Simmons University Trustman Art Gallery Presents “Collecting & Connecting” Artist Talk Series

Simmons University announced today that it is hosting Collecting & Connecting, a series of four artist talks that will introduce the community to the artists who are behind the institution’s most recent art acquisitions.

The series will run on Fridays, beginning on April 23 through May 14, and feature Boston-based BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and other Peoples of Color) visual artists Sneha Shrestha, Destiny Palmer, Rocky Cotard, and Rixy Fernandez – who will speak about their art, influences, ideas, and how the global pandemic has affected their practice. This program is part of Simmons’ continuing effort to support local artists and diversify the institution’s art collection.

“We are thrilled to announce this new series, which will feature four talented local artists whose work will be a permanent part of the University’s Art Collection,” said Simmons University Professor Helen Popinchalk, who is Director of the Trustman Art Gallery and Curator of the University Art Collection. “As we work to become the most inclusive campus in New England, principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion must be integrated into everything we do. These new acquisitions align with our mission, and I’m honored that Simmons will have an opportunity to work with this group of skilled artists who are leading the way with their art.”

Collecting & Connecting is organized by students in the Senior Capstone Class for the Arts Administration major in conjunction with Professor Popinchalk. The students in this course, Gabby Paiva, Genevieve Schortz, Elle Spurr, and Tabitha Williams, have been working throughout the semester with these four artists to secure new acquisitions for the University Art Collection and to provide Simmons students with the opportunity to learn directly from the artists.

Series Event Calendar

Collecting & Connecting: Artist Talk with Sneha Shrestha

Friday, April 23, 2021 | 5 - 6 PM ET Register

Join us for an artist talk with Sneha Shrestha (aka Imagine), followed by an open Q&A. Shrestha (AKA IMAGINE) is a Nepali artist who meshes the aesthetics of Sanskrit scriptures with graffiti influences. She has shown her meditative works in several exhibitions, commissioned works and public walls around the world. Her newest work, a thirty-foot sculpture commissioned by the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, is currently on view. She was recognized by WBUR as one of the 25 millennial artists of color impacting Boston. Shrestha’s work is held in the private collections of Facebook, Google and Fidelity Investments.  She received her Master’s degree from Harvard University. In addition to creating larger than life murals and paintings, Sneha passionately supports Asian art by working as the Arts Program Manager at the South Asia Institute at Harvard.

Collecting & Connecting: Artist Talk with Destiny Palmer

Friday, April 30, 2021 | 5 - 6 PM ET | Register

Join us for an artist talk by Destiny Palmer, followed by an open Q&A. An artist and educator who explores the intersections of painting, history, and color, Palmer works in a variety of mediums to create both conventional and public art projects that engage communities and help them reclaim their space and stories. Palmer’s family history and her own personal experiences play a large role in her work and reflect her mission to shift the traditional understanding of art. She received her Masters of Fine Arts in Painting from Tyler School of Art at Temple University and Bachelors in Fine Art in Painting at Massachusetts College of Art and Design.  Palmer has served on Boston's Arts and Culture Team, exhibits her work extensively in Boston and beyond, and currently teaches at Thayer Academy in Braintree, MA.

Collecting & Connecting: Artist Talk with Rocky Cotard

Friday, May 7, 2021 | 5 - 6 PM ET | Register

Join us for an artist talk by Rocky Cotard, followed by an open Q&A. Cotard is a visual artist who was born in Mirebalais, Haiti, and raised in Boston, Massachusetts. He recently completed his BFA in Illustration at Lesley University and works in the mediums of painting, printmaking, and drawing. Using purposeful, bright colors and strong figures, he explores his lineage, history, and perspectives of the Haitian Diaspora.

Collecting & Connecting: Artist Talk with Rixy Fernandez

Friday, May 14, 2021 | 5 - 6 PM ET | Register

Join us for an artist talk by Rixy Fernandez, followed by an open Q&A. Fernandez explores themes of feminine divinity in her rich and often sensuous art. She received her BA in Studio Art from UMass Boston where she concentrated in sculpture.  Her bountiful, illustrative style crosses the boundaries of medium as she creates paintings, sculptures, and public artworks. In 2019, she received the Ruth Butler Travel Fellowship for a studio residency in Mexico. Currently, she teaches at the Boston Architectural College and is the Public Art Coordinator for the Central Square Business Improvement District's "Speak Your Piece" Campaign.

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