The New Social Environment#881

Darrel Ellis: Regeneration

Featuring Sergio Bessa, Allen Frame, Leslie Cozzi, and Ksenia M. Soboleva, with Tommye Blount


1 p.m. Eastern / 10 a.m. Pacific

Bronx Museum Chief Curator Emeritus Sergio Bessa, photographer Allen Frame, and Baltimore Museum of Arts curator Leslie Cozzi join Rail contributor Ksenia M. Soboleva for a conversation. We conclude with a poetry reading by Tommye Blount.

In this talk

Visit Darrel Ellis: Regeneration, on view at The Bronx Museum through September 10, 2023 →

Sergio Bessa

Sergio Bessa
Antonio Sergio Bessa is chief curator emeritus at the Bronx Museum of the Arts. A distinguished scholar of concrete poetry, Bessa has organized several critically acclaimed exhibitions on themes related to text-based art. He also collaborated with Deborah Cullen at the 3rd Trienal Poli/Gráfica de San Juan Puerto Rico, in 2012. His essays on concrete poetry have been published in several anthologies, journals, and websites including and He is the author of Öyvind Fahlström: The Art of Writing, and editor of Novas: Selected Writings of Haroldo de Campos, and Mary Ellen Solt: Toward a Theory of Concrete Poetry.

Allen Frame

Photo of Allen Frame
Allen Frame is a photographer and writer, based in New York and represented by Gitterman Gallery. His books include Innamorato (Meteoro Editions, 2023), Fever, (Matte Editions, 2021), and Detour (Kehrer, 2001). Frame was a winner of the 2017/2018 Rome Prize from the American Academy in Rome. He has curated numerous exhibitions, including, Love and Jump Back, the Photography of Charles Henri Ford, at Mitchell Algus Gallery; Darrel Ellis at Art in General in NYC, and in 2023, Luxe, Calme, Volupte at Candice Madey, with co-curator Sergio Bessa. He is an Adjunct Professor of Photography at Pratt Institute (MFA) and also teaches at the School of Visual Arts (BFA), the International Center of Photography in New York, and for Strudelmedialive.

Leslie Cozzi

Photo of Leslie Cozzi
Dr. Leslie Cozzi, FAAR'18, is the Curator of Prints, Drawings & Photographs at The Baltimore Museum of Art, where she is responsible for the museum’s post-1900 works on paper and has organized numerous exhibitions, including A Modern Influence: Henri Matisse, Etta Cone and Baltimore; Omar Ba: Political Animals; and Darrel Ellis: Regeneration. She was a 2017-2018 Rome Prize Winner at the American Academy in Rome. Dr. Cozzi previously served as the Curatorial Associate at the Grunwald Center for the Graphic Arts at the Hammer Museum. She holds a PH.D. from the University of Virginia and a B.A. from Yale University.

Ksenia M. Soboleva

A picture of art historian Ksenia M. Soboleva.
Photo by Irina Kadyrova-Schuddeboom
Dr. Ksenia M. Soboleva is a New York based art historian specializing in queer art and culture. She holds a Ph.D. from the Institute of Fine Arts, NYU, with a dissertation on art, AIDS, and lesbian identity in the United States. Soboleva is currently working on a book project titled Friendship as a Way of Art: Queer Identity and Visual Citation, and co-editing (with Svetlana Kitto) the first major publication on the lesbian gallery Trial Balloon. Her writings have appeared in the Brooklyn Rail, BOMB Magazine, Hyperallergic, Ursula Magazine, as well as various exhibition catalogues and artist monographs. She teaches at the New School and NYU.

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

Tommye Blount

A portrait of poet Tommye Blount
Photo by Mars Marshall
Tommye Blount (he/him) is the author of the chapbook What Are We Not For (Bull City Press) and the full-length collection of poetry Fantasia for the Man in Blue (Four Way Books)—which was finalist for the National Book Award, the Kate Tufts Discovery Award, the Lambda Literary Award in Gay Poetry, the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, and others. He is the recipient of commendations, fellowships, and grants from: the Whiting Foundation, Cave Canem, Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, Kresge Arts in Detroit, and the Aninstantia Foundation. Tommye lives in his hometown of Detroit, Michigan.

❤️ 🌈 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.