Common Ground

Looking After: Conversations on Art and Healing

Picturing the COVID-19 Pandemic


1 p.m. Eastern / 10 a.m. Pacific

Sria Chatterjee, James Clar, Guadalupe Maravilla, and Stephanie Misa join Suzanne Hudson and Tanya Sheehan for the first installment of our series Looking After: Conversations on Art and Healing. We conclude with a poetry reading by Tess Taylor.

In this talk

View the second installment of this series, New Histories of Art, Medicine, and Healing, here →

A special thanks to Colby Center for the Arts and Humanities and USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences for making this event possible.

The logo of Colby Center for the Arts and Humanities
The logo of USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences

Sria Chatterjee

Photo of Sria Chatterjee.
Art historian and environmental humanities scholar Sria Chatterjee is the founder and project lead of the Visualizing the Virus digital project. Her research focuses on the political ecologies of art and design, with a particular focus on soil, transnational environmental histories, the histories of art and science and the relationships between climate, health, and colonialism. Sria is Head of Research and Learning at the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art in London. Sria received her MA and PhD from the department of Art & Archaeology at Princeton and her BA from Oxford University.

James Clar

Photo of James Clar.
Artist James Clar was born in Wisconsin to immigrant Filipino parents. He studied Film and Animation at New York University and received his Masters from NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program. His practice explores the narrative potential of light and technology, and has been exhibited at museums and galleries globally. His work is motivated through personal experience and has been heavily influenced by the cities he has lived in. His studio was based in Dubai for 6 years, New York for 15, and 2 years ago he moved to the Philippines. It’s from here that he developed his last two exhibitions Share Location (2022) in Manila, and recently By Force of Nature (2023) that is currently running at Silverlens New York.

Guadalupe Maravilla

Photo of Guadalupe Maravilla.
Photo by Steve Benisty
Transdisciplinary visual artist, choreographer, and healer Guadalupe Maravilla combines pre-colonial Central American ancestry, personal mythology, and collaborative performative acts in his performances, objects, and drawings to trace the history of his own displacement and that of others. Maravilla currently lives in Brooklyn, New York. His work is in the permanent collections of and has been performed and presented in a multitude of international institutions. Awards and fellowships include; The 2021 Joan Mitchell Fellowship, LatinX Fellowship 2021, and the Lise Wilhelmsen Art award 2021, among others. Residencies include; LMCC Workspace, SOMA, Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture and Drawing Center Open Sessions.

Stephanie Misa

Photo of Stephanie Misa.
Photo by Mark Pinder
Born in Cebu City, Philippines, Stephanie Misa lives in Vienna, Austria where she graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna in 2012 in Performative Arts & Sculpture. She has a masters from the Interactive Telecommunications Program, Tisch School of the Arts, New York University. She currently is a lecturer at the Artistic Strategies department of the University of Applied Arts Vienna, and her recent works include the 9th Bucharest Biennale and an upcoming group show at the Künstlerhaus Vienna. She will be an RMIT Intersect residency fellow in summer 2022.

Suzanne Hudson

Photo of Suzanne Hudson.
Art historian and critic Suzanne Hudson is Associate Professor of Art History and Fine Arts at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. She writes with special emphasis on the history, theory, and conventions of painting and process. She is also a regular contributor to Artforum, and has penned numerous essays for international exhibition catalogs and artist monographs. Recent books include Agnes Martin: Night Sea (Afterall/MIT, 2017) and Contemporary Painting (Thames & Hudson, 2021). She is currently at work on Better for the Making: Art, Therapy, Process, a study of the therapeutic origins of art-making within American modernism.

Tanya Sheehan

Photo of Tanya Sheehan.
William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of Art at Colby College, Tanya Sheehan is the Principal Investigator of Colby’s inaugural Public Humanistic Inquiry Lab, Critical Medical Humanities: Perspectives on the Intersection of Race and Medicine. Across her career, Sheehan has worked at the intersection of American art history, medical humanities, and critical race studies. This work includes two books, Doctored: The Medicine of Photography in Nineteenth-Century America (2011) and Study in Black and White: Photography, Race, Humor (2018). Her current book project examines the subjects of medicine and public health in modernist and contemporary art by African Americans. Since 2015 she has served as executive editor of the Smithsonian Institution’s Archives of American Art Journal.

The Rail has a tradition of ending our conversations with a poetry reading, and we’re fortunate to have Tess Taylor reading.

Tess Taylor

Photo of Tess Taylor.
Poet Tess Taylor is the author of five collections of poetry, including The Misremembered World, The Forage House, and Work & Days. In spring 2020 she published two books of poems: Last West, part of Dorothea Lange: Words & Pictures, at the Museum of Modern Art, and Rift Zone, from Red Hen Press, hailed as “brilliant” in the LA Times and named one of the best books of 2020 by The Boston Globe. Taylor has served as on-air poetry reviewer for NPR’s All Things Considered for over a decade. She is currently on the faculty of Ashland University’s Low-Res MFA Creative Writing Program.

❤️ 🌈 We'd like to thank the The Terra Foundation for American Art for making these daily conversations possible, and for their support of our growing archive.