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.


Oasa DuVerney: Artist Talk, May 12 at 7PM


MFASO is hosting the artist Oasa DuVerney for an artist talk on May 12 at 7pm on Zoom.

Oasa DuVerney, a New York native; is an artist and mother.

Selected exhibitions, residencies and media include: (2020)2020 Women To Watch, National Museum of Women in the Arts; (2020) Twenty Twenty,Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, CT; BLACK POWER WAVE, BRIC, Brooklyn, NY (2019); Something To Say, Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn NY (2018); The Window and the Breaking of the Window, Studio Museum in Harlem, NYC (2016); The Brooklyn Biennial II,BRIC, Brooklyn, NY (2016); Through A Glass Darkly, Postmasters Gallery, NYC (2012); Rush Philanthropic Foundation Artist Residency(2016), Smack Mellon Studio Artist Residency(2014-2015); LMCC Workspace Residency(2012-2013); The Guardian UK, UK (2019), The Independent, UK (2016), Hyperallergic(2015, 2016),The Guardian UK,UK (2015), Palestine News Network(2013), and The New York Times(2012, 2011). She received her B.F.A. from SUNY Fashion Institute of Technology, and her M.F.A. from CUNYHunter College


The Covid-19 pandemic and the Black Lives Matter Movement have highlighted long-entrenched racial inequities in our society, and the continuing tragedy of the lives lost to ongoing, state-sanctioned violence against Americans of color and members of other traditionally marginalized communities. The recent murders of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are yet another example of the systemic evils that remain to be confronted and addressed.

As faculty, we stand with our students in their urgent and public demand for a different future that holds white supremacy accountable for the systemic violence rooted in the social fabric of this country. We commit to work with our students and administration to promote an inclusive learning environment and anti-racist pedagogy to guide our program and help us reclaim CUNY’s foundational principles to provide an affordable, world-class education for all.

The Faculty and Staff of the Hunter Program in Studio Art



  1. Kits will be distributed via LOCKER PICK-UP (CONTACTLESS)
  2. Kit distribution will occur FEBRUARY 16th-28th (after this time kits will no longer be available to students)
  3. You will be permitted on campus, and on the 11th floor, only when the building is OPEN (if you are unsure if the building is open they should check the Hunter website and/or call Public Safety (212-772-4447) prior, to confirm)
  4. Lockers will be distinguished by COLORED PAPER SIGNAGE (see key below this is the color your ned)
  5. Each sign will contain COURSE TYPE (i.e. Painting, Printmaking, Drawing,) COURSE INSTRUCTOR, and DAY/TIME OF CLASS (see examples below)
  6. Lockers will be SECURED WITH ZIP-TIES that you will cut (clippers provided), and retrieve the kit
  1. You MUST complete the following in order to gain on-site access:  Complete the COVID-19 Training on Blackboard
  2. Download and complete the Everbridge Symptom Checker within 4 hours of arrival <> (If students cannot download the app, or do not have a smartphone, there is a symptom checker kiosk in the West Lobby)
  3. You must have a CUNYOne ID Card (students who do not have a CUNYOne ID Card should visit for more information)
  4. Students who are immunocompromised or living out of state can arrange to have their kit/kits shipped (oversized or heavy items will be omitted)
  5. All kits will be mailed after the 28th of February 
  6. To schedule/arrange shipment of kit/kits, email






A Sense of Place: January 12-13, 2021


A Sense of Place

January 12-13, 2021 

In September 2019, our group of twelve graduate students in the Department of Art & Art History at Hunter College traveled to Dakar, Senegal to study with curator Koyo Kouoh and her team at RAW Material Company, a non-profit art center offering research and residency programs for artists and curators alongside seasonal exhibitions, publications, and lectures. The focus of our time in Dakar with Kouoh was how curatorial practice can make the presence of a place visible, or in her words: “How have actors, active in our local contexts and from across the creative disciplines, responded to and shaped their – our – environment? How do they collaborate? How do they tell stories and recall history? How do they create sites of possibility?”

We returned to New York with these questions in mind, and, in partnership with Kouoh, organized a symposium of programming in response, originally scheduled for March 2020, then postponed due to the global pandemic. Since that time, the question of place seems more relevant than ever. Presented now, in an online format, our symposium considers gentrification and displacement, infrastructures of surveillance, and sustainability as they relate to how artists see themselves shaping, and being shaped by, their immediate environments.

 All events are online and open to the public by RSVP except where otherwise noted.

This symposium grew out of a graduate seminar with students Chris Berntsen, Beatrice Johnson, Simon Benjamin, Renate Prancane, Leonardo Madriz, D’Arcy Blake, Malanya Graham, Alison Dillulio, Sydney Shavers, Sarah McCaffery, Daniela Mayer, and Christina Barrera

Full Schedule of Events:


Art Supply Kits: FINAL PICKUP


Please email Elizabeth Lewin <> directly stating the class/classes you are taking and your preferred pickup date (September 30th or October 1st).

68th Street – West Lobby (Entrance Leubsdorf Gallery)

September 30th, 11am-2pm

October 1st, 11am-2pm

Note: This is your last chance to pickup/receive your kit/s

The Extraordinary at Hunter East Harlem Gallery – Closing February 29


The Extraordinary

Hunter East Harlem Gallery
2180 3rd Avenue and 119th Street
New York, NY

Through February 29

Hunter East Harlem Gallery is pleased to announce the selected artists from our recent Open Call: THE EXTRAORDINARY. The submissions were reviewed by a prestigious jury: María del Carmen Carrión, Project Manager, Cisneros Institute at The Museum of Modern Art; Solana Chehtman, Director of Civic Programs, The Shed; Hitomi Iwasaki, Director of Exhibitions & Curator, Queens Museum; and Javier Telles, international artist.

The Selected Artists: Sarah Mihara Creagen, CanadaWoomin Kim, South Korea
Firoz Mahmud, Bangladesh Yue Nakayama, JapanAnna Parisi, BrazilShimpei Shirafuji, JapanCatalina Tuca, ChileRamyar Vala, Iran

The Extraordinary is a group exhibition of eight artists who are currently in the process of gaining, or currently possess an O-1 Non-immigration Visa: Individuals with Extraordinary Ability or Achievement. The exhibition seeks to bring transparency to this process and at the same time, inspect the system which requires those to have “distinction” and be “renowned” in the arts—a subjective and complicated qualification. The Extraordinary is an exhibition that visa-seeking individuals will be able to list on their CVs for qualification for the Visa through the US Government. Complimentary public programming will include workshops with immigration lawyers, support group meetings with other visa seekers and awardees, artist talks and tours, among other relevant events. PROGRAMMING LINE UP TO COME SOON. Stay tuned.

Sydney Shen, MFASO Lecture – February 5, 7pm

Sydney Shen, MFASO Lecture

Hunter MFA Studios, Second Floor Flex Space
205 Hudson Street
New York, NY

February 5, 7pm

Sydney Shen’s (b. 1989, New Jersey) sculptures and installations walk the fine line between wonder and horror, and use motifs of the macabre and abject, especially those which test the limits of the body, to point toward bigger philosophical questions about what lies beyond human knowledge. Her recent solo exhibitions include Onion Master, New Museum, New York, 2019; as well as Every Good Boy Does Fine, Sophie Tappeiner, Vienna, 2019. Recent group exhibitions include Invisible-Exports (New York), Deitch Projects (New York), American Medium (New York). Upcoming exhibitions include Queens Museum (New York) and Gallery Vacancy (Shanghai).

Sydney is currently an artist-in-residence at the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Workspace program. She received the Jerome Foundation’s Emerging Artist Fellowship, Queens Museum, Queens, NY, 2019 and the Queens Art Fund New Works Grant, Queens Council on the Arts, Queens, NY, 2018. She graduated from The Cooper Union in 2011.

Sydney’s studio-adjacent projects include co-hosting the podcast 69 Favor Taste, which explores and reframes the consumption of Asian identities; co-authoring Perfume Area, a book of prose-poetry; and making fine jewelry under the pseudonym Gesualda.

Workshop with Immigration Lawyer, part of The Extraordinary – January 29, 6:30pm

Workshop with Immigration Lawyer Aaliya Zaveri
part of The Extraordinary

Hunter East Harlem Gallery
2180 3rd Avenue and 119th Street
New York, NY

January 29, 6:30-8:30pm

Aaliya Zaveri, Attorney at the Masliah Firm, specializes in immigrant law. She will be on site at HEHG to review steps and tips for the O-1 Visa, and offer her expertise as an immigrant working in US law.

The Extraordinary is group show of eight artists who have or are seeking an O-1 Non-immigration Visa: Individuals with Extraordinary Ability or Achievement. Qualification for an O-1 Visa is based on subjective and complicated set of criteria: that individuals be “renowned” and have “distinction” in their field. The exhibition aims to bring attention and transparency to the immigration process while also critiquing this very system. The Extraordinary is an exhibition that visa-seeking artists can list on their CVs as part of the visa-qualifying process. The exhibition checklist was generated from an open call that received 123 applications from artists from 40 different countries. The eight artists included here were selected by a prestigious jury made of immigrant arts workers.

The structure that surrounds The Extraordinary aims to locate HEHG as a resource for the community and a safe place for critical discourse around the misunderstandings and misconceptions about legal immigration. Programming will include workshops with immigration lawyers, an artist panel discussion, support group sessions with O-1 Visa holders, performances, and more. See full programming schedule here.

Jeffrey Meris, Let My Country Die For Me atGallery Cubed – Through January 25

Jeffrey Meris, Let My Country Die For Me

Gallery Cubed presents NEA: Network of Extraordinary

Hunter East Harlem Gallery
2180 3rd Avenue and 119th Street
New York, NY

Through January 25

GALLERY CUBED (GC) is a portable pop-up, a 4 x 8 foot gallery in a box. The franchise kit includes hidden electrical power, easily replaceable parts, and manageable, stackable, flat-pack, space-saving, interlocking panels that are easy to assemble. Anyone can put together the pieces to make a sturdy, load-bearing exhibition space appear out of thin air. GC’s mission is to empower communities and artists through the transformative power of a sustainable art experience. More art for more people for less money.

Inside of the walls of GALLERY CUBED, Nathan Rayman presents his curatorial project, NEA: Network of Extraordinary Artists. The NEA supports international artists applying for the O-1 US Visa or Green Card by offering them opportunities to fulfill specific requirements—exhibitions, publications, panel participation, etc.—that prove their “extraordinariness” to immigration authorities. Like HEHG’s exhibition, The Extraordinary, the NEA is populated through an open call put out by GALLERY CUBED and selected by a jury of established arts workers.

The NEA will present a series of six solo exhibitions beginning on October 16, 2019 and rotating through March, 2020. The NEA began in 2019 and serves as an inclusive, generative network at a time when the US’s original NEA (the National Endowment for the Arts) is at risk of being dismantled and money is more often channelled through the secondary art market. In this environment of dwindling support and funding for art production, the NEA calls into question the metrics used to obtain the status of an “extraordinary” or “successful” artist. How is this lofty goal made even more difficult for non-residents? How can we re-imagine existing structures so that they might yield a more inclusive dividend of success rather than creating competition, scarcity, and rejection?