Art Forum

Department of Art and Design

Art Forum is a speakers' series featuring notable artists, designers, art historians and art critics from around the world who come to campus to present their work and ideas in an open forum.  Admission is free and open to undergraduate and graduate students as well as the general public.

Past Art Forum speakers have included notables such as Chakaia Booker, Will Cotton, Aziz + Cucher, Inka Essenhigh, Judy Fox, Roxy Paine, Ursala Von Rydingsvard, and Seymour Chwast.

For further information and/or to confirm a scheduled date, call  973-655-4074.

Art Forum Speakers: Current Schedule (see below)   l  Past Schedules             

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Fall 2016 

THURSDAYS 6:30 - 8:20 p.m.
Location: Montclair State University; Calcia Hall, CA135
Open to the Public; Admission is free 

Sept 15 | Sept 22 | Sept 29 |

Learn more about Art Forum's partnership with Residency Unlimited.

Sept 8 - Introduction to course and syllabus

Sept 15 - Liliya Lifanova

Liliya Lifanova

Liliya Lifanova's (American, born in Kyrgyzstan) paintings, sculptural installations and wearables for collaborative participatory videos and performances position her practice at the intersection of fine arts and experimental theater. Lifanova's projects depend on preliminary research and collaboration, over an extended time, fused with her deep and personal engagement with physical creation and manufacture. The resulting large-scale productions communicate a sense of displacement and migration, while grappling with the sense of self. Lifanova uses stories, objects, and systems of defense and resistance as vehicles to explore the shifting, precarious, and fragile balance of dual structures: past and future, black and white, joined and divided. Her work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally, most recently at Rooster Gallery Contemporary Art, New York, NY, World Chess Hall of Fame, Saint Louis, MO, Gridchinhall, Moscow, Russia and at the Parrish Art Museum, Southampton, NY. Lifanova received her Master of Fine Art degree from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and has been awarded the Fulbright Fellowship for Installation Art. The artist lives and works in New York.

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Sept 22 - Renate Ferro & Tim Murray

Renate Ferro & Tim Murray

Renate Ferro is a trans-media, cross-disciplinary, conceptual artist who toggles between the creative skins of old and new technologies. Her hybrid artistic projects embrace physical, social and theoretical paradigms of the body. Her digital work has received fellowships and awards from New York State Council for the Arts, Women Direct, the Experimental Television Center, and the Mellon Central New York Humanities Corridor. Most recently her work has been featured at The Freud Museum (London), Brief Histories (the United Arab Emerites), The Dorksy Gallery (NY), The Hemispheric Institute and FOMMA (Mexico), and The Janus Pannonius Museum (Hungary), Hemispheric Institute and FOMMA (San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapis, Mexico). Free University of Berlin (Berlin), Chicago City Arts (Chicago), Tsing Hua University (Beijing China), Hang Zhou Museum of Fine Arts (China), LACDA (Los Angeles), AWOL Gallery (Toronto), and numerous galleries and museums across North America. Ferro has taught at Cornell University since 2004 in the Collage of Architecture, Art and Planning in the Department of Art. She is the founding director of The Tinker Factory Lab.

Timothy Murray is Professor of Comparative Literature and English and Director of the Society for the Humanities and The Rose Goldsen Archive. The archive is located in the Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections at Cornell University Library and is named in honor of Professor Goldsen, an avant-garde critic of pop culture, mass media and communication. The collection consists of various material about audio/ sound art, eco/ bio art, exhibitions and artist compilations, installations, performance, video art and cinema. A few artists whose work can be found in the general collection are: Gary Hill, Michael Snow, Janet Cardiff, and Jennifer and Kevin McCoy. Murray and Ferro have been involved in numerous collaborations throughout the years.

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Sept 29 - Ana Peñalba 

Ana Peñalba

Ana Peñalba holds a Master’s Degree in Architecture and a Masters in Environmental Studies from the Polytechnic School of Madrid (ETSAM). In 2005 she co-founded the Architecture Collective Leon11, from where she cultivated her interests in collective learning methodologies and collaborative practices. Since 2012 she works mostly in research projects and self-initiated proposals exploring concerns about socio-cultural displacements, ordinary de-constructions and the relationship between spatial experiences and crowd identity. She builds open-source networks of Architectures by the re-appropriation of sounds, meanings, images, objects, and forms that imply an incessant spatial navigation within the meanderings of cultural history and behavioral social patterns. She has collaborated as an Architect Designer with Architects such as Thomas Leeser, Dominique Perrault, Andres Perea, Andres Jaque and Michael Sorkin. She is currently an Adjunct Professor in the School of Art and Design at NJIT and has been invited as a guest critic to a wide number of Art and Architecture Schools. She was recently invited to be part of the "AIM Program 2016" at the Bronx Museum for the Arts and, at the Program "Open Sessions 2016-17" at the Drawing Center in NYC. You can check out her work at

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More fall 2016 events coming soon.

residences unlimited

Beginning Fall semester 2016, Residency Unlimited (RU) and the Art Forum Lecture Series, sponsored by the Department of Art and Design will forge an exciting collaborative initiative. Our new partnership is designed to feature notable artists, designers, art historians and art critics from around the world who come to the MSU campus to present their work and ideas in an open forum. The RU, located in Brooklyn, distinguishes itself from traditional residency programs by moving beyond the studio practice model to provide highly customized support and work collaboratively.

RU artists will give specialized lectures as part of the Art Forum speaker series led by professors Andrew Atkinson and Cathy Bebout. The course introduces students to the creative process, philosophies of art, and the role of art in life. Admission is free and open to undergraduate and graduate students as well as the general public. Past Art Forum lecturers have included notables such as Susan Sontag, Janine Antoni, Chakaia Booker, Jane Hammond, Will Cotton, Aziz + Cucher, Inka Essenhigh, Judy Fox, Roxy Paine, Ursala Von Rydingsvard, and Seymour Chwast. Other MSU invited MAM speakers include: Kiki Smith, Jeff Koons, James Rosenquist, Vik Muniz, and many others. The roster of artists for Fall 2016 combines professionals from the US and abroad who are dedicated to utilizing art as a social practice. A partial list of invited speakers includes: Architectural and environmental artist from Madrid Ana Penalba, Jamaican mural painter Leasho Johnson, Liliya Lifanova from Kyrgyzstan who creates sculptural installations and wearables and French photographer Thibault Brunet to mention only a few.

Residency Unlimited was founded in 2009 and is located in a former church in Brooklyn at 360 Court street. This is the base for many of its public programs to promote the exchange of ideas and critical dialogue. At its core, RU explores new and alternative residency formats that are tailored to meet the individual needs of local and international artists and curators with networking, production and exposure opportunities. In 2015 RU hosted residencies for 71 artists and curators including from New York. Contact Nathalie Angles at for more details about RU residencies.

For more information on Art Forum contact Dr. Andrew Atkinson, or Prof. Catherine Bebout