Distinguished Speaker Series
The Distinguished Speaker Series at Crystal Bridges invites visitors to hear from internationally acclaimed leaders who inspire new ways of thinking about art, architecture, and nature.
This year’s exceptional lineup includes Faith Ringgold, Thom Mayne, Ruth Reichl, Cheech Marin, Judy Chicago, and Nick Cave.
Register online or by calling
Guest Services at 479.657.2335.
Faith Ringgold, artist
Friday, March 18. 7 to 8:30 pm
Meet artist Faith Ringgold as she speaks about her career of more than 60 years, with particular focus on Maya’s Quilt of Life, inspired by Maya Angelou and on view in Crystal Bridges’ 1940s to Now Gallery. Ringgold will provide an overview of her fascinating career, beginning in the early 1960s with the artist’s first-hand accounts of the Civil Rights Movement and the political imagery in her American PeopleSeries. Ringgold’s inspiring, often humorous, and always human stories illustrate her life’s work as an artist, activist, author, teacher, and parent through the evolution of an amazing body of work, including her well-known story quilts. Join us for a book signing with the artist following the lecture.
Thom Mayne, architect and Pritzker Prize winner
Thursday, May 12. 7 to 8:30 pm
Innovative designer, inspiring thought leader, and award-winning architect Thom Mayne will explore how architecture connects us with people and landscape. Mayne founded Morphosis Architecture as a collective architectural practice engaged in cross-disciplinary research and design such as the NYC Cooper Union Building and the Perot Museum of Nature and Science in Dallas. Mayne’s honors include the Pritzker Prize (2005) and the AIA Gold Medal (2013). Under Mayne’s direction, Morphosis Architecture has been the subject of various group and solo exhibitions throughout the world, including a large solo exhibition at the Centre Pompidou in Paris in 2006. Morphosis buildings and projects have been published extensively, and the firm has been the subject of 26 monographs.
The Distinguished Speaker Series is sponsored by Del Monte Foods, Inc. and architectural programming at Crystal Bridges is sponsored by Chip and Susan Chambers.
Ruth Reichl, food author and critic
Friday, June 10. 7 to 8:30 pm
Bestselling author, food critic, and judge on Bravo’s Top Chef Masters, Ruth Reichl is a well-recognized and beloved culinary voice. The Seattle Times has called her “one of the nation’s most influential figures in the food world.” Most recognized as a writer and editor, Reichl was the Editor-in-Chief of Gourmet Magazine for ten years until its closing. Prior to this role, she was the restaurant critic of The New York Timesand both the restaurant critic and food editor of the Los Angeles Times. Join us for a book signing with the artist following the lecture.
Cheech Marin, actor and art collector
Thursday, July 14. 7 to 8:30 pm
Primarily known as an actor, director, and performer, Cheech Marin has developed what is arguably the finest private collection of Chicano art in the nation. Marin will talk about his love of art and the events that sparked his interest in collecting. A third‐generation Mexican American, Marin has received numerous awards for his work on behalf of Latinos, including the 2000 Creative Achievement Award from the Imagen Foundation and the 1999 ALMA Community Service Award from the National Council of La Raza and Kraft Foods. Join us for a book signing with the artist following the lecture.
Judy Chicago, artist and educator
Friday, September 16, 7 to 8:30 pm
For more than five decades, Judy Chicago has remained steadfast in her commitment to the power of art as a vehicle for intellectual transformation and social change. As an artist, writer, educator, and humanist, her work and life are models for an enlarged definition of art, an expanded role for the artist, and women’s rights to freedom of expression. Chicago’s influence both within and beyond the art community is evidenced by her inclusion in hundreds of publications throughout the world. Chicago will participate in a conversation with Curator Chad Alligood and two female artists from State of the Art: Discovering American Art Now, exploring the emergence of women artists from the 1950s to now. Join us for a book signing with the artist following the lecture.
Nick Cave, artist
Friday, December 2, 7 to 8:30 pm
Nick Cave is an artist and educator working between the visual and performing arts. In a conversation with Curator Chad Alligood, Cave will talk about his lifework, including his Soundsuits in Crystal Bridges’ permanent collection. Utilizing a wide range of mediums, including sculpture, installation, video, sound, and performance, Cave’s solo exhibitions are seen throughout the world, including the galleries of Denver Art Museum; Chicago Cultural Center; Studio la Città, Verona, Italy; Jack Shainman Gallery, New York; and Seattle Art Museum. Cave serves as a Professor at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
American Sign Language interpretation is provided for all distinguished speaker programs. For preferred seating, please contact us at [email protected] or 479-418-5724 (voice). Relay or voice calls welcome.
American Sign Language interpretation sponsored by Loreen Arbus.
The Distinguished Speaker Series is sponsored by Del Monte Foods, Inc.