Sam Fox School announces fall Public Lecture Series

Virtual and in-person events highlight nationally known artists, architects, designers and scholars

Eyes emerge from an empty background. A young woman gazes into the distance, a skull grinning at her shoulder. Thick paint strokes, recalling both graffiti and thought balloons, overrun the scene.

In his stop-motion drawing animation “A Portrait of Berenice Sarmiento Chávez” (2018), Los Angeles artist Hugo Crosthwaite traces an immigrant’s journey from Tijuana, Mexico, to the United States. The piece, which won first prize in the fifth triennial Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition, currently is featured in “The Outwin: American Portraiture Today,” on view this fall at the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum at Washington University in St. Louis.

On Saturday, Sept. 11, Crosthwaite will discuss his artistic practice in a free online talk with Taína Caragol, co-curator of “The Outwin” as well as curator for painting and sculpture and Latinx art and history at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery, which organizes the competition. Presented by the Kemper Art Museum’s “In Conversation” series, the talk also marks the beginning of the fall Public Lecture Series, sponsored by WashU’s Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts.

In all, the Public Lecture Series will include 17 virtual and in-person events featuring nationally and internationally renowned artists, architects, designers and scholars.

Jess T. Dugan will discuss their work in a pair of lectures, Sept. 18 and Oct. 23. Pictured is “Collin at sunset”, 2020, from “Currents 120: Jess T. Dugan,” at the Saint Louis Art Museum. (Photo courtesy of the artist and the Catherine Edelman Gallery, Chicago; © Jess T. Dugan)

Events will continue Sept. 18, with Jess T. Dugan, the Sam Fox School’s 2020-21 Henry L. and Natalie E. Freund Teaching Fellow, discussing their fall “Currents” exhibition at the Saint Louis Art Museum. On Sept. 20, Marcelo Spina, founder of the Los Angeles architecture firm PATTERNS, will join the Sam Fox School’s Constance Vale, assistant professor and chair of undergraduate architecture, and Robert McCarter, the Ruth and Norman Moore Professor of Architecture, to discuss the book “Mute Icons & Other Dichotomies of the Real in Architecture” (2021), authored by Spina and Georgia Huljich and edited by Vale.

On Sept. 27, the Sam Fox School will host a panel discussion centering on the Memorial to Enslaved Laborers at the University of Virginia. The event will feature several collaborators on the project, including Eric Höweler and J. Meejin Yoon, co-principals of the design firm Höweler + Yoon Architecture.

Architect and historian Kenneth Frampton, one of the world’s leading experts on modernist architecture, will discuss the work of architect Paulo da Rocha Oct. 21. Pictured is da Rocha’s Square of the Patriarch in São Paulo, Brazil. (Photo courtesy of the Sam Fox School)

Other talks will include artists Stephanie Syjuco (Oct. 19), Taryn Simon with curator Ingrid Schaffner (Oct. 27) and Cole Lu (Nov. 17) as well as architects Kenneth Frampton (Oct. 21) and Ken Tadashi Oshima (Nov. 4), and a panel discussion of the book “Designing the Modern City: Urbanism Since 1850” (2018) by the Sam Fox School’s Eric P. Mumford, the Rebecca and John Voyles Professor of Architecture (Oct. 22). For a complete list of events, see below.

The “In Conversation” series will continue Oct. 23 with Dugan and Outwin artist David Antonio Cruz speaking with Saint Louis University’s Amber Johnson; Nov. 2 with the panel discussion “Colonizing the Past: Constructing Race in Ancient Greece and Rome”; Nov. 20 with “The Outwin” artist Sheldon Scott speaking with the University of Pennsylvania’s Gwendolyn DuBois Shaw; and Dec. 4 with “The Outwin” artists Deborah Roberts and Adrian Octavius Walker speaking with WashU’s Adrienne Davis.

All events are free and open to the public. Some will be hosted in person, in accordance with the university’s event guidelines with respect to the COVID-19 pandemic. Other events will be hosted online, with RSVPs required; links will be provided via the Sam Fox School website closer to the event dates. For more information, call 314-935-9300 or visit

Acclaimed multimedia artist Taryn Simon, whose work ranges from portraits of the wrongly convicted to a monumental installation examining rituals of grief, will discuss her work Oct. 27. Pictured is Simon’s “A Cold Hole” (2018), which explores the cold water plunge and public admiration in the digital age, installed at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, North Adams, Massachusetts. (Courtesy of the artist)

Fall 2021 speakers
All times Central

11 a.m. Sept. 11
Artist Hugo Crosthwaite with curator Taína Caragol
Screening and artist talk
“In Conversation” series

Memorial to Enslaved Laborers at the University of Virginia. (Photo: Alan Karchmer)

11 a.m. Sept. 18
Artist Jess T. Dugan
Henry L. and Natalie E. Freund Teaching Fellow Lecture
In conjunction with Saint Louis Art Museum and the opening of “Currents 120.”

6 p.m. Sept. 20
Architects Marcelo Spina and Constance Vale, and architectural historian Robert McCarter
“Mute Icons & Other Dichotomies of the Real in Architecture”
Steinberg Auditorium

6 p.m. Sept. 27
Fumihiko Maki Lecture: Memorial to Enslaved Laborers at UVA
Featuring Eric Höweler and J. Meejin Yoon, Mabel O. Wilson, Frank Dukes, Gregg Bleam, and Eto Otitigbe
Respondents: Henry Webber and Geoff Ward

Stephanie Syjuco, “Chromakey Aftermath 1 (Flags, Sticks, and Barriers),” 2017. (Courtesy of the artist)

6 p.m. Oct. 7
Illustrator Richie Pope
Henry L. and Natalie E. Freund Visiting Artist Lecture

6 p.m. Oct. 19
Artist Stephanie Syjuco
Arthur L. and Sheila Prensky Island Press Visiting Artist Lecture
Steinberg Auditorium

6 p.m. Oct. 21
Architect and historian Kenneth Frampton
“Mendes da Rocha and the Space of Appearance”
Eugene J. Mackey Jr. Lecture
Steinberg Auditorium

Noon Oct. 22
Faculty Publication Discussion: “Designing the Modern City: Urbanism Since 1850”
Author: Eric P. Mumford
Panelists: Kenneth Frampton, Igor Marjanović, Eric P. Mumford and Jennifer Yoos
Moderator: Robert McCarter
Reception 11:15 a.m. | Book signing 4 p.m.

11 a.m. Oct. 23
Artists Jess T. Dugan and David Antonio Cruz with scholar and activist Amber Johnson
“In Conversation” series

6 p.m. Oct. 26
Carlos Jiménez
Ruth and Norman Moore Visiting Professor of Architecture Lecture
Steinberg Hall

6 p.m. Oct. 27
Artist Taryn Simon and curator Ingrid Schaffner
Bunny and Charles Burson Visiting Lecture

6 p.m. Nov. 2
Curator Kathryn Wilson with art historian Claudia Swan and literary scholar Margo Hendricks
“Colonizing the Past: Constructing Race in Ancient Greece and Rome”
“In Conversation” series
Steinberg Auditorium

6 p.m. Nov. 4
Architectural historian Ken Tadashi Oshima
Steinberg Auditorium

6 p.m. Nov. 12
Urban planner Chelina Odbert
Informal Cities Workshop Kickoff Lecture
Steinberg Auditorium

Cole Lu, “First Pylon,” 2021. Burnt pine, aluminum from Soyuz TM. (Courtesy of the artist)

6 p.m. Nov. 17
Artist Cole Lu
MFA Lecture Series
Steinberg Auditorium

11 a.m. Nov. 20
Artist Sheldon Scott with curator Gwendolyn DuBois Shaw
“In Conversation” series

11 a.m. Dec. 4
Artists Deborah Roberts and Adrian Octavius Walker with Professor Adrienne Davis
“In Conversation” series

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