Established with the generous support of alumna Penny W. Stamps, the Speaker Series brings respected emerging and established artists/designers from a broad spectrum of media to the School to conduct a public lecture and engage with students, faculty, and the larger University and Ann Arbor communities. Additional support is provided by series sponsors Michigan Radio, WUOM 91.7 FM and Arts @ Michigan.
Unless otherwise noted, all programs take place on Thursdays at 5:10 pm at the historic Michigan Theater, located at 603 E. Liberty Street in downtown Ann Arbor, and are free of charge and open to the public.
Thursday, September 11 at 5:10 PM. Part of the UM Penny W. Stamps Speaker Series.
An award-winning actress, playwright, and teacher, Anna Deavere Smith uses her singular brand of theatre to highlight issues of community, character, and diversity in America. Based on her recent one-woman show Let Me Down Easy, this lecture/performance will combine stories of her creative journey with insights into the fragility and resilience of the human body and spirit.
Smith has appeared in the films Philadelphia, An American President, The Human Stain,...
Thursday, September 18 at 5:10 PM. Part of the UM Penny W. Stamps Speaker Series.
Pussy Riot/Zona Prava: Punk Prayer
Founding members of the art collective Pussy Riot and Zona Prava, Nadya Tolokonnikova and Masha Alekhina are Russian conceptual artists and political activists. In August 2012, following an anti-Putin performance in Moscow Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, they were sentenced to two years’ imprisonment. In March 2014 they opened the Mordovia office of Zona Prava, their newly created prisoners’ rights NGO. Tolokonnikova...
Thursday, September 25 at 5:10 PM. Part of the UM Penny W. Stamps Speaker Series.
Art & Code
Named in Creativity Magazine’s annual “Creativity 50” , and in Forbes Magazine’s Top 25 Most Creative People in Advertising, “Rei Inamoto is Chief Creative Officer of AKQA, an advertising agency with offices across the globe. He is responsible for delivering creative solutions for clients such as Audi, Google, Nike and Xbox. In 2012, Rei was inducted into “The Hall of Achievement” by the American Advertising Federation, honoring...
Thursday, October 2 at 5:10 PM. Part of the UM Penny W. Stamps Speaker Series.
Chronicles, Volume One
Fred Tomaselli explores reality dislocation and the broken dreams of utopianism in colorful, complex works that utilize painting, photo collage, newsprint and unorthodox materials. Recently, he has had a solo show at the Modern Art Museum, Fort Worth Texas and was included in the Adelaide International. In 2010, a 20-year survey of his work originated at the Aspen Art Museum, traveled to the Tang Teaching Museum and ended at the Brooklyn...
Thursday, October 9 at 5:10 PM. Part of the UM Penny W. Stamps Speaker Series.
At the Crossroads of Chaos and Calamity
Phil Gilbert is an entrepreneur and self-proclaimed “startup guy”. At IBM, his mission is grand: to transform one of the world’s most iconic companies – and the technologies it creates to power the systems of the world. Phil was born in 1956, the same year that IBM’s Thomas Watson, Jr. hired the company’s first head of Design, Elliot Noyes. When Phil was ten, Watson declared...
Thursday, October 16 at 5:10 PM. Part of the UM Penny W. Stamps Speaker Series.
There’s corn in our hair? Adventures with food.
Friends since college, Curt Ellis and Ian Cheney are the stars and co-creators of King Corn, the Peabody Award-winning documentary about their year growing one acre of corn and seeing it transformed into high fructose corn syrup and fast-fattened beef. After King Corn, Cheney and Ellis teamed up to create the Truck Farm film and education project, based on a whimsical farm-on-wheels planted in the back of a...
Thursday, October 23 at 5:10 PM. Part of the UM Penny W. Stamps Speaker Series.
Founded by Stuart Wood, Flo Ortkrass and Hannes Koch in 2005, Random International is a collaborative studio for experimental creative practice. Taking science as a means to develop a new material vocabulary, their work invites consideration of the man/machine relationship through explorations of behavior and natural phenomena — with the viewer an active participant.
Rain Room, the work for which the studio is best known, was exhibited at MoMA following its...
Thursday, November 6 at 5:10 PM. Part of the UM Penny W. Stamps Speaker Series.
For more than two decades, Latvian photographer Inta Ruka has photographed the people of Latvia to provide an undisguised view on the current state of flux in Latvia since its integration into the European Union. From 1984 to 2000, she photographed primarily in the rural area of Balvi and, later on, increasingly in the capital of Riga. In the series “People I happened to meet”, she strikes up conversations with unknown people in order to ask them...
Thursday, November 13 at 5:10 PM. Part of the UM Penny W. Stamps Speaker Series.
Design for Anxious Times.
Anab Jain is a designer, filmmaker and founder of the London-and-India-based design studio Superflux, which she runs in partnership with Jon Ardern. Through their work and approach, Anab helps shapes the studio’s vision as a new kind of design practice — one that is responsive to the unique challenges and opportunities of the 21st century. Jain wants designers to adopt new roles as sense-makers, translators and agent...
Thursday, November 20 at 5:10 PM. Part of the UM Penny W. Stamps Speaker Series.
In Love with Art …and Comics
Since 1993, when Françoise Mouly joined The New Yorker as art editor, she has been responsible for over 1,000 of the magazine’s signature covers, many of which were chosen by The American Society of Magazine Editors as ‘best cover of the year’. She is also the Publisher and Editorial Director of TOON Books, an imprint of comics and visual narratives for young readers. And she founded and coedited (with collaborator...
Thursday, December 4 at 5:10 PM. Part of the UM Penny W. Stamps Speaker Series.
Seth Ellis is an artist, and designer. He makes site-specific narratives that explore the stories inherent in material culture, place, and everyday objects. His work utilizes the mass-manufactured artifacts of Modernist industrial society as the loci of installations combining multimedia experience design, local history, and storytelling to trace the webs that connect local communities across time and space. Ellis’ work has shown in galleries,...