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The Department of Art & Design is pleased to welcome Sonya Clark for a visiting artist lecture

The Department of Art and Design, with support from The Center of Excellence for the Creative Arts is pleased to welcome award winning textile artist, Sonya Clark, to the campus of Austin Peay State University for a visiting artist lecture. Clark is known for using a variety of materials including human hair and combs to address race, culture, class, and history. Her talk will continue a very exciting 2016-2017 season of the Department of Art and Design’s Visiting Artist Speaker Series.

Sonya Clark has been Chair of the Craft and Material Studies Department at Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts in Richmond, Virginia since 2006. Formerly she was Baldwin-Bascom Professor of Creative Arts at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  She holds an MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art and in 2011 she was awarded their first Mid-career Distinguished Alumni Award. She also holds a BFA from the Art Institute of Chicago and a BA from Amherst College and in 2015 was awarded and honorary doctorate.

She is the recipient of several awards including an Art Prize Grand Jurors co-prize in 2014, a Pollock-Krasner Grant, a Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship, a Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Fellowship in Italy, a Red Gate Residency in China, a Civitella Ranieri Residency in Italy, an Australian National University Residency, an 1858 Prize for Contemporary Southern Art, a 2011 United States Artist Fellowship, and an Art Matters Grant.

Clark was born in Washington, DC to a psychiatrist from Trinidad and a nurse from Jamaica. She gained an appreciation for craft and the value of the handmade primarily from her maternal grandmother who was a professional tailor. Many of her family members taught her the value of a well-told story and so it is that she values the stories held in objects.    

Her work is in the collections of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, National Museum of Women in the Arts, Indianapolis Museum of Art, Virginia Museum of Fine Art, Musees d’Angers in France among several other institutions. Sonya has exhibited her work in over 300 museums and galleries in Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia, and the Americas. Her work has been favorably reviewed in several publications including the New York Times, Philadelphia Inquirer, Italian Vogue, Los Angeles Times, Hyperallergic, and Huffington Post.

The lecture will take place Wednesday, March 15 at 7:00 p.m. in the University Center Room 303. With support from the Center of Excellence for the Creative Arts, all Art and Design events are free and open to the public.

For more information on this lecture, contact Michael Dickins, gallery director, at