Panel: Public Art, Identity, and Space

Panel Discussion: Public Art, Identity, and Space
Monday, October 3, 2016
11:00 a.m. - 12:15pm
Founders Room, Claremont Colleges Library

Please join us in the Library Founders Room for a panel with Tony Crowley (University of Leeds), Jessica McCoy (Pitzer College), Frances Pohl (Pomona College), and documentarian Tadashi Nakamura. This panel is the first in a weeklong series of events examining the Murals and the topic of public art, co-sponsored by Pitzer College and Pitzer College Art Galleries.

The Murals of Northern Ireland collection at the Claremont Colleges Digital Library (CCDL) forms an archive of images of murals in Northern Ireland painted from 1979 continuing through the present day. The images record the representation of history, the expression of political standpoints, the articulation of community concerns, the formations of memory, and modes of ideological address. The murals range from overtly political declarations, to graphic depictions of conflict, to comments on the peace process, to humor and irony. The Murals collection and project began as a collaboration with Dr. Tony Crowley, Professor of English Language at the University of Leeds, during his time at Scripps College. Dr. Crowley worked as a journalist in Northern Ireland earlier in his career and has written widely on both the murals and the politics of language in Ireland.

Jessica McCoy studied art at the University of Wisconsin Madison, where she received an M.A. and MFA. She is currently Associate Professor of Art at Pitzer College in Claremont, California. Her work has been exhibited nationally, included in National Watercolor Society Exhibitions and California Watercolor Association National Exhibitions, and seen in the Amarillo Museum of Art and the Florida State University Museum of Fine Art. Her work is also included in the collections of the Woodbury Art Museum in Utah and the Porter Butts Gallery at the University of Wisconsin Madison. She has been awarded an Ohio Arts Council Individual Artist Grant and artist residencies, at Ox-Bow, through the Art Institute of Chicago, and Contemporary Yunnan in Kunming, China. She completed a contract with LA METRO to design murals for the Vermont and Exposition station in downtown Los Angeles and has since completed a poster design highlighting the city of Claremont for the Through the Eyes Of. . . project for LA METRO.

Frances K. Pohl holds the Dr. Mary Ann Vanderzyl Reynolds '56 Professorship in the Humanities and is a Professor of Art History and Chair of the Art History Department at Pomona College. She received her B.A. and M.A. in art history from the University of British Columbia and her PhD in art history from the University of California, Los Angeles. She is the author of several books, including the textbook Framing America: A Social History of American Art. Her curatorial work includes retrospective exhibitions of the work of Baca and Bentivoglio. Her current research interests focus on the relationship between working class culture and the visual arts. She has lectured on American art in the United States, Canada, and Europe and has received grants and fellowships from the Smithsonian Institution, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Mellon Foundation, and the Social Science and Research Council of Canada, among others. She teaches courses on the social history of North American art (Canada, the U.S. and Mexico).

Tony Crowley is Chair of English at the University of Leeds, UK; he has published widely on the interrelations between culture and politics, including Wars of Words (Oxford, 2006) and Scouse: A Social and Cultural History (Liverpool, 2012); his collection of photographs from Northern Ireland 1979-2016 is held in the Murals of Northern Ireland archive in the CCDL.

Tadashi Nakamura was named one of CNN's "Young People Who Rock" for being the youngest filmmaker at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival as well as one of the "30 Most Influential Asian Americans Under 30" by the popular website Angry Asian Man. The fourth-generation Japanese American recently completed Mele Murals, a documentary on the transformative power of modern graffiti art and ancient Hawaiian culture for a new generation of Native Hawaiians. His last film Jake Shimabukuro: Life on Four Strings was broadcasted nationally on PBS in May, 2013. The film went on to win the 2013 Gotham Independent Film Audience Award, beating out 12 Years a Slave and Fruitvale Station. Nakamura's trilogy of documentary films on the Japanese American experience, Yellow Brotherhood (2003), Pilgrimage (2007) and A Song for Ourselves (2009) have garnered over 20 awards at film festivals around the world. Nakamura has a M.A. in Social Documentation from UC Santa Cruz and a B.A. in Asian American Studies from UCLA.

For more information, contact Rebecca Lubas at

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