Please join The Sachs Program for Arts Innovation in collaboration with the The Office of Social Equity and Community at the University of Pennsylvania, for a panel discussion that will examine the significance of portrait representation in visual art, with specific attention to the presence of people from historically marginalized backgrounds both on and behind the canvas. This will be an in-person event and discussion, organized in conjunction with the exhibition Mark Stockton: 100 People, currently on view at the Arts Lounge at the Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts.
The selection of portraits included in Mark Stockton: 100 People collectively pose the question, “What is representation in a larger sense?” Using demographics to structure an equitable range of representation, and selecting subjects from a range of time periods — from the beginnings of portrait photography (1839) to the present — the exhibition seeks to create an evolving canon of portraits, reflecting an expanded narrative of history and identity while centering ideas of inclusivity and subjectivity.
Featured panelists, in addition to the artist Mark Stockton, will include Dr. Tukufu Zuberi, and artists JaFang Lu and Makeba Rainey. Nicole Maloy, Director of the Office of Social Equity and Community, will moderate the conversation.
This will be an in-person event, presented in the Arts Lounge at the Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts. A video recording will be made available online following the event.
- Tuesday, April 5, 5:30pm
- Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts
3680 Walnut Street
University of Pennsylvania
Advance registration is requested prior to arrival. An online registration form is available at the link below. (Google Forms)
Health and Safety
All guests will need to complete a PennOpen Campus Screening prior to or upon arrival. A green PennOpen Campus pass, proof of vaccination, a valid photo ID, and a mask are required for entry. Please note that COVID-19 health and safety requirements are subject to change. Complete and updated information is available on the registration page.
About the Exhibition
Portraits have a complex history. They have the potential to venerate, to emotionally connect, to resonate into lived experience. They are also tools of commodification, objectification, and colonialization.
Mark Stockton: 100 People is a group of 100 hand-drawn portraits, photo-referenced, made with graphite on paper, and intended to be received as a single work in form and experience. Each portrayed subject’s direct eye contact with the viewer addresses the objectifying nature of portraiture head-on.
The exhibition will be on view February 15–May 31, 2022, with one hundred works installed throughout the public spaces of the Annenberg Center, filling the main Arts Lounge as well as the galleries adjacent to the Zellerbach Theater.
For more information, please visit the exhibition website.
About the Speakers
Mark Stockton is a Philadelphia-based artist. His drawings have been shown both nationally and internationally with exhibitions in Philadelphia, Los Angeles, New York, London, and Beijing. Originally from the West Coast, he received his BFA from Oregon State University in 1996 and his MFA in Painting and Drawing from Syracuse University in 2000. Since 2009, Mark has worked with the independent arts organization Vox Populi as both a contributing artist and as a board member. His work is in many private and public collections, including the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and the West Collection.
Mark currently teaches design and drawing at Drexel University. He lives in Philly with his wife, Cindy, his two kids, Otto and Iona, and his dog, Elsie.
Tukufu Zuberi, Ph.D.
Dr. Tukufu Zuberi is the Lasry Family Professor of Race Relations, and Professor of Sociology and Africana Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Zuberi’s vision is dedicated to education as a professor, documentarian, television presenter, and curator. He has been a visiting Professor at a number of universities internationally, across Africa and Central America. He was the founding Director of the Center for Africana Studies (2002-2008) at the University of Pennsylvania, and served as the Chair of the Department of Sociology (2007-2013).
Dr. Zuberi is the author of six books, including Swing Low, Sweet Chariot: The Mortality Cost of Colonizing Liberia in the Nineteenth-Century, published by the University of Chicago Press in 1995; Thicker than Blood: How Racial Statistics Lie, published by the University of Minnesota Press in 2001; and his most recent, Independência Africana: Como a África Contemporânea redefiniu o mundo published by Brazil Publishing in 2021 (Portuguese). He has also written more than 70 scholarly articles, and edited or co-edited eight volumes. His White Logic, White Methods: Racism and Methodology (with Eduardo Bonilla-Silva) was awarded the Oliver Cromwell Cox Book Award by the American Sociological Association.
From 2003 to 2014, Dr. Zuberi was a host of the hit Public Broadcasting System (PBS) series History Detectives. He has written and prodcued a number of documentary films, including African Independence, a feature-length documentary highlighting, and Decolonizing the Narrative, the first in a three-part series of documentaries on Museums, Monuments, Reparations; Restitution; and Race). Dr. Zuberi is also the curator of several exhibitions, including Tides of Freedom: African Presence on the Delaware at the Independence Seaport Musuem, and Black Bodies in Propaganda: The Art of the War Poster, which premiered at the Penn Museum and was also presented at the Northwest African American Museum in Seattle, Washington, and at the Thomas Gilcrease Institute of American History and Art, Tulsa, Oklahoma. Most recently, Professor Zuberi curated the Penn Museum African Galleries: From Maker to Museum. This exhibition was grounded on the need to decolonize the museum from their racist past.
JaFang Lu graduated from the City College of New York University with a B.A. degree. She studied drawing and painting at the Art Students’ League of New York and the New York Academy of Art with Peter Cox, Michael Burbon, David Klass, and Nelson Shanks. In 2002, Nelson Shanks and his wife, Leona Shanks, founded Studio Incamminati, a realist painting ateiler, with the vision of training the next generation of realist painters. He invited a few of his students to study with him, JaFang was among them. During her study at Studio Incamminati, she took workshops with Ted Seth Jacob, Anthony, Ryder, Rob Liberace and Jon de Martin. JaFang’s “Portraits of Philadelphians in Black and White” drawing project, which attempts to reflect the racial diversity in Philadelphia, was funded by the Leeway Foundation.
Makeba Rainey is originally from Harlem, New York, Makeba is a self-taught artist best known for her digital collage portraits of contemporary and historical Black icons. Makeba an internationally-exhibited artist, a 2017 Create Change Fellow with the Laundromat Project, a 2018 member of Vox Populi gallery in Philadelphia, a 2018 CFEVA Fellow, a 2018 Season III NARS resident Artist, and an Absolut Art artist.
Makeba Rainey’s creative practice focuses on building community and what that looks like. For her, community is an extension of family. By centering her work around social justice, specifically in regard to Black Americans, community becomes the key to liberation. Her artwork taps into aspects of the Black community, merging the old with the new by re-envisioning the ancestors through new media and creating space for young creatives to build and sustain themselves. Although a lot of her work is local to Harlem, she creates bonds with the larger Black community through her web-based artist collective incorporating the themes of social justice movements like Black Lives Matter.
Nicole Maloy (Moderator)
Nicole Maloy is a director at the University of Penn’s Office of Social Equity and Community. She has spent the bulk of her career promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion. In her prior role as Associate Dean of Equity & Access in Penn Undergraduate Admissions, she focused on outreach to prospective students from historically underrepresented racial and ethnic backgrounds, from lower-income families, or from first-generation college backgrounds. As Director of Multicultural Outreach in Penn Alumni Relations, she led programming for alumni with an interest in celebrating cultural identity and drove the organization and execution of the university’s inaugural Penn Spectrum alumni diversity conference. Nicole earned a Bachelor of Science in Economics with a concentration in Marketing from Penn’s Wharton School (Minor in French), and a Master of Science in Nonprofit Leadership from Penn’s School of Social Policy & Practice.
The Arts Lounge
Mark Stockton: 100 People is the second exhibition to be featured in The Arts Lounge at the Annenberg Center for Performing Arts, a new hub for the creative community at Penn and part of a $2M renovation of the Annenberg Center’s public spaces made possible by a generous gift from alumni Keith and Kathy Sachs.