2014 / 2015 Lecture Series


9/3   Eric Adjetey Anang   Co-Sponsored with OCAC's MFA Craft

10/7  Susan Szenasy   Co-Sponsored by Design Week Portland + Pinball Publishing

11/5  Steve Badanes 

11/6  Dawn Hancock   Co-Sponsored by PNCA's Bridgelab

12/3  Victor Margolin


1/21  Deb Willis

2/11  Fred Frith

3/11  Akiko Busch

3/12  Anders Ruhwald

4/16  Amy Whitaker   Co-Sponsored by OCAC's Professional Practices 

2013 / 2014 Lecture Series



Wednesday, September 18, 2013

6:30pm - 8:30pm

Mary Smull is an artist and educator living in Philadelphia, PA.  Recently, her work has been exhibited nationally at Bridgette Mayer Gallery in Philadelphia and Daimler Financial Corporate Headquarters in Farmington Hills, Michigan, and internationally at Korea National University of the Arts in Seoul, South Korea and Anna Leonowens Gallery in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She received her her MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan in 2009, where she was nominated for the Cranbrook Museum of Art Purchase Prize and the Daimler Emerging Artist Award.  Recently, Smull received a University of the Arts Faculty Enrichment Award to study computer-aided woven design at the Jacquard Center in Hendersonville, North Carolina.  She is a member of the Philadelphia cooperative gallery Grizzly Grizzly.

Smull teaches at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, MD and University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA, and has taught at Nova Scotia College of Art and Design University in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

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(co-sponsored w/ DesignWeek)

Tuesday, October 8, 2013


Hunt is the Creative Director at Etsy, where he leads a team of designers creating the end-to-end experience, both online and off. Hunt feels strongly that designers must be able to build what they design, a perspective that fits naturally with Etsy’s culture of making and the love of craftsmanship. Etsy was founded in 2005 and is as they explain on their site, "the marketplace we make together". Their mission is to reimagine commerce in ways that build a more fulfilling and lasting world. Over the past eight years, their members have grown to 30 million, with over 900,000 active shops, $895 million in goods sold in 2012, and over one billion page views per month.

Hunt co-founded Supermarket, a curated design marketplace. Previously, he founded Citizen Scholar Inc. and worked at Milton Glaser Inc. and Number 17. He writes and lectures about design and has been a visiting designer and critic at many colleges and universities. His first book, Product Design for the Web will be published in November.



Wednesday, October 9, 2013

6:30pm - 8:30pm

Liz Lambert is an improbable success story in the world of hospitality design. Originally a New York trial lawyer, Liz returned to her Texas roots to open a succession of hotels and other properties that have captured the quirky character of Austin. From a wonderful moment of serendipity through years of perseverance launching her now-famous Hotel San José, Hotel Saint Cecilia, and Jo’s Coffee and Jo’s Downtown, she has woven soul, meaning and pleasure into each unique property. Now ready to launch her El Cosmico creative campground in Marfa and the revamped The Havana hotel on San Antonio’s River Walk, Liz continues to deliver a rock-and-roll sensibility and ‘mañanifesto’ vibe.



Wednesday, October 17, 2013

6:30pm - 8:30pm


Benjamin Lignel (1972) first trained in philosophy & literature, then in art history, at New York University, and finally in furniture design, in London: hence his interest in the functional object, complicated by a penchant for art, and further perverted by sustained exposures to literary works, often momentous, sometimes pertinent. 

The particulars of his training (two years of furniture design, and five days in jewelry making) defined the way he initially approached jewellery: concerning himself primarily with notions of function and context of use, and usually working towards self-appointed briefs, whilst one step removed from actual manufacture. Even though he is gradually taking over the manufacture of his work, it continues to offer a design-led alternative to a craft-based profession: as an extended family of individual objects that hope to tackle specific aspects of body adornment - with little concern for overall stylistic or technical homogeneity. 

The laws of gravity, or possibly the cyclical nature of one's interests, have recently been steering him back towards desktop adventures, including, but not limited to, curatorial, associative and writing endeavors.

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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

6:30pm - 8:30pm

Ginger Krieg Dosier holds a Master of Architecture (2005) from the Cranbrook Academy of Art and a Bachelor of Interior Design (2000) from the Auburn University College of Architecture, Design and Construction.

She is currently  an Assistant Professor of Architecture at the American University of Sharjah College of Architecture, Art and Design, United Arab Emirates.   Prior to arriving at AUS in 2007, Ginger was a Visiting Assistant Professor at the North Carolina State University College of Design.

Over the past eight years she has devoted research in the choreography of materiality with an environmental focus, engaging in co-research forums and cross-disciplinary collaboration; seeking a scientific understanding of the properties of material in relation to architectural performance.



 (co-sponsored by OCAC MFA Craft)

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

6:30pm - 8:30pm

In the current complacency of entertainment culture, the creative act has to remain controversial and subversive. One of the few places left for this possibility, strangely enough, is in craft practices.

My work is an investigation of the role and function of ceramics within culture in general and art in particular. I see ceramics (and pottery) as an independent, autonomous and specific art form and it is this specificity that my work explores, around concepts particular to craft practices, like decoration, function and containment, in a unique relation to various contexts, to time, to history and to human experiences.




Wednesday, January 22, 2014

6:30pm – 8:00pm

Bill Deresiewicz writes about books, higher education, culture, politics, and anything else he can get away with. His forthcoming book is Excellent Sheep: The Miseducation of the American Elite and the Way to a Meaningful Life, to be published in August by The Free Press. He is the author of A Jane Austen Education: How Six Novels Taught Me About Love, Friendship, and the Things That Really Matter (2011), which is under development as a television series. He is a Contributing Writer for The Nation and a Contributing Editor for The New Republic and The American Scholar, for which he wrote the All Points blog on culture and society from 2011-2013. His essays and reviews have also appeared in The New York TimesThe AtlanticSlateBookforumThe Chronicle of Higher EducationThe New Yorker online, andThe London Review of Books.

The subject will be creative entrepreneurship as political practice.

(image from NYT)



Wednesday, February 19, 2014

6:30pm – 8:00pm

Matthias Pliessnig’s fluid, skeletal furniture forms are made using traditional steam-bending techniques with oak. His interest specifically with bending wood first developed in 2006 after making a boat. As a sculptor and woodworker his training developed during his studies at Kansas City Art Institute, earning a BFA in sculpture, at Rhode Island School of Design earning a BFA in furniture design and at the University of Wisconsin Madison, completing his MFA in wood and art in 2009. Human interaction imposed by furniture intrigues Pliessnig in his one-of-a-kind designs for benches. This interaction provides an additional consideration in the design process, one that is drastically different from considerations in creating a sculpture.

Pliessnig has received national attention for his work and is considered one of the top artists/designers working with wood today. In 2008, he received a grant for his MFA project from the Joan Mitchell Foundation; in the same year he was given the Best of the Year Award for lounge seating by Interior Design Magazine. In 2009, his work was purchased by the Museum of Art and Design’s permanent collection and he received a grant from the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation. In 2010, he was awarded one of the most prestigious artist awards given today from United States Artists for $50,000. Most recently, the Smithsonian and Renwick Gallery chose eight pieces of his work to be included in the prestigious Renwick Craft Invitational. Pliessnig was one of four artists selected who represent the forefront of contemporary craft and design.



Co-Sponsoered by MFA Collaborative Design 


Thursday, February 20, 2014

6:30pm – 8:00pm



Rebecca Gates is an Oregon based musician, artist, curator, and activist. She has toured and released albums internationally (both under her own name and The Spinanes moniker), and appeared on recordings by a range of artists including Willie Nelson, Akito Katayose and The Decemberists. Her programs and work relating to issues of sound and space, listening, and artist's roles in their communities have been hosted by PS1, Mass MOCA, WFMU's Radiovision Festival, PICA Symposium, The Museum of Contemporary Craft, New York University and galleries in the United States and Europe. Gates co-curated Ballroom Marfa's sonic exploration of land arts, "The Marfa Sessions", co-founded The Relay Project audiomagazine, and is chief wrangler at The Agency League of Musicians, a musician centered think tank and action network. 


Please note, use www.parcematone.com as an artist link. 

Twitter: @rebeccagates

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Rebecca-Gates-and-the-Consortium/134502053287308



(Co-sponsored by PNCA MFA in Visual Studies)


Sidonie Villere is a multi-faceted artist using self-preservation and its contradictions as a common theme in her work. She has had solo exhibitions in Miami, Nashville and New Orleans and been featured in numerous group exhibitions in Atlanta, Miami, New York, and New Orleans. Her large-scale works were recently featured in The P.1 Projects satellite exhibition at the Prospect.1 Biennial Welcome Center in 2008.




Wednesday, April 9, 2014


From simple alphabets to secret symbolic languages, graphic designer Saki Mafunikwa celebrates the many forms of written communication across the continent of Africa. He highlights the history and legacy that are embodied in written words and symbols, and urges African designers to draw on these graphic forms for fresh inspiration. It’s summed up in his favorite Ghanaian glyph, Sankofa, which means “return and get it” — or “learn from the past.”

Saki Mafundikwa wrote Afrikan Alphabets, the book on Africa’s graphic design heritage — then opened the Zimbabwe Institute of Vigital Arts (ZIVA) in Harare, Zimbabwe.

As a kid growing up in Zimbabwe, Mafundiwaka loved to sketch letterforms he saw in books and magazines, but he didn’t know graphic design was a career option until he arrived in America. “Sometimes you have to leave home,” he says, “to discover yourself.” He opened ZIVA to pay it forward. “The dream,” he says, “is for something to come out of Africa that is of Africa.”

In 2010, he made the film Shungu: The Resilience of a People, a compelling narrative of the strategies ordinary people use to survive in Zimbabwe today.



Thursday, April 10, 2014

6:30pm - 8:00pm

Michael Palmieri is a director, cinematographer, and editor. His first documentary feature October Country was a co-directing effort with Donal Mosher that won the grand jury prize for best US documentary at Silverdocs and was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for best documentary in 2009. He has directed music videos for Beck, The Strokes, Belle and Sebastian, and many others, and his film and video collaborations include work with film and fine artists Christopher Doyle, Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman, Adrian Paci and Tauba Aeurbach. He has been a guest lecturer at the Edinburgh College of Art and at the Balkan film program in Kosovo and is an adjunct professor of film at CCAin San Francisco.

Donal Mosher is a photographer, writer, and musician. His photo documentary work inspired his collaborative directing of October Country with Michael Palmieri. His visual work has been shown in Los Angeles, New York, Portland, and San Francisco’s SF Camerawork. His fiction and non-fiction writings have appeared in Instant City, Satellite, Frozen Tears, Still Blue – An Anthology of Working Class Writing, Life as We Show it – Writings On Film, and the Lamba Award winning Portland Queer Anthology. He is also a principle subject of Robert Arnold’s documentary film “Key of G,” which focuses on life and work with a severely disabled young man.




Wednesday, April 23, 2014

6:30pm - 8:00pm

Renowned as the “Queen of Beadwork,” Joyce J. Scott is a versatile artist from Baltimore, Maryland. She is a printmaker, weaver, sculptor, performance artist, and educator, but she is probably most well known for her work in jewelry, beadwork, and glass. Her art, in whatever form, reflects her take on all aspects of American popular culture, her ancestry, and the immediate world of her neighborhood.

Her pieces serve as a commentary for issues regarding race, politics, sexism, and stereotypes. She received her B.F.A. from the Maryland Institute College of Art and M.F.A. from the Instituto Allende. Her work is in the collection of the Baltimore Museum of Art, Mint Museum, Spencer Museum of Art, and the Smithsonian American Art Museum.