In conjunction with its exhibitions and mission to bring contemporary visual art to campus, Emerson Contemporary presents an interdisciplinary series of Public Programs—artist talks, conversations, performances—that explores issues and ideas at the intersections of art, technology and society. In response to recent Black Lives Matter protests and public demands for social justice and racial equity, the theme for the 2020–21 academic year is art and activism.

Presented by Emerson Contemporary and supported by the School of the Arts, the series explores how art—physical and virtual—can help us re-imagine a more civically engaged and equitable society. Speakers will include a diverse range of practitioners across a wide variety of disciplines who are shaping the discourse around art, technology, and society.

Unless noted otherwise, most events are free and all events are open to the public.

For more information or if you wish to collaborate on a future program contact: Dr. Leonie Bradbury, Foster Chair of Contemporary Art, Theory, and Practice.

Upcoming Events

Bust portrait of performance artist Lilly Manycolors showing her face with white makeup and black outlines highlighting her features.

Art and Healing: Lilly E. Manycolors (webinar)

Monday, November 9: 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Join Lilly E. Manycolors, a Choctaw interdisciplinary artist known for her emotionally-excavating artworks and performances for a dynamic artist talk. Deeply rooted in her Choctaw traditions and the Anishinaabe teachings given to her, she draws from her personal journeys to create pieces that offer safer spaces for decolonial dialogue, intimate connections, and new ways of being. Her art focuses on the human condition, bringing into conversation experiences of otherness, transformation, trauma and healing, gender, and possibilities of being one’s complex self.

This talk will explore how engagement with the creative process can improve personal health and wellness, but also how art can have healing powers on a much larger societal scale.

RSVP for this event

Save the Date

Memorials: Markers of Time?

Wednesday, November 18, 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

This panel is organized in collaboration with Professors Anya Belkina and Cher Krause Knight, and inspired by their co-taught class Boston Memorials Revisited and Reimagined: Public Art and Virtual Modeling. Bringing together artists, activists, architects, urban planners, and scholars, the conversation centers around issues of memorial design and how our relationships to memorials can be understood and contextualized in terms of audience response.

This evening our panelists consider how time impacts public art. Are memorials meant to last "forever"? What happens when their values and ideals are no longer relevant to or welcomed by their audiences? How can memorial designers now address such concerns going forward?

The Speakers Are:

Dr. Quentin Stevens, Researcher of Urban Design, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology

Dr. Sierra Rooney, Art historian, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

Eric Höweler, Architect and co-founder of design firm, Höweler and Yoon

Moderated by Curator Leonie Bradbury.

RSVP for this event