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NJ MoCA Art Conversations: Secrets of the Contemporary Art World
The world of contemporary visual art is often intimidating, challenging, and seemingly unapproachable. To help break those perceptions and barriers, New Jersey Museum of Contemporary Art will present “Art Conversations,” a series of three scholar-led panel talks that will provide context and insight into what defines contemporary art, its transformational trends, and its relevance and impact on society. The highly credentialed and charismatic United Nations journalist Alexandra King will moderate conversations with art critics, collectors, curators, technology producers, and artists. The program will target new audiences comprised of the public, students, and informed art lovers wanting a richer understanding of these topics. The series will encourage public thought and discussion with an open Q&A at the end of each panel.
Secrets of the Contemporary Art World will focus on the insights into the nuances and impact of contemporary visual art on society and will feature the following panelists:
Stephen Westfall (b. 1953, Schenectady) is an artist and art critic who describes himself as a “Poppish, post-minimalist geometric painter.” He is a contributing editor to Art in America, and his writing has also appeared in Bomb Magazine and The Brooklyn Rail. Westfall is the recipient of the 2009 Rome Prize Fellowship and was a Guggenheim Fellow in 2007. He has received awards and grants from the National Academy of Arts & Letters, from the National Endowment for the Arts, from the New York State Council on the Arts, and from the Nancy Graves Foundation. He holds an MFA from the University of California Santa Barbara. He has held teaching positions at Bard College and at the School of Visual Arts, New York City. Westfall recently served as the Jules Guerin/John Armstrong Chaloner Rome Prize Fellow in Visual Arts at the American Academy. He has had shows at Lennon Weinberg Gallery, Galerie Zürcher, and at Galerie Paal. Westfall’s work is found in the collections of The Albertina Museum in Vienna, the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Bon Marche, and the Library of Congress.
Isaac Lyles (b. 1982, Gadsden, AL) is the owner of Lyles & King located in New York’s Lower East Side. He has a B.A. in Art History from the University of Texas, Austin and a M.A. in Art History from the University of Illinois, Chicago. Prior of opening Lyles & King in May 2015, he was a gallery director at Derek Eller Gallery, Tilton Gallery, and Elizabeth Dee. Exhibitions Lyles curated have been reviewed by The New York Times, The New Yorker, Artforum, Modern Painters, The Wall Street Journal, and the Village Voice among others.
Art collector Steve Shane (New Jersey) visits thirty galleries in New York City, where he has an apartment, every Saturday. Sundays he goes to museums, or galleries outside of Manhattan. All of his vacations are scheduled around art events. He has barely missed a major international art fair in twenty years. He regularly sends out his art e-mails of his picks to over five hundred fellow enthusiasts. Shane prefers to term himself an “art lover” rather than as a collector, stating that his “collection is only a little side effect of my passion,” although he has amassed a collection of over five hundred works of contemporary art to date. Shane has never sold any of his collection, which will one day be bequeathed to different museums.
SERIES MODERATOR | ALEXANDRA KING
Alexandra King is a multimedia journalist living in New York City. Currently, Alex works as a Producer/Reporter at United Nations Television in New York. Alex began her career in journalism in her local BBC newsroom in her native England, aged 16. She studied English Literature at University College London, becoming News Editor of London Student (Europe’s largest student newspaper) where she was twice shortlisted for the prestigious Guardian student media awards. She also began interning and freelancing for local newspapers, as well as working for BBC London, Sky News and Five News. A Masters degree in Journalism at Columbia University in New York City followed. She has reported from four UN General Assembly Debates, interviewed numerous celebrities like Stevie Wonder, Pharrell Williams and Steve McQueen, and produced and reported from the field in Mozambique, Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Uganda and Ethiopia. Her work has been featured on networks such as CNN International, MTV, NHK and Agence France Presse.