On Thursday, July 14th, Brian Holcombe, the curator at the Moss Arts Center brought two artists who were doing site visits for their upcoming exhibitions in 2023 to speak with current students about their work. 

Yanira Collado is an artist interested in the reconfiguration of objects that speak metaphorically of time. As a child, Collado traveled between social structures: from Brooklyn, where she was born; to the Dominican Republic; to Miami, where her mother worked to become a tailor. Identity is central to her installations, referenced in her use of reclaimed literary texts and textiles, simultaneously opposed by various construction materials, imply varying degrees of personalized and public memory.

William Cordova works in multimedia practice, speaking on contemporary social systems and economies within the personal history of objects, and is informed by his experiences growing up in Lima, Peru, and living across the US. Afro-Peruvian cosmology, Andean architecture, and metaphysics deeply influence Cordova’s work, which utilize a variety of materials, including found and discarded objects, feathers, collage, and other reclaimed detritus. 

Yanira Collado spoke to the themes of culture, history of place, abstraction, ephemerality, and repurposing that run through her work. William Cordova discussed similar themes with the students, examining place and perspective through the lens of the people present, and how they change the spaces they occupy. 

The event was held for Innovative Design Thinking, a class taught within the Summer Academy program for incoming students and internal transfers, led by Isaac Mangual and Shaun Rosier. 

Also in attendance were Professor Henri de Hahn’s architecture summer studio students, and Associate Professor Bill Green’s industrial design summer studio students. 

On Friday, July 15th, the artists returned for a workshop with the four Summer Academy participants. Students looked at catalogs of Collado and Cordova’s work, focusing on how they use the physical and immaterial (history, experience, culture, memory) material of a given site to both inspire and craft their works, as the two artists asked the students about their approaches to materials and nontraditional materials. They then watched two of William's early performances at the new Creativity and Innovation District residence hall, followed by a Q&A.

Yanira Collado’s solo exhibition is scheduled for February 16 – April 22, 2023 in the Miles C. Horton Jr Gallery and the Sherwood Payne Quillen ’71 Reception Gallery.

William Cordova's solo exhibition is scheduled for September 21 – December 16, 2023 in the Ruth C. Horton Gallery.

Both artists will return for one to two week residencies before their exhibitions open to help install and work with students and community. Stay up to date on the upcoming Moss Arts Center exhibitions here.