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Lesley MFA January 2023 residency

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Art Talks speaker bios


   Elle Pérez

Elle Pérez has worked primarily in photography, depicting the intimate moments, emotional exchanges, and visceral details of their subjects and landscapes. Pérez has held solo exhibitions at MoMA PS1 and 47 Canal, and group exhibitions at the Brooklyn Museum, the Barbican, London, the  Whitney Biennial, and the Venice Biennial. They are on the faculty at Harvard University.


Emmet Gowin

For six decades, Emmet Gowin has contemplated humanity's relationship to the natural world with visual wonderment. His photographs have evolved from intimate portraits of his wife Edith Morris and extended Virginia family to creating formally abstract, luminous compositions of the environment and human landscape. He taught at Princeton University from 1973 until his retirement in 2009.

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Nora Lawrence

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Tammy Nguyen

Nora Lawrence is the Artistic Director and
Chief Curator at Storm King Art Center. Having served as a curator for ten years at Storm King, among the recent exhibitions and projects Lawrence has developed are “Indicators: Artists on Climate Change” (2018); “Mark Dion: Follies” (2019); “Kiki Smith river light” (2020); “Rashid Johnson: The Crisis” (2021); and Sarah Sze’s permanent installation Fallen Sky, 2021.

Tammy Nguyen is a multimedia artist whose work spans painting, drawing, printmaking and book making. Intersecting geopolitical realities with fiction, her practice addresses lesser-known histories through a blend of myth and visual narrative. Exhibitions of hers include those MOMA PS1, Smack Mellon, Rubin Museum, The Factory Contemporary Arts Centre in Vietnam, Berlin Biennial, and the Bronx Museum. She is on the faculty at Wesleyan University.

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S. Yang

Andrew S. Yang is a transdisciplinary artist and scholar who works across the sciences, art, and history to examine humans’ relationships with nature and culture. His work has been exhibited from Oklahoma to Yokohama, including commissions for the 14th Istanbul Biennial (2015) and the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (2016). Yang's writings span ecology, aesthetics, and philosophy and can be found in Art JournalLeonardo, Biological Theory, and Antennae. He holds a PhD in biology, is a full professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and is a distinguished alum of the Lesley MFA in Visual Arts program.

January 2023
Visiting Faculty:
Andrew S. Yang

January 2023 residency thematic:
"Nature as Knowledge"

Responding to the natural world not as a passive subject matter,
but an active location for various forms of aesthetics, concerns, contexts, and knowledge.

Once Ignored Indigenous Knowledge Now Shaping Science

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Michelle Grabner, 2021

"Art as a Civic Practice" Symposium, 2020 

Trenton Doyle Hancock & JooYoung Choi,


Doris Salcedo, 2021

Mark Dion, 2018

Rainer Maria Rilke

Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird



Among twenty snowy mountains,   

The only moving thing   

Was the eye of the blackbird.   



I was of three minds,   

Like a tree   

In which there are three blackbirds.   



The blackbird whirled in the autumn winds.   

It was a small part of the pantomime.   



A man and a woman   

Are one.   

A man and a woman and a blackbird   

Are one.   



I do not know which to prefer,   

The beauty of inflections   

Or the beauty of innuendoes,   

The blackbird whistling   

Or just after.   



Icicles filled the long window   

With barbaric glass.   

The shadow of the blackbird   

Crossed it, to and fro.   

The mood   

Traced in the shadow   

An indecipherable cause.   



O thin men of Haddam,   

Why do you imagine golden birds?   

Do you not see how the blackbird   

Walks around the feet   

Of the women about you?   



I know noble accents   

And lucid, inescapable rhythms;   

But I know, too,   

That the blackbird is involved   

In what I know.   



When the blackbird flew out of sight,   

It marked the edge   

Of one of many circles.   



At the sight of blackbirds   

Flying in a green light,   

Even the bawds of euphony   

Would cry out sharply.   



He rode over Connecticut   

In a glass coach.   

Once, a fear pierced him,   

In that he mistook   

The shadow of his equipage   

For blackbirds.   



The river is moving.   

The blackbird must be flying.   



It was evening all afternoon.   

It was snowing   

And it was going to snow.   

The blackbird sat   

In the cedar-limbs.

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