Washington University in St. Louis to host Sam Fox School spring Public Lecture Series

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Pritzker Prize-winning architect Francis Kéré, author and illustrator Deb J.J. Lee, avant-garde stage director Robert Wilson and fashion technologist Anouk Wipprecht are among an international array of creative professionals who will discuss their work during the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis’ spring Public Lecture Series.

Chakaia Booker, “Shaved Portions,” installation view. (Photo: Sid Hastings/Washington University)
Celebrated sculptor Chakaia Booker will launch the series Jan. 19. Known for her use of salvaged rubber tires, Booker fuses ecological concerns with questions of identity, citizenship and industrial production. Last summer, Booker installed “Shaved Portions,” the largest single work of her career, outside WashU’s Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum.

Artist Anika Todd, who investigates systems of landscape, ownership and control, will continue the series Jan. 24. On Feb. 3, Wilson — whose groundbreaking works include collaborations with Tom Waits, Philip Glass and Lucinda Childs — will kick off the Sam Fox School’s annual Laskey Charrette.

Architect Mario Gooden, currently designing The Woodson African American Museum of Florida, will discuss his practice Feb. 6, followed by photographer and digital artist Al-An deSouza Feb. 8 and installation artist Alison Hiltner Feb. 22. Jason Ross, the founder and creative director of accessories label Artemas Quibble, will speak Feb. 23.

Los Angeles-based architects Mark Lee and Sharon Johnston will discuss their work March 1. Sarita Sundar, founder of Bengaluru, India-based design consultancy Hanno, will speak March 2. Cory Henry, whose namesake Atelier spans art, architecture, and urbanism, will speak March 3, followed by Barcelona, Spain-based architects Anna and Eugeni Bach March 6. Sculptor Tamara Johnson, the Sam Fox School’s Henry L. and Natalie E. Freund Teaching Fellow, will speak March 8.

Art director Chad W. Beckerman, whose credits include more than 40 New York Times best-selling books, will speak March 9. On March 10, curators Perrin Lathrop and Jamaal Sheats will discuss the exhibition “African Modernism in America,” on view at the Kemper Art Museum this spring, with Saint Louis University art historian Olubukola Gbadegesin. Textile artist L.J. Roberts, whose work explores queer and trans activism, will speak March 20. Lee, author of the forthcoming graphic memoir “In Limbo,” will speak March 30.

Uche Okeke, “Ana Mmuo (Land of the Dead),” 1961. From the exhibition “African Modernism in America,” on view this spring at WashU’s Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum. © 1961 Uche Okeke, courtesy of Professor Uche Okeke Legacy Limited and American Federation of Arts. (Photo: Franko Khoury)
Kéré, the first African architect to win the Pritzker Prize, generally seen as architecture’s highest honor, will discuss his work April 1. Born in Burkina Faso, Kéré studied carpentry and architecture in Berlin, where he established his studio in 2005. Known for inventive civic buildings, particularly schools, the firm employs both local labor and eco-friendly, locally sourced materials, such as clay and eucalyptus wood. Kéré’s talk is presented in conjunction with the 111th annual meeting of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture, hosted by WashU’s Sam Fox School beginning March 30.

Wipprecht will discuss her practice, which spans couture, technology and interaction design, April 4. Concluding the spring lecture series, on April 24, will be art historian Joshua Cohen, author of “The ‘Black Art’ Renaissance: African Sculpture and Modernism across Continents” (2020).