This Fall the Global Citizenship Program launched the second season of its Meet the Artist Lecture Series at the Webster Geneva campus. Fifteen visual artists will be presenting their work to an audience composed of members of the Webster community and external guests.
The first event of the season was a special exhibition of artist Sema Jonsson's "100 Portraits of Women Who Inspire," which showcased 100 portraits of female artists, activists, writers, singers, scientists, politicians, businesswomen, humanitarians and philanthropists.
"Campus response has been tremendous," says Dr. Julianna Sandholm-Bark, who launched the lecture series in March. "Art has an amazing way of bringing people together and opening up the conversation about the nature of creativity and the complex and ever-changing role of the artist in society today, and it's definitely created some interesting conversations on our campus. I'm grateful to my Webster colleagues, students and loyal attendees from the Geneva area without whose support this new season of Meet the Artist would not be taking place."
Apart from providing a platform for learning about and discussing the visual arts and reaching out to the local community, the Meet the Artist Lecture Series was created to enhance the potential of students to think in critical, creative, and cross-disciplinary ways. Presentations serve an essential co-curricular function where course topics — such as creativity, human rights and sustainability — are explored through the lens of art. The series forms an integral part of courses such as First-Year Seminar, Art Appreciation, Introduction of Sustainability and Current Art.
Several presentations this season carry a special interest for students of international relations and human rights. Rodrigo Figueredo, who presented on October 11, has created a militant artform that aims to reveal political and social injustice on a global scale. His presentation left a strong impression on his audience, especially on the members of the Webster Humanitarian Association (WHA), who co-hosted the event and took part in a painting workshop led by Figueredo later that day. His presentation is available here.
The WHA also co-hosted the presentation of Kristian Skeie, held on Nov. 8 and during which he presented his work that documents life after genocide in places like Bosnia and Rwanda. His presentation can be viewed here.
Another human rights-themed event involved the presentation of the work of visual artist Antonio Natale, also known as "the artist of banknotes," who presented recent work that addresses the theme of human rights. A presentation by his artistic agent, Christine Ruiz-Kerendi, is available here.
Another interest group who will benefit from the rich Meet the Artist program this year are students of media and photography. On Oct. 4, Rolf Magnusson presented his portfolio of photographs taken his 40 year-long career working as a professional photographer. His presentation can be viewed here. Next year we look forward to welcoming Webster alumna Lina Bessonova (www.linabessonova.photography), activist Arantxa Cedillo, as well as our in-house photographer and scholar, Francesco Arese-Visconti (aresevisconti.com).
A few artists invited this season will be speaking about the use of digital technology in their work. Examples include Swiss installation artist Alan Bogana (www.alanbogana.com) who works with sculpture, computer graphics, electronics, time-based media and holography; Swiss product and media designer Laura Couto Rosado (www.lcr.digital) who combines digital and analogue technologies with craftsmanship, while developing a new generation of smart objects for home spaces; and French-Jamaican artist Olivia McGilchrist (oliviamcgilchrist.com) who explores the theme of cultural identity by juxtaposing photographs, video installations and virtual reality technology.
This series of lectures is hosted by Webster University’s Global Citizenship Program in collaboration with the Media Communications Department and the Webster Center of Creativity and Innovation (WCCI). Lunch for the speakers is provided through the WCCI.
For questions/comments, please contact Dr. Julianna Sandholm-Bark (firstname.lastname@example.org). To visit the full program of the Meet the Artist Lecture Series for the academic year 2018-2019, please visit: wcci.webster.ch/events/meet_the_artist/