Course Description

Inspired by James Lipton’s "Inside the Actors Studio," this course will feature seven outstanding contemporary artists from around the US. This diverse group varies in ethnicity, geographic representation, age, and approach to creative expression. Each artist will present an overview of the arc of their creative expression, which will be followed by an interview between the instructor and artist. Students will then be encouraged to ask questions of the artist. The creative works of these artists include public art, socially and politically informed and/or engaged art, painting, sculpture, and performance and conceptual art. The interviews will probe the content of each artist's work, their medium of expression, and what informs them, all in the interest of better understanding the complexity of what it evokes in us. We'll explore the changing perception of aesthetics in contemporary art and the role of the artist in society as it evolves with these cutting-edge artists. | Facilitated discussion.
Enroll Now - Select a section to enroll in
Section Title
Inside the Artists Studio: Artists Who Challenge Us
Online - Zoom
11:00AM to 12:15PM
Sep 14, 2021 to Oct 19, 2021
Schedule and Location
Contact Hours
Delivery Options
Virtual Classroom  
Course Fees
Section Notes

Class sessions are recorded. Please note: The instructor recommends students conduct Internet research on each artist prior to their interview. Each featured artist has an extensive website with biographical information, professional accomplishments, images of their work, and links to publications of their work including some videos.

Guest Speakers:

September 14: Pedro Lasch is a visual artist born in Mexico City. He is the author of four books and director of the Social Practice Lab at the Franklin Humanities Institute at Duke. His online course ART of the MOOC—which is both a teaching tool and a work of art in itself—has enrolled 29,000 students from 134 countries. 

September 21: Elizabeth Alexander is an interdisciplinary artist specializing in sculptures and installations made from castings or deconstructed domestic materials. Alexander holds degrees from the Cranbrook Academy of Art and Massachusetts College of Art and Design. Her work has been featured as a Burke Prize finalist at the Museum of Arts and Design, and in the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. Her paper artistry was included in the "Women to Watch 2020" exhibition at the National Museum of Women in the Arts.

September 28: Mark Steven Greenfield's remarkable and prolific work delves into complexities of the African American experience. Greenfield has held many positions including being a graphic design instructor, a police artist, and an arts administrator for the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs. He served as head of the 1998 US delegation to the World Cup Cultural Festival in Paris. Greenfield has an art degree from UCLA and has been a visiting scholar at the Getty Museum. His work has been shown extensively throughout the US and internationally.

October 5: Stacy Levy is a sculptor who works with ecological natural processes. With degrees from Yale and Temple universities, her work has won many awards. She has installed commissions in Ontario (“Lotic Meander”), Seattle (“Cloudstones”), Pennsylvania (“Water Map,” “Kept Out,” “River Eyelash”), New York (“Tide Flowers”), Arkansas (“Spiral Wetland”), and elsewhere.

October 12: Stacy Lynn Waddell notes her art is characterized by “repetitive motifs, gilding and other forms of embellishment combined with alchemical and heat-based methods [to] create a system of emphatic marks and disintegrating tones that highlight my anxieties . . in a New Age . .  that is uniquely American.” With an MFA from UNC and numerous artist residencies, her work has been shown widely, including at the Nasher Museum of Art, Ackland Art Museum, North Carolina Museum of Art, Weatherspoon Art Museum, Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, MINT, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Sackler Center for Feminist Art, Institute of Contemporary Art, the Studio Museum in Harlem, and elsewhere. 

October 19: Nora Ligorano and Marshall Reese have collaborated for over 30 years. They have embraced hardware and software art, limited edition multiples, videos, sculptures, and installations, with both traditional and digital processes. In the late 2000s, they began installing a series of temporary public monuments during the political conventions called “Melted Away.” These sculptures of words carved in ice are filmed and streamed as they melt away and disappear.  Articles about their work have been published in the "New York Times," "Artforum," "Art In America," the Huffington Post, on television, and elsewhere. They have received many awards, grants, fellowships, and artists residencies.