UND Arts & Culture Conference, Oct. 22-24, to focus on cultural experiences in new media environments


David L. Dodds

Document Type

News Article

Publication Date


Campus Unit

College of Arts & Sciences


The University of North Dakota's Third Annual Arts & Culture Conference, set for Oct. 22-24, features a popular Minnesota Public Radio host, a Los Angeles Times columnist and blogger, a New York Times social media reporter, an Atlanta-based artist and a filmmaker.

The conference, titled "Cultures of Curation," will focus on the ways experts, communities and citizens sort through the abundance of cultural objects and experiences made available by new media environments. The conference includes a series of talks from visiting artists and professionals on UND's campus, evening performances at the Empire Arts Center, and a month-long exhibition at the Third Street Gallery.

Conference visitors include the artist Craig Drennen, a drawing and painting teacher at Georgia State University in Atlanta, who is also curating the exhibition; Kerri Miller of Minnesota Public Radio and host of MPR's "Daily Rundown" and "Talking Volumes"; David Pagel of the Los Angeles Times and author of the Culture Monster blog; Jennifer Preston of the New York Times; and filmmaker Kevin Schreck.

Here is a schedule of conference events:

Tuesday, Oct. 22:

  • Opening reception, 7 p.m., at The Empire Arts Center.
  • Evening concert by ensembles of UND's Department of Music, featuring music from the McSweeney's publication Beck's Songbook, 8 p.m., The Empire Arts Center.

Wednesday, Oct. 23:

  • Jennifer Preston - Visiting Artist Lecture, 10 a.m., Merrifield 300, UND campus.
  • Conference visitors sit down and discuss the role of "curation" in their work and in our everyday lives at 3:30 p.m., in the River Valley Room, of the UND Memorial Union.
  • Screening of Schreck's Persistence of Vision, 7 p.m., The Empire Arts Center.Q & A with the director to follow.

Thursday, Oct. 24:

  • David Pagel, Visiting Artist Lecture, 11 a.m.,Witmer 114, UND campus.
  • Kerri Miller - Visiting Artist Lecture, 3:30 p.m., River Valley Room, Memorial Union.
  • Closing reception, 7 p.m., at the "Cultures of Curation" Exhibition at 3rd Street Gallery in downtown Grand Forks.

About the visitors:

Craig Drennen

Craig Drennen is an artist based in Atlanta, GA. He is represented by Samsøn gallery in Boston and Saltworks in Atlanta. His most recent solo exhibition was at Ellen de Bruijne Projects in Amsterdam, and he has shown at the Aqua, NADA, Volta, and MACO art fairs. His work has been reviewed in Artforum, Art in America, and The New York Times. He teaches drawing and painting at Georgia State University, served as dean of the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture from 2010-2013, and is on the board of Art Papers magazine. Since 2008 he has organized his studio practice around Shakespeare's Timon of Athens.

Kerri Miller

Kerri Miller is host of MPR News' weekday program The Daily Circuit. Kerri joined Minnesota Public Radio in June 2004. She has been a radio and television news reporter since 1981. She has won numerous awards, including the Society of Professional Journalists National Achievement Award, Minnesota Broadcasters Award, the Associated Press Award and a Gracie award from the Association of Women in Radio and Television for the literary series, Talking Volumes.

David Pagel

David Pagel is an Associate Professor at the Claremont Graduate University, curator, and art critic. He writes regularly for the Los Angeles Times.

His recent activities include:

Curatorial: • "Damaged Romanticism: A Mirror of Modern Emotion," with Terrie Sultan and "Electric Mud," both for the Blaffer Gallery at the University of Houston • "L.A. Now," at the Las Vegas Art Museum • "Underground Pop," at the Parrish Art Museum in Southampton, NY, where he is an adjunct curator. The 10-artist exhibition focused on the links between Pop and Folk Art in works that turn away from the increasingly homogenized character of global culture. • "Softcore Hard Edge," at the Art Gallery of Calgary, co-curated with Marianne Elder, an 18-artist exhibition on the legacy of California Hard Edge Abstraction

Publications: • "Fast Times: Slow Looks," in "Wendell Gladstone, D.O.A., S.O.S., ETC.," • "The Handmade Imagination of John Frame," in "Three Fragments of a Lost Tale," for The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens • "Unassuming and Nutty," in "Dion Johnson, New Paintings," Rebecca Ibel Gallery, Columbus, Ohio • "Cool Compassion: Steven Criqui's Pop Pathos," in "Steven Criqui: A Retrospective/Memorial," for the University of California, Irvine

Interviews: • Michael Brewster, Tom Eatherton, Ed Moses, and John White for "It Happened at Pomona: 1969-1973," part of the John Paul Getty Museum's "Pacific Standard Time"

In 2010 he achieved his five-year goal of riding his bicycle the distance equal to the circumference of the Earth, 24,902 miles. Among his many rides was "Breathless Agony 2010." He also builds fantastic dioramas.

Jennifer Preston

Jennifer Preston is a reporter for The New York Times, covering the intersection of social media, politics, government, business and real life. She took on the new beat in January 2011 after working as the newsroom's first Social Media Editor, helping her fellow journalists use social media for reporting, real-time publishing and building community.

Jennifer has worked for The New York Times since 1995 as a political reporter, a section editor and newsroom manager. As a reporter, she has written about the role of social media in the unrest that has spread across the Middle East and North Africa.

Before joining the Times, Jennifer worked for New York Newsday as City Hall bureau chief, covering three mayors and was the first woman to work as a bureau chief at One Police Plaza. She was also a deputy city editor and circulation marketing director.

Jennifer has won several awards for investigative reporting, including the New York Press Club's Gold Typewriter Award for outstanding public service for a series about the use of deadly force by off-duty police officers.

She is an adjunct professor at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and author of the book, "Queen Bess"

Kevin Schreck

Originally from Minneapolis, Minnesota, Kevin Schreck is a young documentary filmmaker currently living and working in New York. Persistence of Vision is his first major feature-length film, which has played at over 30 festivals on four continents to universal acclaim.

About the conference:

The Arts & Culture Conference is an interdisciplinary initiative of the College of Arts & Sciences and includes the support of the Department of Art & Design, the Communication Program, the Department of Music, and UND Art Collections. The Conference seeks to promote a conversation about the role of the arts in public life that extends beyond single disciplines and beyond the university itself. Conference visitors interact with students in the classroom, the conference extends those conversations to the community through downtown events, and a special edition of prints produced around the conference theme are archived in UND's Art Collections.