Join us for a thought-provoking conversation between the artist behind “Spirit Dance,” Nnenna Okore, and environmental historian Robert Rouphail at the Stanley Museum of Art on November 16, 2023. Their insights will inspire and challenge you to think about the relationship between art, the environment and social justice.
In her conversation with Rouphail, Okore will discuss her process for creating her work as well as the themes and inspirations behind it. She will also talk about how her work is informed by indigenous African perspectives. Rouphail will bring his expertise in environmental history to the conversation, exploring how Okore's work connects with broader themes of identity, community and the natural world.
Nnenna Okore is an internationally acclaimed artist and an alumna of UIowa's MA and MFA programs. She is involved in numerous environmental art projects and exhibitions designed to produce research, dialogue and artmaking about current waste issues. Largely deriving inspiration from her natural surroundings, Okore creates delicate works of art using biodegradable materials like bioplastics, cheesecloth and fibers to engender awareness about sustainable practices in the art field. Her work, “Spirit Dance,” is currently on display in the Stanley Museum of Art lightwell and has been one of the museum's most popular exhibits.
Robert Rouphail is a historian of modern Africa and the Indian Ocean at the UIowa College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. He teaches across the fields of African, global and environmental history. His courses range from surveys of modern African and global history to histories of race and empire in the Indian Ocean World to global environmental history and disaster studies courses.
This talk is part of the Levitt Lecture series.