The New Social Environment#551

A Tribute to Mary Beth Edelson


1 p.m. Eastern / 10 a.m. Pacific

Featuring speakers Elaine Angelopoulos, Susan Bee, Christen Clifford, Meredith Drum, Donna Kessinger, Dena Muller, Guerrilla Girl Alice Neel, Gabriella Shypula, Kathleen Wentrack, and Kat Griefen; with contributions by Roxana Fabius, Joyce Kozloff, Lucy Lippard, Janet Olivia Henry, Alicia Smith, Jillian Steinhauer, and with a concluding reading by Kay Turner.

In this talk

Read our tribute to Mary Beth Edelson in our March 2022 issue →

We encourage everyone to visit Mary Beth Edelson: A Celebration on view at David Lewis Gallery through June 4, 2022. There will be an in-person tribute at the gallery on May 17 from 6–8pm, RSVP to attend:

Elaine Angelopoulos

A portrait of Elaine Angelopoulos.
Artist Elaine Angelopoulos lives and works in New York City. Her interdisciplinary approach bridges her studio practice with audience participation, of select installations and performances. Her work has been exhibited in New York, the United States, and Europe. Angelopoulos received a Franklin Furnace Fund/Jerome Fellowship in 2014/15. Her work was included in the following group exhibitions: The Right to Breathe, curated by Sozita Goudouna; Still Utopia: Islands, Exquisite Corpse drawings, curated by Simonetta Moro, and Aga Ousseinov, at Gallery MC and the Circolo Ricreativo Culturale, Venice, Italy; and Body, curated by, curated by Katya Grokhovsky in the Art in Odd Places Performance Festival and Exhibition in New York City.

Susan Bee

A portrait of Susan Bee by Phong H. Bui
Portrait by Phong H. Bui
Brooklyn based artist Susan Bee has had ten solo shows at A.I.R. Gallery. Bee has published eighteen artist’s books, including collaborations with Susan Howe, Charles Bernstein, Jerome McGann, Rachel Levitsky, and Jerome Rothenberg. Bee’s artwork is in many collections and has been widely reviewed. She has given numerous talks in museums and galleries in the US and abroad. She was the coeditor of M/E/A/N/I/N/G from 1986-2016. Her artist’s book archive and the M/E/A/N/I/N/G archive are at the Beinecke Library at Yale. She has a BA from Barnard College and a MA from Hunter College. Bee received a Guggenheim Fellowship in Fine Arts in 2014. Her latest book is Off-World Fairy Tales, with Johanna Drucker, Litmus Press.

Christen Clifford

Photo of Christen Clifford
Feminist performance artist, writer, curator, professor, actor, and mother Christen Clifford has published in The Brooklyn Rail, Salon, The Guardian and more. Her risograph art book BabyLove, co produced with Project for Empty Space, was acquired by the Watson Library at The Met. Her performance and video work has been shown at The New Museum, Culture Project, PS 122, Eva Presenhuber, Panoply Performance Lab, LACE LA. Clifford is a curator at Dixon Place and teaches at The New School. She is an NYC Artist Corps member, and has received fellowships and awards from NYFA, NYSCA, NYFF, IFP, Creative Catalyst Newark as well as the Nonfiction Award from The New School, where she received her MFA. Her work centers Bodily Autonomy, Body Politics, and Sexual Justice.

Meredith Drum

Photo of Meredith Drum
Interdisciplinary artist Meredith Drum works with video, animation, installation, augmented reality, and various modes of public participation. Her projects center around the cultivation of care for living beings, both humans and non-humans. She is influenced by cinema history, climate justice, her family, friends, and cats, multispecies anthropology, swimming in the ocean, cultural studies, walking in the woods, intersectional feminism, science fiction, contemporary visual culture, and riding bikes with loved ones. She exhibits frequently in NYC at a variety of venues, including a solo screening in 2020 at Microscope Gallery. Drum is now an Assistant Professor in the School of Visual Art at Virginia Tech.

Donna Kessinger

A portrait of Donna Kessinger.
Artist and curator Donna Rae Kessinger is currently Gallery Director and Curator at ChaShaMa’s Space to Create and Present programs in Matawan, New Jersey. While she was Executive Director of the Monmouth Museum her Contemporary Arts based Autism focused programming won the 2021 Jersey Shore IMPACT 100 Grant. As an Independent Curator and Artist, she has a passion for creating programs that embrace inclusion, social justice, and diversity including working with kids born into gangs in the Young Curators Unplugged project in Newark, New Jersey and creating art exhibitions programs with adults who are on the autism spectrum, in multiple venues. Kessinger is an advocate for the concept of the Museum as a healing space that works to bring community together.

Dena Muller

A portrait of Dena Muller.
Dena Muller is a project management and strategic fundraising consultant for artists and non-profit organizations such as The Feminist Institute, Project for Empty Space, Sugar Hill Children’s Museum, Faou Foundation (Mariko Mori Studio), For Freedoms (Hank Willis Thomas Studio), Slave Rebellion Reenactment (Dread Scott; Studio), Spiderwoman Theater, and The Laundromat Project. She was the Executive Director of the CUE Art Foundation and the Director of New Initiatives at the New York Foundation for the Arts. She previously served as the Executive Director of ArtTable where she led the organization through its 30th Anniversary celebration. Prior to ArtTable, Dena was the Executive Director of A.I.R. Gallery, a landmark artists’ collective.

Guerrilla Girl Alice Neel

A portrait of Guerrilla Girl member Alice Neel.
Alice Neel is a Co-Founder of The Guerrilla Girls.

Gabriella Shypula

Photo of Gabriella Shypula
Based in New York,** Gabriella Shypula** is an independent curator, art historian, and writer. A PhD Candidate in Art History and Criticism at Stony Brook University, her dissertation recovers autobiography as a historical mode, examining New York-based women artists who explored autobiography’s multiple possibilities for history-making, revision, and recovery in their art, writing, and curatorial practices between 1970 and 1988. Gabriella has collaborated on curatorial and research projects at the Baltimore Museum of Art, MoMA, the Willem de Kooning Foundation, and A.I.R. Gallery. She has contributed to exhibitions including Joan Mitchell (Baltimore Museum of Art and SFMOMA, 2021-2022) and Judson Dance Theater: The Work Is Never Done (MoMA, 2018-2019).

Kathleen Wentrack

Photo of Kathleen Wentrack
Feminist art historian Kathleen Wentrack, PhD, is Associate Professor of Art History at The City University of New York, Queensborough CC and editor of the forthcoming anthology Collaboration, Empowerment, Change: Women’s Art Collectives. She recently published “1970s Feminist Practice as Heterotopian: The Stichting Vrouwen in de Beeldende Kunst and the Schule für kreativen Feminismus,” in All Women Art Spaces in the Long 1970s edited by Agata Jakubowska and Katy Deepwell (Liverpool University Press, 2018).

Kat Griefen

A portrait of Kat Griefen
Art historian, educator, curator, and private dealer Kat Griefen has been teaching for 10 years at the undergraduate and graduate level, covering topics such as Gallery and Museum Studies, Art History, and Women and Gender Studies. She is a faculty member at Queensborough Community College (QCC) and at CUNY School of Professional Studies MA in Museum Studies program. Since 2011 Ms. Griefen has been the co-director and co-owner of Accola Griefen Fine Art. Ms. Griefen is a Board Member of Arttable; a member of the Council for Feminist Art at the Brooklyn Museum; a National Committee Member of the Feminist Art Project; and a member of the Association of Women Art Dealers.

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

Kay Turner

Black and white photo of Kay Turner
Artist and scholar Kay Turner works across disciplines, including performance, writing, music, exhibition curation, and public and academic folklore. She is noted for her feminist writings and performances on subjects such as women’s home altars, fairy tale witches, and historical goddess figures. She co-founded “Girls in the Nose,” a lesbian feminist rock punk band that anticipated riot grrl. Kay met Mary Beth in 1976 while both were working on the Heresies Goddess issue and then published some of Edelson’s work in Lady-Unique-Inclination-of-the Night, the journal Turner founded in 1976 to explore art and history of the goddess.

❤️ 🌈 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.