Arrivals 2022-2023

The Department of Art and Art History is pleased to announce the appointments of Dr. Uchenna Itam as Assistant Professor of Art History and Dave McKenzie as Distinguished Lecturer of Studio Art. Dr. Itam is a specialist in modern and contemporary art of the African Diaspora. Dave McKenzie is an internationally recognized artist who works in video, sculpture, performance, and installation.

Dr. Itam comes to Hunter from a position as Predoctoral Fellow for Excellence through Diversity with the University of Pennsylvania’s Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty. Her research project, titled Feeling Visible, examines how politics of identity and issues of representation are negotiated through multisensorial aesthetics in the installation art practices of Janine Antoni, Félix González-Torres, Nadine Robinson, and Wangechi Mutu at the turn of the twenty-first century. Dr. Itam completed the Ph.D. in Art History at The University of Texas at Austin (2021); she holds an M.A. in the Humanities from the University of Chicago (2004) and a B.A. in the History of Art from the University of Pennsylvania (2003).

Dr. Itam has also worked as a curator for over two decades, most recently as Curator of the Henry Luce Foundation African American Collecting Initiative at the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. She is also a founding member of the collective INGZ, which has presented exhibitions with artists LaToya Ruby Frazier, TJ Dedeaux-Norris, and Mimi Cherono Ng’ok among others.

Dave McKenzie uses video, sculpture, performance, and installation to explore how public space and the private self are simultaneously alienated, connected, and restricted. At the heart of this practice lies a desire for interactions that lay bare the complications of social rules and obligations with which we navigate personal relationships.

Born in Kingston, Jamaica in 1977, McKenzie received a B.F.A. in printmaking from the University of the Arts, Philadelphia, and attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 2000. He currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.

Departures 2021-22

Two longtime members of the Studio Art faculty retired in 2021-22, Tom Weaver, after 32 years, and Brian Wood, after 20.  They have each helped to shape the department and the program in Studio Art, and they will be missed.


Thomas Weaver received his BA from the University of California Santa Cruz in 1972, and moved to London to pursue graduate studies in sculpture at the St. Martin’s School of Art.  After two years in England, he returned to New York, where he received his MFA from Hunter College in 1982.  Tom began teaching at Hunter as an adjunct while still a student, and taught sculpture at Hunter as a Visiting Professor and painting at Parsons until 1990, when he joined Hunter’s fulltime faculty. He worked in large scale sculpture and site installations into the early 2000s, and his shaped and constructed paintings in that period reflect a similar interest in built space, perspective, and architectural light. In the new millennium he concentrated on painting, and his work became increasingly referential and figurative; the critic Fredric Koeppel described them as “dream-like and fragmentary narratives of American domestic life.” Over his long career, Tom has had one-person exhibitions at the Walsh Art Gallery at Fairfield University (CT), the Marsh Art Gallery at the University of Richmond (VA), and Condeso/Lawler Gallery and the Church of Saint Paul the Apostle in New York, among other venues.

Tom served as chair of the Department of Art and Art History from 2006 to 2012, and subsequently helped to build and run the BFA program, and to guide its students.  He was an important voice in the MFA program for both students and colleagues, and a strong advocate for our curriculum on all levels.  We will miss his wisdom, his judiciousness, and his deep institutional memory. 


Brian Wood was born and raised on a farm on the prairies of northern Saskatchewan, Canada, where his imagination was formed by the unforgiving environment and the cyclical rhythms of agriculture. He received his BA from the University of Saskatchewan in 1969, where he studied literature, physics, and mathematics. He moved to New York City shortly thereafter, and, in 1975, completed his MA at Hunter College in painting and film, working with filmmaker Hollis Frampton. He was part of the film crew of Michael Snow’s Rameau’s Nephew while at Hunter and screened his own early films at Film Forum in 1975. He began making large-scale photo constructions in the late 1970s and in 1979 the Museum of Modern Art curators John Szarkowski and Susan Kismaric began collecting his photo constructions and his later ink/photo paintings for MoMA’s permanent collection. They immediately placed Brian’s work in MoMA’s public galleries, where his works were on view for most of the next two decades, and also showed other of his works in many of the museum’s exhibitions and publications. Brian went on to exhibit internationally in many galleries and museums.

Brian was a Senior Critic in Photography at Yale from 1992-2002 and returned to Hunter as Professor of Photography in 2002. Over his twenty years at Hunter, Brian served multiple terms on the departmental P&B and as area head for Photography, guiding the area’s curriculum and developing its labs and workspaces. He was a committed teacher and mentor, and an important advocate for Photography at Hunter, not only within the department, but also to the administration.  

While the program in Photography at Hunter is centered on the wet darkroom and the techniques of analogue photography, Brian’s own work has always ranged far from the photograph. For some decades he has worked primarily in painting and drawing, works that have been exhibited in New York at Jeannie Freilich Gallery, Zurcher Gallery, Novella Gallery, Arts + Leisure Gallery, the Church of Saint Paul the Apostle, the American Academy of Arts & Letters, and numerous other venues. Brian’s art is represented in the permanent collections of museums worldwide, including the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Museum, the L. A. County Museum of Art, the National Gallery of Canada, the Ludwig Museum in Cologne, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Montreal, and the National Gallery in DC. His many awards include the Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, the NEA Fellowship, the NYFA Artist Fellowship, an American Academy of Arts & Letters Award, and in 2019 Brian was a Rome Prize finalist in painting. Brian’s last semester teaching was Fall 2021, and he has worked these past months to prepare for upcoming exhibitions.


Spring 2022 BFA Degree Exhibition: Open Tabs May 12–June 4, 2022


Spring 2022 BFA Degree Exhibition: Open Tab
May 12–June 4, 2022

Opening Reception: Thursday May 12, 5–7 PM

Bertha and Karl Leubsdorf Gallery
132 E 68th St, NY NY 10065
Tues–Sat, 11AM–5 PM

The Hunter College BFA Program and the Hunter College Art Galleries are pleased to present the Spring 2022 BFA Degree Exhibition, Open Tabs at the Bertha and Karl Leubsdorf Gallery, May 12, 2022 through June 4, 2022. The exhibition will feature works by Arife Ateş, Jason Birmingham, Gloria Cárcamo, Katelin Montgomery, Piero Penizzotto, Alex Rader, Genesis Salinas, and Josie Tolliver Shaw. The gallery is free and open to the public Tuesday through Saturday, 11 am–5 pm.

Ademola Olugebefola in conversation with Howard Singerman May 4




Ademola Olugebefola in conversation with Howard Singerman

Hunter East Harlem Gallery
2180 3rd Avenue
New York, NY
May 4, 6:30 – 8pm

Hunter East Harlem Gallery
2180 3rd Avenue
New York, NY

May 4, 6:30-8pm

Join artist Ademola Olugebefola and art historian Howard Singerman on Wednesday, May 4, 2022 in conversation around the current exhibition, Ademola Olugebefola: Afrofuturist. Ademola Olugebefola is an educator, activist, and multi-talented artist. The versatility of his practice encompasses graphic design, illustration, theater set design, printmaking, oil painting, drawing, sculpture, and murals, among other artistic forms. Howard Singerman is the Phyllis and Joseph Caroff Chair of the Department of Art and Art History at Hunter College.  He was co-curator of the exhibition Acts of Art and Rebuttal in 1971 at Hunter’s Leubsdorf Gallery in 2018, and continues to research and write on Acts of Art Gallery, founded in Greenwich Village in 1969 to show the work of Black artists.

Zabar Lecture: JENNIFER PACKER on April 13

Lecture in-person and online
Wednesday, April 13, 2022 7pm

NEW YORK, NY 10065


Jennifer Packer is an American artist, living and working in New York City. She is a recipient of the 2020 Rome Prize of the American Academy, and the 2020 Hermitage Greenfield Prize. Packer creates portraits, interior scenes, and still lifes that suggest a casual intimacy. She views her works as the result of an authentic encounter and exchange. The models for her portraits—commonly friends or family members—are relaxed and seemingly unaware of the artist’s or viewer’s gaze. Packer’s paintings are rendered in loose line and brush stroke using a limited color palette, often to the extent that her subject merges with or retreats into the background. Suggesting an emotional and psychological depth, her work is enigmatic, avoiding a straightforward reading. “I think about images that resist, that attempt to retain their secrets or maintain their composure, that put you to work,” she explains. “I hope to make works that suggest how dynamic and complex our lives and relationships really are.” Born in 1984 in Philadelphia, Jennifer Packer received her BFA from the Tyler University School of Art at Temple University in 2007, and her MFA from the Yale University School of Art in 2012. She was the 2012-2013 Artist-in-Residence at the Studio Museum in Harlem, and a Visual Arts Fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, MA, from 2014-2016. Her most recent solo show, Tenderheaded, was exhibited at the Renaissance Society, Chicago in fall 2017 before travelling to the Rose Museum at Brandeis University in March 2018. Packer currently teaches as an Assistant Professor in the Painting Department at RISD. Her exhibition, The Eye Is Not Satisfied With Seeing is the largest survey of Packer’s practice to date. It originated at the Serpentine Gallery in London, and can be seen at The Whitney Museum of American Art until April 17th 2022.


In November 2007, Hunter College received a generous commitment to establish the Judith Zabar Visiting Artist Program Fund. The Fund has allowed Hunter to bring a series of internationally recognized artists to campus to work directly with students in the MFA program, in master classes, critical seminars, and private tutorials, providing students with the unique opportunity to interact with top practitioners in the field. Zabar Visiting Artists also present public lectures where they discuss their work, engage in conversation with members of Hunter’s faculty, and with Hunter’s broader student community and the general public.
Past Zabar artists have included: Vito Acconci, Janine Antoni, Polly Apfelbaum, Julie Ault, Robert Barry, Dawoud Bey, Tania Bruguera, Patty Chang, Mel Chin, Peter Doig, Charles Gaines, Alfredo Jaar, Emily Jacir, Joan Jonas, Jeff Koons, David Lamelas, Glenn Ligon, Sharon Lockhart, Marie Losier, Inigo Manglano-Ovalle, Christian Marclay, Kerry James Marshall, Tracey Moffatt, Wangechi Mutu, My Barbarian, Gabriel Orozco, Laura Owens, Sondra Perry, Elizabeth Peyton, Paul Pfeiffer, William Pope L., Walid Ra’ad, Yvonne Rainer, Doris Salcedo, Shahzia Sikander, Cauleen Smith, Frances Stark, Fred Tomaselli, Nari Ward, Carrie Mae Weems, and Stanley Whitney.


Online Sound Bath by KACH Studio: Sonic RETRIEVAL / April 3, 4–5 PM

Online Sound Bath by Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle

Sunday, April 3, 4–5 PM

Register here to view the live stream at Leubsdorf Gallery
Register here for the Zoom link

Leubsdorf Gallery will be open for visitors to The Black Index, 11am–4pm, and for Sound Bath attendees only, 4–5pm.
Bertha & Karl Leubsdorf Gallery
132 E 68th St New York
Enter from the south side of 68th Street between Park and Lexington Avenues

This event will take place on Zoom during the last hour of The Black Index on view at the Leubsdorf Gallery at Hunter College. HCAG will also live-stream the sound bath in the Leubsdorf Gallery for those who would like to gather together to experience the sound bath in the gallery. Space is limited for the gallery’s live stream, so please register in advance.

KACH Studio: Sonic Retrieval will offer a sound bath that focuses on grieving in the midst of the pandemic in relation to the traveling exhibition The Black Index’s final journey to Hunter College. Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle’s work on view in the exhibition, The Evanesced: The Untouchables, features 100 un-portraits of disappeared Black femmes created in 2020 during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. She will be offering a ritual not only to close the exhibition but also to create a sonic space for processing grief. Hinkle will be using a Dark Water and Dusk Gong as well as crystal singing bowls, tuning forks, rattles, and various instruments to offer a virtual experience. Those who want to contemplate the impact of Black death historically and presently can participate via cultivating deep listening as a form of witnessing and inner retrieval.

About Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle (Olomidara Yaya)
Award-winning interdisciplinary visual artist and writer Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle, trained Reiki Master and Sound Practitioner, offers unique sonic healing experiences in relation to art exhibitions and museum programming. Using scientific theories concerning the benefits of sound healing to enhance theta state, neuroplasticity, and heal trauma, Hinkle incorporates sound therapy into unique sound installations, group sound bath sessions, and 1:1 healing sessions for artists, arts administrators, and art lovers. Based upon the premise of retrieval that Hinkle has explored for the past ten years within her multi-disciplinary practice, Hinkle aims to provide shamanic journeying to help museum and gallery visitors to experience sonic transformation and healing that is not only activated within the visual realm but activates extrasensory perception to confront and examine the ghosts of history and our shared present individually and collectively. Hinkle is highly sought after to speak about her work at various universities and institutions nationally and internationally and has created a following via the brand of being a Ghost Lady, working with the ghosts of history and ideas that haunt her. Using these explorations in her visual art practice with much success, participants will be interested in how she approaches a new field of sonics within her practice and how it accentuates this next journey in her established career.

KACH Studio creates unique artwork and performances that chart the intersections of art and healing. KACH Studio features award-winning artworks, signature sound baths, and performances that focus on retrieval. KACH Studio seeks to provide Empowerment for SEEKERS to retrieve through sonics and art. KACH Studio is a BIPOC-artist-as-healer-led initiative established in 2012 that interrogates history and trauma to facilitate healing through visual restorative justice and sonics. KACH Studio creates unique handmade collages, fine art, and signature sound baths that interrogate our relationships to healing within the Historical Present and the ramifications of colonialism. Through the creation of visual restorative justice, the artwork acts as a testimony, and the sound/healing work is the aftercare of the testimony. Each participant, art collector, or client plays a powerful role in addressing the effect of history on us as individuals and within the collective. To own artwork or attend a performance, one is also taking action to heal their own relationship to our collective past. KACH Studio is interested in decolonization and healing from individual and collective trauma, and we work with people who range from being art collectors, students, museum-goers, gallery-goers, creatives, artists, and everyday civilians.

Global Abolition and Visual Art: A conversation with Ruth Wilson Gilmore and Shellyne Rodriguez: March 31

Thursday, March 31, 2022 1–2 PM EST

This event will be held on Zoom and include live captioning (CART).

Global Abolition and Visual Art: A conversation with Ruth Wilson Gilmore and Shellyne Rodriguez is organized in concert with the exhibitions The Black Index, curated by Bridget R. Cooks (on view at the Leubsdorf Gallery, Feb. 1–April 3, 2022) and No Tears: In Conversation with Horace Pippin (previously on view at The Artist Institute, Nov. 11–Dec. 18, 2021). Following the conversation Brittany Webb, Evelyn and Will Kaplan Curator of Twentieth-Century Art and the John Rhoden Collection at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, will join Ruth Wilson Gilmore and Shellyne Rodriguez for a moderated Q & A.

This program is funded in part by Humanities New York with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities.


Ruth Wilson Gilmore is Director of the Center for Place, Culture, and Politics, and teaches in Earth and Environmental Sciences, American Studies, and Environmental Psychology at the Graduate Center, CUNY. Author of the award-winning Golden Gulag: Prisons, Surplus, Crisis, and Opposition in Globalizing California (UC Press), her forthcoming books include Change Everything (Haymarket); Abolition Geography: Essays Toward Liberation (Verso); and (co-edited with Paul Gilroy) Stuart Hall: Selected Writings on Race and Difference (Duke). The documentary Racial Capitalism with Ruth Wilson Gilmore features her internationalist political work. She has co-founded many grassroots organizations including California Prison Moratorium Project, Critical Resistance, and the Central California Environmental Justice Network. Gilmore has lectured in Africa, Asia, Europe, and North America. Recent honors include co-recipient (with Angela Y. Davis and Mike Davis) of the 2020 Lannan Foundation Cultural Freedom Prize.

Shellyne Rodriguez is an artist, educator, writer, and community organizer based in the Bronx. Her practice utilizes text, drawing, painting, collage, and sculpture to depict spaces and subjects engaged in strategies of survival against erasure and subjugation.

Brittany Webb is the inaugural Evelyn and Will Kaplan Curator of Twentieth-Century Art and the John Rhoden Collection at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (PAFA). Webb’s recent exhibitions include the co-curated show Taking Space: Contemporary Women Artists and the Politics of Scale (November 2020–September 5, 2021). Webb is also organizing a major retrospective exhibition and catalogue of the work of the African American sculptor John Rhoden (1916-2001) and stewards a collection of nearly 300 sculptures by Rhoden, leading PAFA’s ongoing effort to place his artworks into the permanent collections of museums around the world. Prior to joining PAFA, Webb was a member of the curatorial staff of the African American Museum in Philadelphia. Dr. Webb holds a Ph.D. in Anthropology from Temple University and a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Southern California.

Images below from left to right:

Titus Kaphar. The Jerome Project (Asphalt and Chalk) XI, 2015. Chalk on asphalt paper. 48 ¼ x 36 13/16 inches. Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Brunswick, Maine, Museum Purchase, Barbara Cooney Porter Fund. ©Titus Kaphar.

Horace Pippin. John Brown Going to His Hanging, 1942. Oil on canvas. 24 1/8 x 30 1/4 inches. Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, John Lambert Fund, 1943.


Spring 2022 Foundation To-Life, Inc. Arthur and Carol Kaufman Goldberg Visiting Curator Lecture: March 28, 7-9 PM

Spring 2022 Foundation To-Life, Inc. Arthur and Carol Kaufman Goldberg Visiting Curator Lecture

Monday, March 28, 7-9 PM
Roosevelt House at Hunter College

47-49 E 65th St, New York, NY 10065


This event is free, open to the public, and live captioning (CART) and ASL interpretation will be provided. This event will also be live-streamed on Zoom. RSVP HERE FOR ZOOM LINK

Please note: all in-person attendees must provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination through CUNY’s Cleared4 access form online in advance of the event.

Hunter College is pleased to announcement that Bridget R. Cooks, Associate Professor of Art History and African American Studies at the University of California, Irvine and curator of The Black Index (on view at Hunter’s Leubsdorf Gallery, February 1–April 3, 2022), is the Spring 2022 Foundation To-Life, Inc. Arthur and Carol Kaufman Goldberg Visiting Curator. Please join us Monday, March 28th for a public lecture by Dr. Cooks. This event will take place in-person at Roosevelt House and will also be live-streamed.

Bridget R. Cooks is Associate Professor of Art History and African American Studies at the University of California, Irvine. Her research focuses on African American artists, Black visual culture, and museum criticism. Cooks has worked in museum education and has curated several exhibitions including, Grafton Tyler Brown: Exploring California (2018), Pasadena Museum of California Art, Ernie Barnes: A Retrospective at the California African American Museum (2019), CAAM, and the nationally touring exhibition The Black Index (2021–2022).

She is author of the book Exhibiting Blackness: African Americans and the American Art Museum (University of Massachusetts Press, 2011). Her writing can be found in dozens of art exhibition catalogues as well as academic publications such as the journals Afterall, Afterimage, American Studies, Aperture, and American Quarterly.


The Black Index: February 1 – April 3 / Leubsdorf Gallery

Hunter College Art Galleries, Leubsdorf Gallery
February 1 – April 3, 2022

Dennis Delgado
Alicia Henry
Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle
Titus Kaphar
Whitfield Lovell
Lava Thomas

Curated by Bridget R. Cooks, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of African American Studies and the Department of Art History, University of California, Irvine.

Exhibition and tour organized by Sarah Watson, Chief Curator, Hunter College Art Galleries, New York in collaboration with the University Art Galleries at UC Irvine, Palo Alto Art Center, and Art Galleries at Black Studies, University of Texas at Austin.

For more information about The Black Index programming and exhibition tour visit:



The Hunter College Art Galleries are pleased to announce the traveling group exhibition The Black Index featuring the work of Dennis Delgado, Alicia Henry, Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle, Titus Kaphar, Whitfield Lovell, and Lava Thomas. The artists included in The Black Index build upon the tradition of Black self-representation as an antidote to colonialist images. Using drawing, performance, printmaking, sculpture, and digital technology to transform the recorded image, these artists question our reliance on photography as a privileged source for documentary objectivity and understanding. Their works offer an alternative practice—a Black index—that still serves as a finding aid for information about Black subjects, but also challenges viewers’ desire for classification.

The works in The Black Index make viewers aware of their own expectations of Black figuration by interrupting traditional epistemologies of portraiture through unexpected and unconventional depictions. These works image the Black body through a conceptual lens that acknowledges the legacy of Black containment that is always present in viewing strategies. The approaches used by Delgado, Henry, Hinkle, Kaphar, Lovell, and Thomas suggest understandings of Blackness and the racial terms of our neo-liberal condition that counter legal and popular interpretations and, in turn, offer a paradigmatic shift within Black visual culture.

This exhibition is dedicated to David C. Driskell.


Bertha & Karl Leubsdorf Gallery
132 E 68th St
New York 


David Lamelas / Virtual Book Launch December 8 at noon

Image caption: Detail from The Violent Tapes of 1975, 1975. Series of 10 black-and-white photographs on paper, 9 x 12 inches (22.86 x 30.48 cm) each.

Virtual Book Launch for Life as Activity: David Lamelas

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

12pm ET on zoom

On occasion of the exhibition Life as Activity: David Lamelas, currently on view at the Hunter College Art Galleries’ Leubsdorf Gallery, a publication has been produced that includes texts on the artist by Professor Harper Montgomery and students in Hunter’s graduate programs in Art History and Studio Art. Essays focus on twelve works by Lamelas and include previously unpublished materials from the artist’s papers. Co-published by the Hunter College Art Galleries and Hirmer Verlag, the book is distributed by the University of Chicago Press and available for purchase here.

Join us on zoom to celebrate the book with conversations between David Lamelas and contributing authors of the publication.


Artist Lina Puerta & curator Klaudia Ofwona Draber in Conversation December 8

Artist Lina Puerta & curator Klaudia Ofwona Draber in Conversation

Hunter East Harlem Gallery
2180 3rd Avenue, NY, NY

On Wednesday, December 8th, Lina and Klaudia will discuss the exhibition currently on view: Lina Puerta: Migration, Nature, and the Feminine which is a survey exhibition of the artist’s work spanning the last eighteen years and created mostly during her time as an East Harlem resident. The artworks in the exhibition showcase Puerta’s use of imagery rooted in her Colombian upbringing and Latinx experience. Examining the relationship between nature and the human-made, and engaging themes of xenophobia, hyper-consumerism, food justice, and ancestral knowledge, Puerta creates mixed-media sculptures, installations, collages, handmade-paper paintings and wall hangings by combining a wide range of materials: from artificial plants, paper pulp, to found personal and recycled objects.