Public Lectures, Visiting Artists & Scholars, Majors Events


Upcoming Events

AIA Joukowsky Lecture: “Tracing the Origins of Art”

Thursday, October 21, 2021

5:30 pm | Virtual

Michael Chazan, University of Toronto

The urge towards creativity and self-expression is a fundamental element of being human.  This lecture explores the emergence of creative expression in the archaeological record.   The topics covered will include the earliest known symbolic artifacts from sites in southern Africa and the explosion in symbolic artifacts found at the outset of the European Upper Paleolithic.  The lecturer’s research at the site of Wonderwerk Cave, South Africa provides an opportunity to consider the deepest roots of the artistic impulse.  The wealth of recent archaeological discoveries provides an opportunity to consider human origins from a new perspective, and also raises intriguing questions about the nature of artistic expression.  

Chazan, M. 2019. The Reality of ArtifactsAn Archaeological Perspective.  Routledge.


Chazan, M. and Horwitz, L.K. 2010.  Milestones in the development of symbolic behaviour: A case study from Wonderwerk Cave, South Africa.  World Archaeology.41(4): 521-539.


White, R. 2003.  Prehistoric Art: The Symbolic Journey of Humankind.  New York: Abrams.


Chauvet Cave:

Opening Reception: Solo Exhibition by Christian Camacho

Friday, October 29, 2021

5:30 pm | Ruffin Gallery

Is This the Place? SHOW CLOSING

Saturday, October 30, 2021

5 pm | Visible Records

Work by Natalie Romero and Liz Zhang, UVa alumna and the inaugural 2020-2021 Freeman Artists in Residence, housed at Visible Records. The exhibiton is a culmination of work undertaken over the course of their 12 month residency.

Natalie Romero (she/her) is a queer Latina printmaker and artist from Houston, currently based in Charlottesville, Virginia. She studied Global Development Studies and Sociology at the University of Virginia with a focus on U.S. intervention in Latin America. Romero is passionate about bringing communities and families together through relational organizing and artistic expression. Screen printing, painting and poetry are tools that she uses to show others that creation can be empowering, affordable and locally sourced. She believes that sharing movement, music, earth, and lived experience are modes of liberation and community building. Romero’s work inspires reflection to discuss trauma, generational healing, insecurities, and societal issues. Romero uses her art to process and unpack the stigmas and norms surrounding body, beauty, responsibility, community and the environment. 

Liz Zhang is a painter and printmaker based in Charlottesville, Virginia. Her work is characterized by the use of figures to explore isolation, alliance, community, and coexistence. She seeks to create implied narrative through the subtle interactions of figures within their environments, playing with gestural languages of the body and utilitarian languages of human-made structures. She draws inspiration from moments of work, play, sport, and ceremony as well as family stories that have been passed down to her, which range from mundane anecdotes of the home to the revolutionary politics of twentieth century China. She was born and raised in Yorktown, Virginia and received her BA in Studio Art from the University of Virginia in 2019. She has shown locally in the Charlottesville area, including a solo show at Welcome Gallery in 2019.

Megan Marlatt: From Painting to Masking

Saturday, October 30, 2021

9 - 11 am | Boston University

Join artist and University of Virginia painting professor Megan Marlatt, and a panel of other artists, as she discusses her transition from painting to mask making and the returned influence of mask making on her painting. Marlatt formed  the Big Head Brigade after traveling to Spain to study the art of capgrossos with premier gegant/capgrosso makers, David Ventura and Neus Hosta in 2012. Her “big head” work grew and expanded as she returned to the states. Recently, Marlatt was the recipient of a Fulbright Scholar Research Fellowship to Belgium, where she studied Belgian carnival culture at the International Carnival and Mask Museum in Binche. She discusses the rich interplay between her work with masquerade and her work on canvas.

Registration for the panel that includes Kate Kretz and Sarah Bernstein, as well as other events, will be announced soon through the mailing list. Check out the schedule for the October weekend here.


Buckner W. Clay Lecture: Billie Zangewa, Artist

Friday, November 5, 2021

6:30 pm | Virtual

Art History/Wheedon Lecture: Massumeh Farhad

Thursday, November 18, 2021

6:30 pm | Virtual

Massumeh Farhad joined the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Asian Art, in 1995 as associate curator of Islamic Art. In 2004, she was appointed chief curator and curator of Islamic art. She is a specialist in the arts of the book from sixteenth-century and seventeenth-century Iran. Dr. Farhad has curated numerous exhibitions on the arts of the Islamic world at the Freer and Sackler, including Art of the Persian Courts (1996), Fountains of Light: The Nuhad Es-Said Collection of Metalwork (2000), Style and Status: Imperial Costumes from Ottoman Turkey (2005-6), The Tsars and the East: Gifts from Turkey and Iran in the Moscow Kremlin (2009), Falnama: The Book of Omens (2009-10), Roads of Arabia: History and Archaeology of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (2012), and The Art of the Qur’an: Treasures from the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts (2016).

Martina Rugiadi Lecture in Art and Archaeology

Tuesday, February 22, 2022


AIA Hanfmann Lecture: “Rituals of the Everyday: Neighborhood Diversity in the Urbanization of Cahokia”

Thursday, April 28, 2022


Melissa Balthus, University of Toledo

The neighborhoods of ancient Cahokia tell its stories. Their similarities and differences provide invaluable insight into the processes of urbanization, as well as the ways in which lived lives shaped the urban landscape.  Much of what we know about Cahokia’s neighborhoods derives from salvage excavations in or near the core of “downtown”. These excavations demonstrate planned site organization, dynamic neighborhood uses, and varying relationships between politico-religious practices, landscape features, and domestic spaces. Describing the development and depopulation of Cahokia through its neighborhoods, I will contextualize the findings of a recent multi-year project at one area of Cahokia and what we have learned about the city from this newly explored neighborhood.