like interior constructed in a vast gas tank in Essen, Germany, and “Den” a large scale folly in Norway’s mountainous landscape which feature a massive sculpture of a sleeping bear in a cave, resting on a hill of material culture form the neolithic to the present. Dion has also produced large scale permanent commissions for Documenta 13 in Kassel, Germany, the Montevideo Biannale in Uruguay, The Rose Art Museum, Johns Hopkins University and the Port of Los Angeles.

In October 2017, The Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston hosted “Mark Dion: Misadventures of a 21st Century Naturalist”, the largest American Survey to date of the artist work. Dion lives with his wife and frequent collaborator Dana Sherwood in New York City and works worldwide.



Artist: Elle Perez

Date: Thursday, November 1

Time: 6pm

Location: The CMII Building Georgia State University , 25 Park Place, Screening Room 306, Atlanta GA 30303

Elle  Pérez lives  and works in  New York City.  Pérez recently held  a solo exhibition at  47 Canal, New York, and  their work has been exhibited  at The Stonewall National Museum  & Archives, Ft. Lauderdale, and the  Bronx Documentary Center, New York, among  other venues. Pérez is a founding member of  Junte, a local and international artist collective  and visual art project based out of Adjuntas, Puerto  Rico. They are currently a Visiting Assistant Professor  of Visual and Environmental Studies at Harvard University,  and a Dean at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. This artists talk is part of Welch Visiting Artist & Scholar Series at Georgia State University.




Speaker: Lilly- Cox Richard

Date: Monday, November 12

Time: 2:30pm

Location: Georgia State Library South, Library Special Collections, 8thfloor

Lily Cox-Richard’s sculpture engages familiar forms and materials that have become unmoored from their original contexts and roles. She mines this distance by digging into their cultural and material histories and forging new paths between them. She has been awarded an Artadia grant, a Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship, a postdoctoral fellowship in the University of Michigan’s Society of Fellows, and residencies at the Core Program, Millay Colony, RAIR Philadelphia, and the MacDowell Colony. Recent solo exhibitions include Yvonne (Guatemala City), Artpace (San Antonio, TX), She Works Flexible (Houston), Hirschl & Adler Modern (New York), Vox Populi (Philadelphia), and the Hudson River Museum (New York). Lily Cox-Richard lives and works in Richmond, VA, where she is an assistant professor in the Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts.




Artist: Mark Burns

Date: Wednesday, February 6

Time: 6pm

Location: The CMII Building Georgia State University , 25 Park Place, Screening Room 306, Atlanta GA 30303

Mark Burns, an MFA graduate of the University of Washington, is a significant leader in the field of contemporary ceramics. He has held teaching positions at The University of the Arts in Philadelphia, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and The Rhode Island School of Design, among others. He most recently taught at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where he was head of ceramics and chair of the department, before being an artist in residence in the Ceramic Program at Harvard University from 2016-2017

He has been awarded two NEA grants, the Excellence in Teaching Award from the National Council on Education for the Ceramics Arts (NCECA), and this year he will be inducted into the American Craft Council College of Fellows. Over the last 30 years, he was given workshops and lectures throughout the country and internationally. His work has been featured in publications including Ceramics Monthly, Sex Pots, and Art in America. His work is in permanent collections around the world including: the Smithsonian in Washington D.C. and the Museum of Ceramic Arts in Seoul, South Korea; as well as collections the Netherlands, Russia, Japan, and many more. Burns’ work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally, and is held in numerous public and private collections. Burns has a keen sense of ceramic history and pop culture, which he uses to express complex cultural notions of sexuality and identity.




Artist: Pete Schulte & Amy Pleasant

Date: Wednesday, February 27

Time: 6pm

Location: Room 300, Arts & Humanities Building


Amy Pleasant’s work includes painting, drawing, and ceramic sculpture, all exploring the body and language through repetition. Adopting the structure of a diagram or list, she explores the fragmented figure as sign or symbol. With a limited palette and an economy of line, she draws images like writing a letter, documenting essential, universal motions and human behaviors.  

Pleasant, received a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (1994) and an MFA from the Tyler School of Art, Temple University (1999). Her work has been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions around the country and world and has been reviewed in publications such as World Sculpture News, Sculpture, The Brooklyn Rail, Art in America, artforum.com, Art Papers, Bad at Sports and BURNAWAY.

She was recently awarded a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship (2018).  Other awards include the South Arts Prize for the State of Alabama (2018), Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters and Sculptors Award (2015), Mary Hambidge Distinguished Artist Award (2015), Cultural Alliance of Birmingham Individual Artist Fellowship (2008), and Alabama State Council on the Arts Individual Artist Fellowship (2003).

Pete Schulte received an MFA in painting and drawing from The University of Iowa in 2008. He has held recent solo exhibitions at Jeff Bailey Gallery, Hudson New York; Whitespace Gallery, Atlanta; Luise Ross Gallery, New York City; The Woskob Family Gallery at Penn State University; and The Visual Arts Gallery at The University of Alabama-Birmingham. His work has been included in recent group exhibitions at The Spring/Break Art Show, New York City; The Schick Art Gallery at Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, New York; Zeitgeist Gallery, Nashville; The Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia, Atlanta; Transmitter Gallery, Brooklyn; Looke&Listen, Saint-Chamas, France; and at Jeff Bailey Gallery. Art in America, World Sculpture News, Burnaway, and The New Art Examiner have reviewed his work, among other publications. Schulte is the 2017 Southern Art Prize Fellowship Winner for the state of Alabama. In 2018 Schulte will present a solo exhibition at Whitespace and his work will be featured in group exhibitions at McKenzie Fine Art, New York, City, and Hemphill Fine Art in Washington D.C. Pete Schulte lives in Birmingham, Alabama and is Associate Professor of Art at The University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. In 2013 he co-founded The Fuel And Lumber Company curatorial initiative with artist Amy Pleasant. His work is represented by Jeff Bailey Gallery, Hudson, New York and Whitespace Gallery, Atlanta.

Both artists currently live and work in Birmingham, Alabama and are represented by Jeff Bailey Gallery, Hudson, New York and whitespace gallery, Atlanta, Georgia. Believing art and culture to be among the needs vital to the health of any community, Pleasant and Schulte co-founded The Fuel And Lumber Company in Birmingham, Alabama, to facilitate exhibitions and related programming in the Southeast and beyond. The Fuel And Lumber Company is an idea, not a traditional brick and mortar space, dedicated to contemporary art and community engagement.



Artist: Alexis Williams

Date: Wednesday, March 6

Time: 5pm

Location: TBD


Alexis Williams is a Canadian research artist working with natural materials and electronics.  She studied print media and bio-art at Concordia University where she earned an MFA. She runs the Ayatana Artists’ Research Program that facilitates artists’ study of nature through science and other non-normal points of view.  She is currently building empathy masks that will let their wearers experience the world with the senses of non-human organisms. Her art practice is informed by her study of road kill lepidoptery, sky gazing, rural exploration and most passionately: mycology.

Mycology is the study of mushrooms. Mycophilia is the love of them. Alexis has had the pleasure to have observed thousands of species of wild mushrooms around the world. She uses the act of exploring the forest as a pilgrimage to unveil truths about biology and our place within the ecology of the earth. As a mycological artist she aims to work against mycophobia, to encourage appreciation and to increase acceptance and support of innovative myco-technologies and the potential for new symbiotic relationships with mushrooms. She is interested in developing new ways of delivering mycological knowledge and rethinking how science can be expressed through art. Her mycophiliac practice has led to the development of a large series of prints made with mushroom spores, guided forest walks that teach wild mushroom appreciation to artists and a smartphone app: The Mushroom Oracle that delivers motivational advice alongside biology lessons. She continues to write creative nonfiction that showcases sublime fungal forces.


Artist: Andrew Leo Stansbury 

Date: Wednesday, April 10

Time: 6pm

Location: The CMII Building Georgia State University , 25 Park Place, Screening Room 306, Atlanta GA 30303

Andrew is a queer ceramic-based performance artist from Cuero and San Antonio, Texas. Currently, he is an Assistant Professor at the University of Minnesota Morris, teaching Ceramics and Photography. In 2018, he was awarded as one of the NCECA Emerging Artists. He received his MFA from UMass Dartmouth in 2017 and is a member of the artist collective The Lullwood Group. Previously, he received his BFA from the University of Texas at San Antonio in 2011, and his AA & AS from Victoria College in 2009.

“As an artist, I seek not to appease, but rather to confront. In order to do so, my work and my practice bluntly question popularized ideals of beauty and desire; I seek my own alternative version of beauty that accepts and is influenced by the unexpected or the traumatic. Through an open-narrative in material, I consume and integrate process-oriented craft within performance and photography to create a unique moment.”