For our 2017/2018 season, Martin Art Gallery has invited a series of performance based artists to supplement our ongoing exhibiting artist speaker series. These distinguished speakers are intended to compliment, contrast and augment our exhibition program by injecting their unique perspective of direct engagement [performance based practice] with campus and community.


Our first distinguished speaker is New York Based artist Clifford Owens. Owens' is an engaging and dramatic speaker whose talk will explore past works and present practice. Owens confronts issues of race, black agency and authorship in a frank and direct manner through his performance and immediately in his talks which are a kind of performance in and of themselves. Owens interrogates issues of personal space and often engages the audience, resulting in a sort of inadvertent collaboration. This unique event is not to be missed, and is free and open to the public. Clifford Owens' talk with take place September 13, from 5 - 6pm in the Recital Hall, in Baker Center for the Arts.

Clifford Owens’ art has appeared in numerous group and solo exhibitions. His solo exhibitions include “Anthology: Clifford Owens” Museum of Modern Art PS1 (2011-2012), “Better the Rebel You Know” Home, Manchester, England (2014), and “Perspectives 173: Clifford Owens” Contemporary Arts Museum Houston (2011). His many group exhibitions include, “Radical Presence: Black Performance in Contemporary Art” Contemporary Arts Museum (2012 - 2014), “Greater New York 2005” Museum of Modern Art PS1 (2005), “Freestyle” The Studio Museum in Harlem (2001), and “Performance Now” (2013 – 2014), and “Lone Wolf Recital Corp” Museum of Modern Art (2017).

He studied at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Rutgers University, and the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program. He has received numerous grants and fellowships including the William H. Johnson Prize, the Art Matters Grant, the Louis Tiffany Comfort Award, New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship, the New York Community Trust, the Lambent Foundation, Denniston Hill Distinguished Performance Artist Prize, and the Rutgers University Ralph Bunche Distinguished Graduate Fellowship. Publications, reviews, and interviews about his work include New York Times, Art +Auction, Village Voice, Modern Painters, Art in America, Art Forum, The New Yorker, BOMB, The Wall Street Journal, The Drama Review, Greater New York 2005, Performa: New Visual Art Performance, Rethinking Contemporary Art and Multicultural Education, and Why Art Photography? He has written for exhibition catalogues, the New York Times, Art Forum, and Performing Arts Journal. His project “Anthology” is the subject of his first book.

He has been visiting artist faculty and guest critic at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, Yale University, Columbia University, Harvard University, Princeton University, New York University, and the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He has been an artist in residence at The Studio Museum in Harlem (2005-2006), Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture (2004), Pioneer Works (2014), and Sharpe-Walentas Studio Program (2016-2017).

Clifford lives and works in New York City, and he is represented by INVISIBLE-EXPORTS, located in New York City.


Muhlenberg College will host Brooklyn Based artist Rebecca Goyette for an Artist talk as a part of our Performance {art} Speaker Series Wednesday November 8, 2017, from 5 – 6pm in the Recital Hall, in Baker Center for the Arts, on Muhlenberg College Campus.

Situated within a largely queer, fantasy paradigm, Rebecca Goyette’s work embraces a fruitful multiplicity of sexual desire to engage the panoply of non-normative gender roles. Goyette transgresses fantasy gender boundaries with ease, as Judith Butler articulates there is no “single position within a fantasy; the identification is distributed among various elements of the scene.” For Goyette, sexuality is one gateway into the rich territory of psychology and human interaction, into the remotest ranges of the subconscious mind. Her work across media delves into complex characters based partially in the real (scientific fact, Puritan history, herstory, the annals of witchcraft, Goddess worship and the paranormal) and partially in fiction. Goyette recounts the psychosexual dramas of time immemorial in her “Ghost Bitch” Puritan historic reenactment/sexploitation films, while embodying the mating rituals of lobster in her extensive series of costumed Lobsta Pornos. Goyette is represented by Freight and Volume Gallery, NYC, and has exhibited and created films internationally.