Internationally Known Artist Wangechi Mutu to Speak at Montserrat College of Art Commencement

March 20, 2015

Montserrat College of Art is excited to announce internationally known artist and activist Wangechi Mutu as the 2015 Commencement Speaker and Honorary Degree Recipient. Mutu will address the Montserrat community on Friday, May 15, 2015 at the Cabot Performing Arts Center, 286 Cabot St, Beverly, MA as part of the commencement ceremonies. She will also give a public lecture on Thursday evening, May 14. More information to follow.

Mutu is a Kenyan-born, New York based artist whose surrealist works contain personal poetic cultural criticism that engages the complexities of the daily issues, current affairs and diverse environments. She focuses on issues that affect not only all humans, but more specifically the disempowered. Mutu’s inventive and meticulous use of materials matched with the elegant and perhaps horrific figures are found lurking in worlds filled with hybrids. Composites themselves, they’re entrapped between consciousness and dreamscapes, silences and cacophony, seemingly alive, though somewhere beyond the memory of death; still real and yet not. These characters are avatars that reveal their inherent vulnerability in spite of their dynamic potency.

“We are extremely honored to have an artist of Ms. Mutu’s caliber speaking to our graduates,” said Stephen D. Immerman, president of the college. “Her successful career both in the US and abroad will be inspirational to our community. We are excited to welcome her to the campus and to the North Shore.” Mutu joins a long list of illustrious commencement speakers at Montserrat including Bryan Konietzko, Gregory Crewdson, Amy Sillman, Jenny Holzer, Janine Antoni and James Rosenquist, to name a few.

Artist Biography

Mutu earned a BFA from Cooper Union for the Advancement of the Arts and Science in 1996, and then received an MFA from Yale University in 2000. She is the recipient of the United States Artist Grant (2014), the Brooklyn Museum’s Artist of the Year Award (2013), and was honored as Deutsche Bank’s first Artist of the Year (2010). She has exhibited at major institutions including recent one-person shows at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Australia; Deutsche Guggenheim, Berlin; the Brooklyn Museum of Art; Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Staatlichen Kunsthalle Baden-Baden, Germany; Wiels Contemporary Art Center, Brussels; the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, North Carolina; the Block Museum of Art at Northwestern University, Illinois; and Miami Art Museum.  Mutu recently participated in the Dak’Art Biennial, the Kochi-Muziris Biennial, the Paris Triennial: Intense Proximity, the International Center of Photography’s Triennial and the Moscow Bienniale.  Her work is included in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Whitney Museum of American Art; The Studio Museum in Harlem; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; the Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art; the Brooklyn Museum; and Tate Modern in London. See Mutu’s work at wangechimutu.com.

Montserrat Gallery will be open for viewing of the 2015 All Senior Show May 1 – 15, 2015 at the college’s main campus building at 23 Essex Street, Beverly, MA.

For further information, contact Jo Broderick at [email protected], 978.867.9613 or visit montserrat.edu/news/commencement.