SCAD deFINE ART artist talks: Cammie Staros and Awol Erizku
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Join artists Cammie Staros and Awol Erizku for two in-depth conversations exploring their new exhibitions, presented as part of SCAD deFINE ART 2024. Journey through Sunken City with Staros as she speaks on her use of both traditional and contemporary sculptural practices and techniques to examine ancient Greco-Roman narratives that have shaped many aspects of Western culture. Erizku takes guests through X, his first solo museum exhibition, a multimedia display centering the American Muslim activist Malcolm X as a subject of personal inspiration and complex cultural significance.

About the artists
Cammie Staros (b. 1983, Nashville, Tenn.) creates sculptures that draw from Greco-Roman antiquities and the museum contexts in which they are viewed. Through a combination of ancient techniques, contemporary sensibility, and museological display, her work manipulates the perception of the past to reveal semiotic systems created and reinforced through art history. This exploration highlights how the relics of fallen empires speak to the political and environmental threats to our current civilization. Her recent work educes the institutionalization of an ancient past to imagine how the present might be remembered and what future world it will produce. Staros received her B.A. in art and semiotics from Brown University in 2006 and her M.F.A. from the California Institute of the Arts in 2011. She is represented by Shulamit Nazarian in Los Angeles and has shown solo exhibitions with Francois Ghebaly, Los Angeles; Lefebvre & Fils, Paris; the Institute of Contemporary Art, San Diego; Pitzer College, Claremont, Calif.; and Providence College, R.I. Staros has received several awards, grants, and residencies, including a 2023 Pollock-Krasner Foundation grant and a 2020 Guggenheim Fellowship.

Conceptual artist Awol Erizku (b. 1988, Ethiopia) attended New York City's Cooper Union before receiving his M.F.A. from Yale University. Erizku has developed a multidisciplinary practice encompassing photography, sculpture, painting, installation, film, and sound. Referencing and reimagining African and Black American cultures from Nefertiti to hip-hop vernacular, Erizku rejects Eurocentric notions of art and beauty in favor of building his singular Afrocentric aesthetic, an ideology he refers to as “Afro-esotericism.” He has presented solo exhibitions with the Public Art Fund, New York, and The FLAG Art Foundation, New York. His work has been exhibited at prominent institutions including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Studio Museum Harlem, New York; the Crystal Bridges Museum of Art, Bentonville, Ark.; the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Toronto; and the Museum of the African Diaspora, San Francisco, among others. His work is held in the permanent collections of many institutions worldwide, including the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the Norton Museum of Art, Palm Beach, Fla; the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Calif.; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. He recently published Awol Erizku: Mystic Parallax, the first comprehensive monograph of his career to date.

This event is free and open to the public and is presented as part of SCAD deFINE ART 2024.