Artist advocates social justice with nature

edited.MojdehRezaeipourVisitingArtist_HeberGuerra-RecinosBy Julia Fuchs

Elm Staff Writer

This past Tuesday Feb. 19, the art and art history department invited Mojdeh Rezaeipour to come in and talk to art students and art lovers.

Professor Julie Wills, a professor of Art and the interim director of the Kohl Gallery, played a key role in organizing this event.

“Rezaeipour is an interdisciplinary artist, and examples of her work can be found on mojdeh.art,” Wills said.
Rezaeipour focuses her work on social justice and healing, and uses roots, branches, soil and beeswax to create her art. Rezaeipour’s current work is focused in a dome-shaped studio located in southern Maryland, as she works towards a master’s in alternative divinity with emphasis on art as a spiritual practice.

A graduate of University of California, Berkeley, Rezaeipour has worked on design and art in cities such as San Francisco, Washington D.C., New York, Tokyo, and Berlin. Currently, Rezaeipour travels for talks and exhibitions, and leads a workshop in storytelling, according to the artist’s website.

Razaeipour has displayed exhibitions throughout the world, giving students a global perspective on art and how the meaning of art is different across the globe.

“We invited Mojdeh Rezaeipour to campus as a visiting artist because we believed her work held significant artistic merit; her dual roles as a visual artist and storyteller would make her a captivating speaker,” Wills said.

Most of Rezaeipour’s work relates to is- sues such as racism and religious persecu- tion.

“Her material strategies are accessible to our students; and her autobiographical approach to art-making could o er our students an excellent example of how artists can draw upon their own experiences of the world for inspiration and subject matter,” Wills said.

At the end of the talk, Razaeipour offered a very casual question-and-answer session that invited and encouraged students to ask the artist questions.

e art and art history program invite about ve artists to come and speak to students every academic year — it usually ranges between two and three a semester. These events are free and open to all students, and usually, include a brief question-and-answer session at the end.

“These artists come from all over the country, though many hails from the surrounding cities of Baltimore or Washington DC. When determining which artists to invite to campus, we try to offer WC students and the campus community a broad range of aesthetic, material and conceptual approaches to art-making,” Wills said.

“By bringing in visiting artists, we o er our students access to other strategies and viewpoints. Each visiting artist meets individually with every senior Studio Art major in their senior studios for a ‘critique,’ or discussion of the student’s work,” Wills said.

“Studio art seniors work independently all year to develop a cohesive body of artworks which they exhibit in Kohl Gallery in the annual SCE Capstone Exhibition,” Wills said.

e next artist speaker will be Julia Betts, who recently performed and showcased her work for the Temporal Boundaries collection at the Kohl Gallery. Betts’ artist talk will take place on Tuesday April 23 in Hodson Faculty Lounge.

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