WCSU to offer art slide lecture series

DANBURY, CONN. – The Western Connecticut State University Master of Fine Arts in Visual Arts program will continue its artist lecture series with presentations by seven visiting artists in spring 2014. All lectures will be at 11 a.m. in Viewing Room 1 of White Hall on the university’s Midtown campus, 181 White St. in Danbury, with the exception of the Feb. 3, 2014, lecture, which will be in Viewing Room 2. The talks will be free and the public is invited.

Scheduled lectures include:

Tuesday, Jan. 21: Painter Ken Kewley. Born in Michigan, Kewley graduated from the College of Creative Studies at the University of California in Santa Barbara. For 10 years he was a night watchman at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Kewley started working in collage in 1993 and continues to paint and collage, recently making sculptures using corrugated cardboard. His work has been exhibited at Hendrix College in Conway, Ark., the Washington Studio School in Washington, D.C., and Rothschild Fine Art in Tel Aviv. Kewley has shown in New York at Lori Bookstein Fine Art, Steven Harvey Fine Art Projects and the National Academy of Design. Kewley teaches at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and has also taught at the Jerusalem Studio School, Washington Studio School and the National Academy of Design.

Monday, Feb. 3: Art historian and critic David Cohen. Cohen is publisher and editor of artcritical.com. He also moderates The Review Panel, a series of panel discussions that take place at the National Academy Museum in New York and at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia. Born in London and educated at the University of Sussex and the Courtauld Institute of Art, Cohen immigrated to the United States in 1999. He was gallery director at the New York Studio School from 2001-10, and was art critic for The New York Sun from 2003-08. Cohen teaches at the Pratt Institute, Fashion Institute of Technology, New York Studio School and Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. His lecture will be “Their Blood in Our Veins: Schools of London and the Old Masters.” Cohen will examine the various degrees of obsession among contemporary British artists with the old masters, from Lucian Freud and Francis Bacon to Jenny Saville and Cecily Brown, via Merlin James and the YBAs (Young British Artists).  

Tuesday, Feb. 18: Illustrator and writer Zina Saunders. Saunders is a Manhattan-based artist, writer, animator and educator.  She attended the High School of Music and Art, and The Cooper Union. She also studied under her father, illustrator Norman Saunders. Saunders’ editorial work can be seen in publications including Entertainment Weekly, Discover Magazine and The Wall Street Journal. She has designed posters for Broadway plays and musicals including “Blithe Spirit” and “If/Then.” Riffing on political news and current events, her animations appear on The Final Edition website as well as Mother Jones, The Progressive and The Real News. In 2005, Saunders’ focus shifted to reportage illustration when she wrote a story for Time Out New York about the Puerto Rican Schwinn Club. This grew into “Overlooked New York: Impassioned New Yorkers from an Artist’s Perspective,” published in 2009, her book of more than 60 portraits and profiles of impassioned, creative communities. Among them are street performers, subway musicians and Central Park portrait artists.


Tuesday, March 4: Painter Kyle Staver. Minnesotan Staver received her Master of Fine Arts from Yale University, where she studied with Andrew Forge, Lester Johnson and William Bailey. She is the recipient of a Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award, as well as a two-time recipient of the Benjamin Altman Figure Prize from the National Academy Museum in New York. Staver’s paintings are figurative and large, imposing in scale and scope. Her work has been shown throughout the U.S. and in New York at Tibor de Nagy, Denise Bibro Fine Art, Steven Harvey Fine Art Projects, Lohin-Geduld Gallery and the National Academy Museum.  

Tuesday, March 11: Painter and printmaker Riley Brewster. Brewster received his Bachelor of Arts from Bowdoin College and his M.F.A. from Yale University, where he received the Highest Award for Excellence in Painting. He studied with Andrew Forge, William Bailey, Jake Berthot and Bernard Chaet.  Brewster also attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, New York Studio School and St. Martin’s School of Art in London. With many exhibitions in the U.S. and London, he is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships from the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation, Maine State Commission on the Arts, Vermont Studio Center, Pollock Krasner Foundation, Ingram Merrill Foundation, and Esther and Adolf Gottlieb Foundation. Brewster has been teaching at WCSU since 2006 and previously taught at the University of Washington, Bowdoin College, Dartmouth College, Hampshire College and the New York Studio School. 

Tuesday, April 1: Sculptor Lee Tribe. Born and raised in London, Tribe now lives in New York.  After studying in England at the Birmingham School of Art and St. Martin’s School of Art, he attended the New York Studio School. His steel sculptures have been shown in England, Japan and throughout the U.S. at the Robert Steele Gallery, Storm King Art Center, Neuberger Museum of Art, JJ Brookings Gallery and Weatherspoon Art Museum. Tribe is the recipient of a Pollock Krasner Foundation Grant, a Guggenheim Fellowship and an Ingram Merrill Sculpture Award. He was department head at Bennington College from 1985-89 and has also taught at Columbia University, the New York Studio School, the Vermont Studio Center and the Chautauqua Institution.

Thursday, April 17: Painter Selina Trieff. Trieff was born in Brooklyn in 1934 and has been called “an American original” by New York Times critic John Russell. She has been painting and exhibiting for more than 50 years in her unique style of figuration. While most often she paints figures and animals, Trieff considers herself an abstract artist — with the painting being most importantly about composition, form, shape and color. She studied with masters of the 20th century, including Morris Kantor at the Art Students League, Ad Reinhardt and Mark Rothko at Brooklyn College and Hans Hoffman in New York City and Provincetown. Trieff has been an educator as well, having taught at the Pratt Institute, New York Studio School, New York Institute of Technology and Kalamazoo Art Institute. Her long list of exhibitions throughout the U.S. and Europe is staggering, with works in many private and public collections, including the Brooklyn Museum, the New York Public Library and Provincetown Art Museum. Trieff’s talk is sponsored by Weir Farm.

For more information, contact Visual Arts Assistant Lori Robeau at (203) 837-8403.



Western Connecticut State University offers outstanding faculty in a range of quality academic programs. Our diverse university community provides students an enriching and supportive environment that takes advantage of the unique cultural offerings of Western Connecticut and New York. Our vision: To be an affordable public university with the characteristics of New England’s best small private universities.


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