Artist & Curator Conversation: We Feel Our Way Through When We Don’t Know

November 3, Thursday, 7 p.m.

Curator Michael Jevon Demps leads an online conversation with the six artists featured in We Feel Our Way Through When We Don’t Know: Mariel Capanna, Cheeny Celebrado-Royer, Oscar Rene Cornejo, Vessna Scheff, Gerald Euhon Sheffield II, and Lachell Workman.

Mariel Capanna has been an artist in residence at the Guapamacátaro Art and Ecology Residency in Michoacan, Mexico; Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture; and Tacony Library and Arts Building in Philadelphia. Her work has been exhibited nationally. She received an M.F.A. from Yale University and a B.F.A. and a Certificate of Fine Art from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.

Cheeny Celebrado-Royer was born in Naga City, Philippines, and immigrated to the U.S. in 2005. She is a multidisciplinary artist who uses discarded and found materials to create installations, sculpture, paintings and drawings that reflect a sense of urgency, a transient quality and the precariousness of objects. Her work has been exhibited nationally, including at the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore and the RISD Museum. She holds an M.F.A. from the Maryland Institute College of Art.

Oscar Rene Cornejo is an artist and an assistant professor in the art department at Cornell University; during the summer season, he is the fresco instructor at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. In 2004, he cofounded the Latin American Community Art Project. He is a founding member of Junte Adjuntas, an artist project based in southern Puerto Rico. He earned an M.F.A. from the Yale School of Art, a B.F.A. from The Cooper Union, and was a recipient of the J. William Fulbright Scholarship for research in El Salvador.

Vessna Scheff is a painter and performance artist. She creates poetic paintings, portraits, performances, sounds, and installations that use watercolors, movement, vocals, and projections as mediums of inquiry. Grounded in watercolors, her work reclaims a medium often described as “difficult” or “sketch” for its uncontrollable qualities, and rather conceptualizes the freedom of watercolors as an expression of Black liberation. She holds an M.F.A. in painting from the Rhode Island School of Design and a B.A. in sociology from San Francisco State University. 

Gerald Euhon Sheffield II is an artist and educator whose work engages in a long-term practice to challenge Western stereotypes of non-European representation inherent in the global residue of American foreign policy. He is the recipient of the United States Armed Forces Meritorious Service Medal, the Alice Kimball English Traveling Fellowship, and JUNCTURE Human Rights Research and Travel Fellowship in South Africa. He received an M.F.A. in painting/printmaking from Yale University and a B.F.A. from the School of Visual Arts.

Lachell Workman’s practice explores the cultural iconography of memorial T-shirts, rituals of collective mourning and memorializing in Black and Brown communities, and the relationship between the body and the inner city landscape.Her work has been exhibited at The Studio Museum of Harlem, the Boston Center for the Arts, Storm King Art Center, Yale University, and the 10th Berlin Biennale at the KW Institute for Contemporary Art, among others. She holds an M.F.A. from SUNY at Purchase College and a B.F.A. in photography from the University of Connecticut.

Michael Jevon Demps holds a B.F.A. from California Institute of the Arts and an M.F.A. from Yale. He is an artist, a curator, and an assistant professor at the Rhode Island School of Design. His work has been exhibited nationally and abroad and was included in the 2017 exhibition “Fictions” at the Studio Museum in Harlem.


View a recording of this event here.