Nell Irvin Painter and adrienne maree brown visit CCAD virtually for spring Visiting Artists & Scholars Series

Jan 25, 2021

Nell Irvin Painter and adrienne maree brown visit CCAD virtually for spring Visiting Artists & Scholars Series

Media contact:
Leah Spellman, APR
Director of Communications
Columbus College of Art & Design
[email protected]

COLUMBUS, Ohio—Columbus College of Art & Design (CCAD) is pleased to announce its spring 2021 Visiting Artists & Scholars Series, which features the powerful voices of women who creatively lead and transform. World-renowned historian and scholar Nell Irvin Painter visits campus virtually on Thursday, Feb. 4, 2021 at 6:30 p.m. (EST) while writer and activist adrienne maree brown takes the virtual stage Friday, April 2, 2021 at noon (EDT). Both presentations are free and open to the public, but advance registration is required.

“CCAD is delighted to host these vital, urgent, and generous thinkers,” says Dr. Jennifer Schlueter, Dean of Graduate Studies at CCAD. “Painter and brown challenge us to reimagine how we teach, make, and engage. Their wisdom cuts across and between history, art, and activism, and they will seed important thinking for CCAD, Columbus, and anyone who would like to tune in to be part of the events.”

Nell Irvin Painter

Nell Irvin Painter

Painter is a graduate of Harvard University who went on to become the Edwards Professor Emeritus of American History at Princeton University. She is the author of seven books and countless articles, including Creating Black Americans, Southern History Across Color Lines, and the landmark The History of White People, a book hailed as, "One of the most important books ever on the social construction of the notion that there is a ‘white’ race."

After retiring from Princeton, Painter returned to the classroom to earn her BFA from Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University and MFA in painting from the Rhode Island School of Design. In Old in Art School: A Memoir of Starting Over, Painter grapples with all the ways she felt seen (and not) and the ways her making was supported (and not). In her CCAD talk, Painter will share reflections on art school and discusses her new exhibition, American Whiteness Since Trump.

“I’m really looking forward to ‘visiting’ Columbus College of Art & Design, an urban art school that I expect shares the good fortune as well as the challenges of an historic American city like my own Newark, New Jersey,” says Painter. “I would love to see how CCAD visualized the stirring George Floyd-Black Lives Matter events of the spring and summer of 2020.”

adrienne maree brown

adrienne maree brown
Photo by Anjali Pinto

brown, who is rooted in Detroit, will continue conversations around race, equity, and engagement during her April 2 talk. She is the author of Pleasure Activism: The Politics of Feeling Good, Emergent Strategy: Shaping Change, Changing Worlds, and the co-editor of Octavia’s Brood: Science Fiction from Social Justice Movements. brown is the cohost of the podcasts How to Survive the End of the World and Octavia’s Parables. Her most recent work, We Will Not Cancel Us, was published in November 2020 and examines cancel culture, also known as call-out culture, which originated as a way for marginalized and disempowered people to address harm and take down powerful abusers, often with the help of social media, and is now seen by some as having gone too far.

brown explores the topic from a Black, queer, and feminist viewpoint, and asks, “What is ‘too far’ when you’re talking about imbalances of power and patterns of harm? And what happens when people in social movements direct our righteous anger inward at one another? How well does this practice serve us? Does it prefigure the sort of world we want to live in? And, if it doesn’t, how do we seek accountability and redress for harm in ways that reflect our values?”

CCAD’s Visiting Artists & Scholars Series is made possible thanks to support from the Greater Columbus Arts Council, the Ohio Arts Council, and the Skestos Endowment Fund for Visiting Artists & Lectures.

To register to attend Painter’s presentation, click here. To attend brown’s lecture, click here. A recording of brown’s lecture will be shared on Virtual CCAD following the event for those who were unable to attend. Find out about other CCAD events here or by signing up for CCAD emails. For more information about CCAD’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion click here.

About Columbus College of Art & Design

Columbus College of Art & Design teaches undergraduate and graduate students in the midst of a thriving creative community in Columbus, Ohio. Founded in 1879, CCAD is one of the oldest private, nonprofit art and design colleges in the United States. CCAD offers 12 BFA programs and a Master of Fine Arts program that produce graduates equipped to shape culture and business at the highest level. For more information, visit