Penny W. Stamps School of Art and Design at the University of Michigan
 

Roman J. Witt Visitors

 

Roman J. Witt Visits are offered to bring a unique artistic experience to the A&D community. The Witt Visitor comes to work at the school, give workshops for students, and participate in critiques and classroom visits. Visitors may be well-known artists-designers, as well as younger, emerging artists-designers. As visitors are meant to enhance curriculum in a practical manner, nominations are exclusive to faculty.

Fall 2013 Witt Visitors

Amer Kobaslija

Painter

A 2013 Guggenheim Fellow in Painting, Amer Kobaslija is originally from Banjaluka in Bosnia. In 1993, at the age of eighteen, Kobaslija’s family was ethnically cleansed from Northwestern Bosnia.  Kobaslija family fled the war-ravaged country and arrived in refugee camps in Nuremberg, Germany. Afterward, Amer traveled to Dusseldorf where he attended the Art Academy. In 1997, Kobaslija was offered asylum by the United States and immigrated to Florida. Once in Florida, Kobaslija completed his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Printmaking at the Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota, Florida. In 2003, he went on to pursue a Master of Fine Arts degree in Painting at Montclair State University in New Jersey. Currently, Kobaslija is an Assistant Professor of Art at Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania. He divides his time between New York City and Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Kobaslija has had numerous one-person exhibitions in Paris, New York, Los Angeles,San Francisco, Chicago, and Miami. He is represented by George Adams Gallery in New York where he exhibited his fifth solo show with the gallery in March 2012. In
2005, he was awarded a grant from the Joan Mitchell Foundation; the following year, he received a grant from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation. Kobaslija‘s works have been reviewed and printed in publications such as The New York Times, Art in America, ArtNews, Art & Antiques, The Village Voice, New York Time Out, New York Magazine,The New York Sun, The San Francisco Chronicle, and The Florida Times Union.

Host: Endi Poskovic

Website: http://georgeadamsgallery.com/artists/artist_ins.php3?artist=100

 


Shawn Sides

Performer, Director and Producer

Shawn Sides, director, is a member of the internationally renowned collective the Rude Mechanicals.  Based in Austin TX, this company has toured to venues including the Walker Art Center, the Wexner Center, as well as winning Creative Capital grants and many other awards.

Host: Holly Hughes

Website: http://www.rudemechs.com/

 


Miwa Matreyek

Animator and Filmmaker

Miwa Matreyek creates animated short films as well as live works that integrate animation, performance, and video installation. Arriving to animation from a background in collage, her work explores how animation transforms when it is combined with body, both physically in her performance pieces, as well as a composited video element in her short films.

Host: Heidi Kumao

Website: http://www.semihemisphere.com/

 


Sean Cole

Producer

Sean Cole is a producer for the award-winning WNYC program Radiolab. and frequent contributor to This American Life, All Things Considered, and Studio 360, among others.

Host: Stephanie Rowden

Website: http://www.radiolab.org/people/sean-cole/

 


Adam Abel

Photography/Video/Film

Abel has spent significant time living and working in the West Bank. His work uses narratives from Palestine to disrupt narratives about Palestine. Predictable images of military, checkpoints, walls and violence are absent in his videos. His work would provide a perspective into Palestinian culture as a place where young people develop new cultural forms that are informed by occupation but not defined by violence. These are pressing issues that are important to our community of artists and designers. Abels work has been exhibited throughout New York, including shows at Galapagos Art Space, Rush Arts Gallery, 3 emerging artist and graduate of the MFA in Photography and Related Media at Parsons, The New School For Design.

Host: Rebekah Modrak

Website: http://adamabelstudio.com/

 


Irfan Hošić

Art Historian and Curator

Irfan Hošić is an art historian and curator, based in Bihaƒá, Bosnia and Herzegovina. He received his MA and PhD degrees at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb. His research area includes Contemporary Art, Architecture and Fashion within the conflicting societies, with a special emphasis on Bosnia and Herzegovina.  Hošić has authored numerous Bosnian and Croatian publications (catalogues and magazines) on contemporary art and culture. From 2010 to 2012, he wrote regularly for weekly magazine, DANI, and received an award in Art Criticism from BIRN (Belgrade, Serbia). His recent curatorial projects include Clothing as a Symbol of Identity (2012) and Art and Terrorism: Bosnian-Herzegovinian Artwork Post 9/11 (2009). Hošić is the curator of the Bosnian Pavilion at the 55th Venice Biennale (2013). He is currently working at the Textile Department, the University of Bihaƒá and acts as the president of the academic conferences Clothing as a Symbol of Identity (2011) and Attention! Clothing, Art, Identity (2013) hosted by the University of Bihaƒá.

Host: Endi Poskovic

Website: http://www.labvisual.de/

 


Jeff Scher

Animator and Filmmaker

Jeff Scher has made over one hundred films, mixing painting, typography, graphic elements and film to create beautifully vibrant and emotionally charged animations. Scher draws inspiration from everyday life: he is a poetic observer, a modern-day Baudelaire enjoying the limitless boundaries of experimentation.  Scher is a regular NY Times blog contributor.

Host: Heidi Kumao

Website: http://fezfilms.net/

 


Trevor Stone

Public Artist

Spontaneous Art aims to bring strangers together for moments of authentic social connectivity and flashes of creativity. We infiltrate public spaces in costume and create entertaining spectacles that alter routine daily life. Bystanders become part of the act and spectators jump in to help shape the direction of our skits.  Spontaneous Art’s performances investigate and depend on the inventiveness of strangers to reach their full potential.

Host: Holly Hughes

Website: http://spontaneousart.org/

 


 

 

Selected Past Witt Visitors

Oliver Uberti

Winter 2013

Oliver Uberti is a visual journalist. He travels the world with a sketchbook in hand.

From 2003 to 2012, he worked in the design department of National Geographic Magazine, most recently as Senior Design Editor. His designs, information graphics, maps, illustrations, and art direction have won numerous international awards. In 2010, he designed 826DC’s Museum of Unnatural History–a novelty gift store, non-profit tutoring and writing center, and the only museum in America (he supposes based on absolutely zero research) with a cave, unicorn tears, and hundreds of volunteers teaching children to write.

A graduate of the University of Michigan School of Art & Design (Class of ‘03), Oliver went on to earn a Master’s in Writing from Johns Hopkins University. He is a member of the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators and has spoken at TEDx on creativity and the time required to produce good, soulful work. Oliver left National Geographic in 2012 to form his own studio, Oliver Uberti Creative. He is happy to be living and working back in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

http://oliveruberti.com/

 


Jason de Haan

Winter 2013

Jason de Haan is shortlisted for Canada’s prestigious Sobey Art Award. About his work, he writes: “Much of my past work has also been about allowing natural and/or environmental conditions to determine the completion (or in some cases the ongoing development) of a work or action. I work with natural tendencies, steer the known into the imaginable, creating glimpses into the unknown, the future. There is the possibility to capture and conserve both natureʼs immensity and its miniature.”

Hosts: Rebekah Modrak and Robert Platt

http://www.jasondehaan.net/Site/Home.html

 


Limin Fang

Winter 2013

Limin Fang is an artist and a member of the Chinese Artists’ Association. He currently lives in Hangzhou and is a Associate Dean of the Printmaking Department of the Chinese National Academy of Fine Art.  He has exhibited nationally and has represented China in major international print biennials and triennials.  Most recently Limin Fang’s work was shown at the University of Michigan Museum of Art Multiple Impressions: Contemporary Chinese Woodblock Prints exhibition. His works are in major collections in China, Japan, and England.

Hosts: Endi Poskovic and Y. David Chung, Larry Cressman and Kathryn Luchs

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JpFAgOZks_A

 


Heather Woodbury

Winter 2013

Heather Woodbury is an internationally renowned performance artist and playwright who is best known for ongoing, multi-character solos she creates with new episodes each week.  Her current project is “As the Globe Warms,” which tackles environmental issues and has toured nationally.

Hosts: Holly Hughes and Malcolm Tulip

http://www.heatherwoodbury.com/

 


Jess Dobkin

Winter 2013

Dobkin’s performances, installations, artist’s talks and workshops are presented internationally at museums, galleries, theatres, universities and in public spaces. Her creative endeavors have received wide support and recognition, including awards from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, and Toronto Arts Council, and repeated funding from the Franklin Furnace Fund for Performance Art and the Astraea Foundation.

Hosts: Holly Hughes and Malcolm Tulip

http://www.jessdobkin.com/

 


Luke Fowler

Winter 2013

Luke Fowler is an artist, filmmaker and musician based in Glasgow. He studied printmaking at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design in Dundee. He creates cinematic collages that have often been linked to the British Free Cinema movement of the 1950s. His documentary films have explored counter cultural figures including Scottish psychiatrist R. D. Laing and English composer Cornelius Cardew.

Host: Heidi Kumao

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luke_Fowler

 


Suzan Pitt

Winter 2013

Suzan Pitt is an American film animator and painter, whose surreal, psychological animated films and paintings have been acclaimed and exhibited worldwide. She teaches with the Experimental Animation program at California Institute of the Arts.

Host: Heidi Kumao

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suzan_Pitt

 


Joseph Keckler

Winter 2013

Joseph Keckler is a 2004 graduate of A&D.  Keckler is a Brooklyn-based singer and artist. His performance pieces and concerts have been presented at The New Museum, BAM Fischer Center, Issue Project Room, SXSW Music, Joe’s Pub at The Public Theater, NYU Performance Studies Guest Lecture, PS122, soloNOVA, The Stone, Afterglow Festival, La MaMa ETC, Envoy Gallery, Amsterdam’s Bellevue Theatre, and many other venues. His shows are often Village Voice Choices and Time Out NY Critics Picks.

Hosts: Holly Hughes and Malcolm Tulip

http://www.josephkeckler.com/

 


Laura Heit

Winter 2013

Laura Heit is multi-disciplinary artist who works with experimental film/animation, puppetry and live performance.  Her acclaimed puppet-show-in miniature, The Matchbox Shows, in which Heit plays ringmaster to a tiny cabaret, has been touring for over ten years.  Her work has screened extensively at museums and film festivals around the world including; Walker Arts center, Moma, Guggenheim, Anthology Film Archives, Millennium Film Workshop, Annecy, Rotterdam, Taiwan, Ann Arbor, and London International Film Festivals, Black Maria, PBS, and others.

Host: Heidi Kumao

http://lauraheit.com/home.html

 


Adele Henderson

Winter 2013

Adele Henderson in an artist and Professor/Head of the Gradate Program in Art at Studies at SUNY at Buffalo.  She received her BFA from the University of Nebraska - Lincoln, and MFA from Arizona State University. She joined the State University of New York Department of Art Visual Studies in 1987, served as department chair from 1998-2004, and is currently the Director of Graduate Studies. Major awards include a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship (Works on Paper); Constance Saltonstall Foundations for the Arts Fellowship (Printmaking); Artists Projects: New York State Regional Initiative grant; and residency fellowships at MacDowell, Yaddo, Brandywine, Roswell Museum and Art Center, and Open Studio (Toronto). Henderson’s artwork has been exhibited in over 30 solo exhibitions across the US including the Hewlitt Gallery at Carnegie Mellon, Anchor Graphics, Colgate University, and the Print Center, Philadelphia, and in over 150 group exhibitions countries including Australia, Finland, Japan, New Zealand, and Slovenia. Her prints and works on paper are in the collections of the Boston Museum Of Fine Arts; Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University; Albright-Knox Art Gallery; Nelson-Atkins Museum Of Art; National Museum Of American Art; New York Public Library; the Kennedy Museum of American Art, and the Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery, among others.

Hosts: Endi Poskovic and Y. David Chung, Larry Cressman and Kathryn Luchs

http://www.adelehenderson.com/

 


Katie Davis

Winter 2013

Katie Davis is currently a Senior Producer at American Public Media’s The Story. She is a longtime public radio broadcaster as producer and show host for NPR, a contributor to PRI’s “This American Life” and founder of aneighborhood youth group The Urban Rangers Youth Service Corps.

Host: Stephanie Rowden

http://thestory.org/about/staff

 


Peter Wood

Winter 2013

In this lecture, Peter H. Wood, emeritus professor of history at Duke University, explores Near Andersonville, an important work by Winslow Homer - one of America’s most famous and admired artists who rose to prominence as a young illustrator during the Civil War. In a 1988 landmark exhibition, Wood and Karen Dalton brought attention to the fact that many of Homer’s most significant works from the Civil War and Reconstruction years focused on African Americans, both enslaved and free. Wood has continued to pursue this theme of Homer’s black images. “For me,” Dr. Wood observes, “Near Andersonville is a revolutionary painting in the world of American art. Only now, a century and half later, are we beginning to understand its significance, its implications, and its ongoing relevance.”

Host: Janie Paul

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_H._Wood

 


Megan Williamson

Winter 2013

Megan Williamson is a painter living in Chicago whose work explores nature altered by human presence. She has had 17 solo exhibitions of her work and been in over 50 group across the country including in Chicago, NYC, St Louis, New Orleans, Boston, as well in Italy and Canada.

Host: Stephanie Rowden

http://www.meganwilliamson.com/

 


Limin Fang

Printmaker

Limin Fang is an artist and a member of the Chinese Artists’ Association. He currently lives in Hangzhou and is a Associate Dean of the Printmaking Department of the Chinese National Academy of Fine Art. He has exhibited nationally and has represented China in major international print biennials and triennials. Most recently Limin Fang’s work was shown at the University of Michigan Museum of Art Multiple Impressions: Contemporary Chinese Woodblock Prints exhibition. His works are in major collections in China, Japan, and England.

Host: Endi Poskovic

 


Jill Graham

Printmaker

As the Open Studio Technical Director, Jill’s has been involved in creative printmaking process through collaboration, public engagement and community outreach. She has supervised custom printed projects in lithography and collaborated with Open Studio Visiting Artists on projects utilizing a variety of analog and digital print media. During fall 2012 and winter 2013, Jill will be conducting research in lithography at the University of New Mexico Tamarind Institute as a Tamarind Master Printer Fellow.

Host: Endi Poskovic

 


Benay Rubenstein

Film/Video Artist

Benay Rubenstein is a Soros Justice Fellow campaigning to reform the State University of New York’s admissions policies imposing admission barriers for people with criminal records. She will be showing her new film,  Passport to the Future: Accessing College Admissions in an Era of Mass Incarceration and leading a discussion. Benay also produced The Last Graduation a film that describes the dismantling of college programs in US prisons; founded the College Initiative, a reentry education program for formerly incarcerated people, and served as academic coordinator for College Bound Programs at Bedford Hills Correctional Facility in NY.

Host: Janie Paul

 


Sharon Bridgforth

Performance Artist

Sharon Bridgforth, a resident playwright at New Dramatists since 2009. Pillsbury House Theatre received a 2012 MAP Fund award in support of her current work in-progress, River See. River See is a 2012 National Performance Network (NPN) Creation Fund Project co-commissioned by Links Hall (Chicago), Living Arts of Tulsa, Diaspora Vibe Gallery (Miami), Pillsbury House Theatre (MLPS), The Theatre Offensive (Boston) and NPN. Her piece, blood pudding, was produced in the 2010 New York SummerStage Festival. The 2010 — 2012 Visiting Multicultural Faculty member at The Theatre School at DePaul University, Bridgforth is 2009 Mellon Artist In-Residence in The Department of Performance Studies at Northwestern University.

Host: Holly Hughes

 


Sondra Loring

Public Performance artist

Sondra Loring fell in love with yoga while dancing professionally in New York City. She traveled to India to study Ashtanga yoga with Sri K. Pattabhi Jois and continued to study Ashtanga in New York. Sondra opened Sadhana Center for Yoga and Meditation in 2003, and is the co-director with Jessie Lee Montague of Satya Yoga Center in Rhinebeck and Catskill. She co-directs the teacher training programs at both studios.

Host: Stephanie Rowden

 


Shawn Martinbrough

Graphic Artist

Shawn Martinbrough, a nationally recognized graphic novelist has illustrated comics for DC Comics, Vertigo and Marvel Comics ranging from Batman, Superman and X-Men to the “Luke Cage: Noir” miniseries. He is the author of How To Draw Noir Comics” and is currently working on “Thief of Thieves” a new graphic novel project with Robert Kirkman, the creator of the hit AMC television series, “The Walking Dead”.

Host: Franc Nunoo Quarcoo

 


Mary Lum

Photographer & Installation Artist

Mary Lum Painting creates collages and wall works that outline and unfold space, gleaned from the margins of the urban environment. She collects fragmented images and the poetic undercurrents of the city through her camera lens, later dislocating these architectural details–stairwells and railings for instance–and repositioning them in geometric planes of color that open up space.

Host: Rebekah Modrak