MECA&D’s Visiting Artist & Guest Lecturer Series invites professional artists, educators, curators, thought leaders, and creative entrepreneurs to present on topics of interest and importance to the MECA&D community.

Past Visiting Artists


Hannah Epstein**

The Gary Ambrose Sculpture Series
Monday, September 13 (6:30-7:45pm)

Hannah Epstein (b.1985) is a techno-humourist & fyberspace artist. She holds an MFA from Carnegie Mellon University (2017) and a B.A in Folklore & Religious Studies from Memorial University (2009).

Raised in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Epstein was nursed by a Zenith television set and a Latvian grandmother. The sharp contrast between the saturated images on television and the tragic retelling of family history, launched a lifetime obsession with popular forms of entertainment as remedy and escape.

Using a folkloric lens, Epstein is devoted to highlighting the cultural negotiation between bottom-up (folk-to-commodity) and top-down (institution-to-mashup) storytelling. In her work, she continues to cultivate a visual vocabulary of cartoon and pop culture images that resonate with archetypal figures of the collective unconscious – taking the traditional east coast craft of rug hooking and modifying it for contemporary contexts. She often uses video game technology and imagery to develop a world of characters that playfully reflects our own. Epstein is currently represented by Steve Turner Gallery, Los Angeles.

Artist Website:

Funded through a generous gift from Dr. Edward M. Friedman ’08 and Carole J. Friedman, in honor of Sculpture Professor Emeritus Gary Ambrose.


Maria Molteni**

The Gary Ambrose Sculpture Series
Monday, September 27 (6:30-7:45pm)

This lecture is co-presented with the Portland Society for Architecture.

Maria Molteni (They/She, b 1983, Nashville) descends from white Europeans who immigrated to the US and settled in Tennessee as farmers and later small business owners. They are the grandchild of competitive square dancers, stunt motorcyclists, quilters, beekeepers and opera singers. Today Molteni is a Boston-based multimedia & performing artist, educator & mystic. Their practice has grown from traditional, formalist roots, studying Painting, Printmaking and Dance at Boston University, to incorporate research, social engagement and collaboration. They pull from a well of historical contexts, reimagining traditional narratives for visionary revolution. They playfully ask audiences to imagine them as the PE coach at Black Mountain College.

In 2010 They launched the international collective New Craft Artists in Action which pioneered the field of basketball court “murals” and published the instruction manual “Net Works: Learn to Craft Handmade Basketball Nets for Empty Hoops in Your Neighborhood”. They co-founded the participatory project Festooning the Inflatable Beehive while studying with beekeepers from across the country, including Treatment Free Apiculturalists Golden Rule Honey and Queer/Trans-run apiary They Keep Bees.

Since living on the East Coast, they have also developed a passion for the sea, its mysterious ecosystems and island lore. They have addressed their relationship to feminist and queer identities via Mermaids, Anglerfish, Moon Jellies and other nautical “species” in collaborative performances such as They Were Sunbeams…, Aurelian Baptism and There Are Plenty of Single Ladies in the Sea. They currently live and work on the Boston Harbor in Midway Artist Studios and enjoy their membership of the Boston Rowing Center on their neighborhood’s Fort Point Channel.

Artist Website:

Funded through a generous gift from Dr. Edward M. Friedman ’08 and Carole J. Friedman, in honor of Sculpture Professor Emeritus Gary Ambrose.


J. Morgan Puett**

The Gary Ambrose Sculpture Series
Monday, October 4 (6:30-7:45pm)

J. Morgan Puett was born in Hahira, Georgia, in 1957. She received her BFA in painting and sculpture in 1981; then an MFA in sculpture and experimental filmmaking from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1984. Puett is a transdisciplinary creative producer with accomplished work in installation art practices, clothing/furniture design, architecture, film, photography, and more – rearranging these intersections by applying conceptual tools, including research-based methods. Morgan’s early work forged new territory by intervening into the fashion system with a series of storefront installations and clothing/dwelling/event projects in Manhattan in the eighties and nineties. These experiences led her to produce a long series of art installations about the histories of the needle trade systems in museums worldwide. Puett is the architect of The Mildred’s Lane Project (since 1997), which continues to forge new ground citing that being is profoundly a social and political practice.

Puett received several awards, including the Magdalena Abakanowicz Arts and Culture 2019, John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation 2016, the Pollock-Krasner Foundation 2016, the Brown Foundation Fellowship/Dora Maar, the John and Marva Warnock Foundation 2014, the United States Artists 2011, the Smithsonian Institution Artist Research Fellowship 2009, the Anonymous Was A Woman Award 2005, the PEI in Philadelphia 2005.

Puett exhibits, lectures, and teaches extensively in venues that include MoMA, New York (2012-13); Musashino Art University, Tokyo (2012); Contemporary Art Center, Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia (2012); Creative Time, NYC (2011); Queens Museum of Art, NYC (2010); MoMA, NYC (2010); The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (2008); University of Venice, Italy (2005); American Fine Arts Co., NYC (2004); ARTEX, Arnheim, Netherlands (2004); WaveHill, Bronx, NYC; The Fabric Workshop and Museum of Philadelphia (2003-4); Mass MoCA, Ma. (2004); Spoleto, USA, Charleston, SC, (2002); The Serpentine Gallery & Victoria and Albert Museum, London (2001). Her artworks are in the Tate Modern in London, The Fabric Workshop and Museum of Philadelphia, and The Museum of Fine art, Philadelphia, amongst other collections. Her curatorial projects include Mildred’s Lane Sessions, The Mildred Complex(ity) Project Space, and A Guide to the Field Projects.

Artist Website:

Funded through a generous gift from Dr. Edward M. Friedman ’08 and Carole J. Friedman, in honor of Sculpture Professor Emeritus Gary Ambrose.


Eneida Sanches

The Gene R. Cohen Charitable Foundation Series
Thursday, October 7 (6:00-7:00pm) Zoom only

With a degree in Architecture from the Federal University of Bahia (UFBA). Her return to the visual arts was inspired by her interest in the tools for working with brass and copper for religious purposes when she was an apprentice to the Bahian master toolmaker Gilmar Conceição. Starting in 1992, she began exhibiting these objects in art galleries in and outside of Brazil.

In 1997, as an auditor in the Master’s program at UFBA and, subsequently, through workshops at MAM Bahia, Sanches would bring these different forms of constructive thought together. The combination of architecture, the tools of the orisha and the metal etchings are what has allowed her to make works like those exhibited in Transe, deslocamento de dimensões. Sanches’ production explores the idea of Trance as a religious phenomenon and the collective social representation of Afro-Bahian culture and its histories. Her iconographic repertoire originates in the universe of Candomblé ritual and its functional order. Her ten thousand prints result from hundreds of copper plates and the convergence of the functional limits of etching and sculpture.

Artist Website:

Funded through the generous support of the Gene R. Cohen Charitable Foundation.


Yazan Khalili, Medusa, installation, 2020. Photo: KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin

ICA Panel – Monitor: Surveillance, Data, and the New Panoptic

Thursday, October 21 (6:00-7:30pm) Zoom only

Artists in the exhibition Monitor: Surveillance, Data, and the New Panoptic at the ICA at Maine College of Art discuss their work and how they contest and transform surveillance (virtual).
Screen reader support enabled.



Yazan Khalili

The Gene R. Cohen Charitable Foundation Series
Thursday, November 4 (12:00-1:00pm) Zoom only

Born 1981, Yazan Khalili lives and works in and out of Palestine. He is an architect and visual artist. His works has been exhibited in several major exhibitions, including among others: New Photography, MoMA 2018, Jerusalem Lives, Palestinian Museum, 2017, Post-Peace, Kunstverein Stuttgart 2017, Shanghai Biennial 2016, Sharjah Biennial 2013.

Yazan Khalili received a degree in architecture from Birzeit University in 2003 and in 2010 received his MA degree from the Centre for Research Architecture at Goldsmith’s College, University of London, and in 2015 his MFA degree at Sandberg Institute, Rietveld Academy, Amsterdam. He was one of the founding members of Zan Design Studio (2005-2010). He was a finalist in the A. M. Qattan Foundation’s Young Artists Award (YAYA 2006). He was the production coordinator for Sharjah Biennials 9 & 10, and the technical director of the inaugural exhibition of the Palestinian Museum “Jerusalem Lives”. He curated (YAYA 2012), The City | The Image symposium with Goethe Institute, Ramallah 2012, The Long Journey exhibition, working with the UNRWA Audio-Visual archive for Palestine refugees, in 2013, and in 2015 he co-organized Walter Benjamin in Palestine workshop and symposium. He is the winner of Extract V young artist prize 2015. Currently he is a visiting lecturer at the media department at Al-Quds Bard college, and since September 2015 Yazan has been the artistic director of Khalil Sakakini Cultural Centre.

His writings and photographs have been featured in several publications, including among others Assuming Boycotts, WDW Magazine, Kalamon, Manifesta Journal, Frieze Magazine, Race & Class, C-Print, Ibraaz, Contemporary Art: World Currents, and Subjective atlas of Palestine. In 2009, alongside Lara Khaldi, Khalili co-curated We Were Never Heroes as part of the Jerusalem Show, and the film and video programs; Cinema of Independence 2009 and In The Name of the Father 2011 at the Arab Shorts Festival presented by the Goethe Institute, in Cairo.

Artist Website:

Funded through the generous support of the Gene R. Cohen Charitable Foundation.

Photo courtesy of Museum Villa Stuck. Photo: Barbara Donaubauer

Lee Mingwei**

The Gary Ambrose Sculpture Series
Monday, November 8 (12:00-1:00pm) Zoom only

Born in Taiwan in 1964 and currently living in Paris and New York City, Lee Mingwei creates participatory installations, where strangers can explore issues of trust, intimacy, and self-awareness, and one-on-one events, in which visitors explore these issues with the artist through eating, sleeping, walking and conversation. Lee’s projects are often open-ended scenarios for everyday interaction, and take on different forms and change over the course of an exhibition.

Lee received an MFA from Yale University in 1997, and has held solo exhibitions internationally including at Whitney Museum of American Art (1998), Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (2000, 2012), The Museum of Modern Art (2003), Los Angeles County Museum of Art (2004), Queensland Gallery of Modern Art (2008), Brooklyn Museum (2011), Mori Art Museum (2014), Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (2015), Taipei Fine Arts Museum (2015), The Metropolitan Museum of Art (2015, 2020), Centre Pompidou (2017, 2018), Gropius Bau (2020), Museum Villa Stuck (2021) and has been featured in biennials in Venice, Lyon, Liverpool, Taipei, Sydney, Whitney, and Asia Pacific Triennials.

Artist Website:

Funded through a generous gift from Dr. Edward M. Friedman ’08 and Carole J. Friedman, in honor of Sculpture Professor Emeritus Gary Ambrose.


Ghada Amer

The Gene R. Cohen Charitable Foundation Series
Thursday, November 18 (6:00-7:00pm)

Ghada Amer was born in Cairo (Egypt) in 1963. In 1974, her parents relocated to France where she began her artistic training ten years later at Villa Arson, Nice, France. She currently lives and works between New York and Paris and has exhibited among others at the Venice Biennale, the Sydney Biennale, the Whitney Biennale, and the Brooklyn Museum.

I believe that all women should like their bodies and use them as tools of seduction,” Amer stated; and in her well-known erotic embroideries, she at once rejects oppressive laws set in place to govern women’s attitudes toward their bodies and repudiates first-wave feminist theory that the body must be denied to prevent victimization. By depicting explicit sexual acts with the delicacy of needle and thread, their significance assumes a tenderness that simple objectification ignores.

Ghada Amer continuously allows herself to explore the dichotomies of an uneasy world and confronts the language of hostility and finality with unsettled narratives of longing and love.

Ghada Amer’s work addresses first and foremost the ambiguous, transitory nature of the paradox that arises when searching for concrete definitions of east and west, feminine and masculine, art and craft. Through her paintings, sculptures and public garden projects, Amer takes traditional notions of cultural identity, abstraction, and religious fundamentalism and turns them on their heads.

Artist Website:

Funded through the generous support of the Gene R. Cohen Charitable Foundation.






American Artist

The Gene R. Cohen Charitable Foundation Series
Thursday, December 2 (12:00-1:00pm)

AMERICAN ARTIST makes thought experiments that mine the history of technology, race, and knowledge production, beginning with their legal name change in 2013. Their artwork primarily takes the form of sculpture, software, and video. Artist is a 2021 LACMA Art & Tech Lab Grant Recipient and a resident at Smack Mellon in Brooklyn.

They are a former resident of Red Bull Arts, Recess, EYEBEAM, Pioneer Works, and the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program. They have exhibited at the Whitney Museum of American Art; MoMA PS1; Studio Museum in Harlem; Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; and Nam June Paik Center, Seoul. They have had solo museum exhibitions at The Queens Museum, New York and The Museum of African Diaspora, California.

Their work has been featured in the New York Times, Artforum, and Huffington Post. Artist is a 2021 Regents’ Lecturer at UCLA and teaches critical theory at the School for Poetic Computation.

Artist Website:

Funded through the generous support of the Gene R. Cohen Charitable Foundation.

Alyson Shotz**

The Gary Ambrose Sculpture Series
Monday, March 14 (6:30-7:45pm)

Alyson Shotz, b.1964, lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.

For the past 28 years she has been engaging, through her sculptural practice, in an artistic investigation into the physical qualities of space, light and matter- the building blocks of our physical world. Through exhaustive humanistic empirical experimentation in various materials including metal, porcelain, string, and glass beads, she explores the structure and substance of space itself: what is it, what is it made of? How does it shape everything we see around us?

She was included in the recent exhibition Art & Space at the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, and has been included in exhibitions such as The More Things Change, at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Contemplating the Void and The Shapes of Space, at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, Light and Landscape, Storm King Art Center, and Living Color, at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, DC and Pattern: Follow the Rules at the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation. She has had solo exhibitions at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis, IN, The Wellin Museum of Art at Hamilton College, The Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, OH, the Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas, TX, and Espace Louis Vuitton, Tokyo, among others. Shotz was an Arts Institute Research Fellow at Stanford University in 2014- 2015, a Sterling Visiting Scholar, Stanford University, 2012, she received a Pollock Krasner Award in 1999 and 2010, the Saint Gaudens Memorial Fellowship in 2007, and was the 2005-2006 Happy and Bob Doran Artist in Residence at Yale University Art Gallery. Her work is included in numerous public collections, such as the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, The Guggenheim Bilbao, The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC, The Whitney Museum of American Art, The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, and the Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis, IN, among others.

Artist Website:

Funded through a generous gift from Dr. Edward M. Friedman ’08 and Carole J. Friedman, in honor of Sculpture Professor Emeritus Gary Ambrose.


Veronica Perez MFA ’16, Untitled Blanket, hair, artificial hair, hair ties, zip ties, 2021.

Resilience Week Artist Panel

Resilience Week event
Tuesday, March 15 (6:00-8:00pm)

This year’s artist panel discussion, featuring MFA alumni Veronica Perez MFA ’16, Evelyn Wong MFA ’19, and Golaleh Yazdani MFA ’18, will focus on personal journeys as BIPOC beginning to mid-career artists tackling subjects such as identity, trauma and visibility.

Resilience Week:

Sarah Khan

Undisciplined, and the pleasures of defiance
Wednesday, March 16 (12:00pm)

Sarah K Khan (b. Mangla, Pakistan) utilizes food to explores food, culture, women, migration, and identity in urban and rural environments. A multi-media maker and scholar, she uses photography, films, print-making, maps, and writing to defy erasure and to build archives while revealing the often invisible labor and mastery of the disregarded.

After a year as a Senior Research Fulbright-Nehru Scholar in India, she is creating multimedia vignettes highlighting the labor and knowledge of Indian women farmers  as well as climate change, environmental degradation, gender disparity, race and caste discrimination and farmers’ suicides in addition to the loss of crop, biological, cultural, culinary and linguistic diversities.

She creates content on Migrant Kitchens and the Food Craft Project. Khan’s photography, films, and writing have appeared in Museum of the Moving Image, Queens MuseumAsian Arts InitiativeAAWW Open CityRoads and KingdomsCulinary BackstreetsThe Art of EatingModern Farmer and Yahoo India. Her academic research on Ayurveda, traditional healing systems, nutrition, and the built environment has appeared in The American Botanical Council’s Herbal GramThe Journal of Alternative and Complementary MedicineIntegrative Medicine, and in The American Journal of Health Education, respectively.

A two-time Fulbright recipient, Khan earned a BA in Middle Eastern history and Arabic (Smith College), two Masters (public health and nutrition, Columbia University) and a Ph.D. (traditional ecological knowledge systems, plant sciences, New York Botanical Garden-CUNY). She has received numerous grants, fellowships, and residencies to pursue her work, including Princeton Artist-in-Residence ArtHx, Ellis Beauregard; Monson Arts; Project for Empty Space Feminist Residency; Indigo Arts Alliance; and Boren Chertkov Residency for Labor and Justice at Blue Mountain Center.

Artist Website:

IlaSahai Prouty

Resilience Week event
Thursday, March 17 (9:30-10:30am)

IlaSahai Prouty is an interdisciplinary artist, who works with communities on socially engaged projects. Recent projects have centered on race as a social construction made through language, and co-making as a restorative process for women. She also cultivates a personal studio practice across media, including writing, painting, glass and printmaking.

Prouty has lived in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Oregon, California, and North Carolina. Her bi-racial background informs her work, and how she approaches collaboration. She received her MFA from the California College of Art in the Bay Area, CA, and is an Assistant Professor of Art at Appalachian State University in Boone, NC, where she teaches Art for Social Change among other courses. Prouty was a Resident Artist at the Penland School of Crafts in Penland, NC and has exhibited at venues throughout the United States including SECCA, the Asheville Museum, and the Cape Ann Museum. Her public works include pieces for the Medical Examiners Office in Charlotte NC and the Waring School in Beverly MA.

Prouty is an Associate Professor in the Department of Art at Appalachian State University, where she teaches socially engaged art, and guides seniors in their capstone projects.

Bonnie Collura**

The Gary Ambrose Sculpture Series
Monday, April 11 (6:30-7:45pm)

Bonnie Collura received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Virginia Commonwealth University in 1994 and her Master of Fine Arts degree from Yale University in 1996. She is the recipient of a 1997 Emerging Artist Award from the Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, a 2003 Rolex Protégé nomination, a 2005 John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship, a 2010 United States Artists Fellowship nomination, a 2010 MacDowell Colony Fellowship, and has received six research grants from Penn State University, including a 2010 Stuckeman Endowment for Design Computing. Collura’s sculptures, textiles, drawings, and outdoor works have been exhibited in national and international galleries and museums spanning the United States, France, Italy, Belgium, Germany, and India.  Reviews and media mentions of her work can be seen in the New York Times, The New Yorker, Art Forum, Art in America, Art News, Art Net, Flash Art, BOMB magazine, Beautiful Decay, Teme Celeste, Sculpture Magazine, Time Out New York, and numerous print and on-line publications. Toggling a rigorous studio practice with a dedicated teaching career, she has been invited to speak about her work and teaching practice at numerous art schools and universities in North America. In 2021, she was honored with an 2021 Outstanding Educator Award from the International Sculpture Center.

Collura is a full professor at Penn State University, teaching in the School of Visual Arts. Prior to her appointment at Penn State she taught at Yale University, Columbia University, Virginia Commonwealth University, Rhode Island School of Design, Tyler School of Art, University of the Arts, and Parsons The New School for Design. Collura currently lives and works in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania with her husband, Matthew J.Olson and their extraordinary cat, Louise Bourgeois.

Artist Website:

Funded through a generous gift from Dr. Edward M. Friedman ’08 and Carole J. Friedman, in honor of Sculpture Professor Emeritus Gary Ambrose.

Matt Crane**

The Gary Ambrose Sculpture Series
Monday, April 25 (6:30-7:45pm)

Matt Crane graduated Kansas City Art Institute in 1995 from the Sculpture Department. After moving to Brooklyn, New York, he initiated a design / build metal arts fabrication facility, silvercrane llc. (c. 1998). His extensive list of clients include Robert Gober, Erin Shirreff, Ivan Navarro, the Whitney Museum and the Museum of Modern Art. In 1998 Crane simultaneously began a long term relationship with Kohler Company in Kohler, WI, creating and managing the Kohler Company Collection of Art while flying between NY and WI. A founding member of Brooklyn Iron he traveled to and collaborated in numerous iron casting workshops, conferences and symposia both Nationally and Internationally.

Crane returned to Academia (2015) to earn his Masters Degree from the University at Albany, State University of New York, Department of Art and Art History in 2017.

The artist, fabricator and foundryman now lives and works in upstate New York with his wife Allison and son Hugo. The well equipped studio is a flexible space that allows for metal casting, wood and metal fabrication and sculpture making of varying scales. Crane continues to make and exhibit artwork as well as facilitating projects for artists, building contract architectural metalworks and commissions by private clients.

Funded through a generous gift from Dr. Edward M. Friedman ’08 and Carole J. Friedman, in honor of Sculpture Professor Emeritus Gary Ambrose.