Visiting Faculty 2011–12

  • Jeff Sheng, Anthony, Pensacola, Florida, 2010 from the series "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" Courtesy Artist and Kaycee Olsen Gallery. 

  • Deborah Bright, “ 'Arab' Gate, Yehudiyya (Yehud), Israel" from Destruction Layer project. 2008 Inkjet pigment print, 24 x 60 in. 

  • David Hilliard, Stay, 2011, Triptych 40” x 90" Digital Color Photograph 

  • Sue Johnson. Camille Currie before her 50th and last fight as an amateur fighter. From the recent project, Boxing Lessons. 

  • Peter Kuper, cover art from adaptation of Franz Kafka's The Metamorphosis 

  • Terah Maher, still from Choros, 2011. 13 min. Directed by Michael Langan  & Terah Maher

  • Allen Sayegh

  • Amber Davis Tourlentes, Swag collected each year at Gay Pride Parades Boston MA 2000-present. (Detail) Fleet Bank, checkbook cover. 


Aug 29 – Oct 9, 2011
Level 1

Each year, the Department of Visual and Environmental Studies extends invitations to leading practitioners in these fields to teach courses. For almost fifty years, visiting filmmakers and visual artists have worked closely with students and made a significant impact on the curriculum, as well as contributed to the overall creative and intellectual life of the university.

Visiting Faculty 2011–12 presents work by visiting faculty in the department of Visual and Environmental Studies at Harvard. The exhibition includes photography by Deborah Bright, David Hilliard, Sue Johnson, Jeff Sheng and Amber Davis Tourlentes, video work by Allen Sayegh and Terah Maher, and panels from graphic novels by Peter Kuper.

Deborah Bright

Bright holds a joint appointment as Professor of Photography and History of Art/Visual Culture at the Rhode Island School of Design where she served as Dean of Fine Arts from 2009-2011. Her photographic projects have been exhibited internationally, including at the Victoria and Albert Museum; the Museet for Fotokunst, Copenhagen; Nederlands Foto Instituut, Rotterdam; Museum Folkwang, Essen; Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography, Ottawa; Cambridge Darkroom; Vancouver Art Gallery. Her photographs are included in the collections of the Whitney Museum; National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian; Addison Gallery of American Art; Fogg Art Museum; The Boston Athenaeum, Rose Art Museum; University Art Museum at Binghamton University; California Museum of Photography and the RISD Museum of Art. She has received numerous grants and awards for her photography and critical writing. Bright edited a groundbreaking collection of images and writings on photography and queer sexualities, The Passionate Camera: photography and bodies of desire, and in 2010, received recognition as Honored Educator of the Year by the Society for Photographic Education.

David Hilliard

Hilliard creates large-scale multi-paneled color photographs, often based on his life or the lives of people around him. His panoramas direct the viewer’s gaze across the image surface allowing narrative, time and space to unfold. Hilliard received his BFA from the Massachusetts College of Art in 1992 and MFA from Yale University in 1994. He worked for many years as an assistant professor at Yale University where he also directed the undergraduate photo department. He has also taught at Harvard and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. He is currently an assistant professor in Boston at the Massachusetts College of Art. Hilliard spent the spring of 2010 at Dartmouth College as their artist-in-residence. He exhibits his photographs both nationally and internationally and has won numerous awards including a Fulbright and Guggenheim. His photographs can be found in many important collections including the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. His work is represented by the Yancey Richardson Gallery in New York, Carroll and Sons Gallery in Boston, Jackson Fine Art in Atlanta, the Mark Moore Gallery in Santa Monica, and in Paris at La Galerie Particuliere. In 2005 a collection of his photographs was published in a monograph by Aperture Press.

Sue Johnson

Johnson’s work straddles the fields of journalism, photography, and technology. In 1995, she co-founded Picture Projects to pioneer investigations in online documentary practices. Her collaborations while there include—Perspectives on the US Criminal Justice System, and, an online repository for stories about the World Trade Center. After leaving Picture Projects in 2003, Johnson moved to South Africa where she co-produced Mandela: An Audio History for National Public Radio and co-founded Iliso Labantu, a collective of township-based photographers who now earn a living by selling their work internationally. She is the recipient of numerous awards including a Peabody Award, the Online News Association Award, the National Press Club, the Batten Award for Innovation, and two Webby Awards. Her work has been supported by the Creative Capital Foundation, the NEA and NEH. She is currently documenting women boxers around the world. She has taught at Harvard University, Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, New York University, and conducted workshops on multimedia storytelling in Europe, Mexico, and the United States.

Peter Kuper

Kuper is co-founder of the political graphics magazine, World War 3 Illustrated. Since 1997, he has written and drawn Spy vs Spy for MAD Magazine every issue. Kuper has produced over twenty books including The System (Vertigo, 1997), Diario De Oaxaca (PM Press, 2009), and an adaptation of Franz Kafka's The Metamorphosis (Crown Press, 2003).

Terah Maher

Maher received a Masters of Architecture from the Harvard Graduate School of Design in 2006 and a BA in Architecture from Yale University in 1999. Her design work investigates the potentials of constructing narrative experience within physical spaces. She recently designed and co-curated (with Ruth Lingford) the exhibition Frame by Frame: Animated at Harvard at the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts (2010). She has worked as production designer on internationally screened shorts, including Dance Mania Fantastic (2005), Aquarium (2007), and The Elephant Garden (2008). Maher's film work, influenced by her years as a modern dancer, explores the structural systems inherent in animation to extend the expressive potential of the human body. She currently has two animated films, Animus and Choros, in collaboration with filmmaker Michael Langan, in post-production.

Allen Sayegh

Sayegh is an architect and a designer. He synthesizes his knowledge of architecture, film, interaction design and animation to build innovative interfaces and responsive environments. Sayegh has been lecturing, consulting, and teaching in the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East for over fifteen years. He is currently an Adjunct Associate Professor at the Graduate School of Design offering courses in the areas of responsive environments, animation and interaction design, such as Sculpting Motion, Interactive Spaces, Augmented Architecture, Cinematic Architecture, and Responsive Environments. Sayegh is the founder and president of INVIVIA Inc., an award-winning interdisciplinary design firm. His portfolio of clients include Microsoft, Solidere, LG, MIT, the New York Museum of Natural History, HP, the Guggenheim Museum, and the Athens Olympic Committee. Sayegh's latest research and interest is in the juxtaposition of the digital and the physical experiences specifically as it applies to creating dynamic objects and responsive spaces.

Jeff Sheng

Sheng is an artist based in Los Angeles, California. He teaches courses on Asian American Queer Issues and Masculinities at the University of California, Santa Barbara. His artwork is represented by Kaycee Olsen Gallery in Los Angeles. His photography has been published in the New York Times Magazine, Newsweek, and Time Magazine, and he has been profiled by the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, NPR, CNN, and twice by ABC World News Tonight, most recently in 2010 by Diane Sawyer and Bob Woodruff. In 2011, he was featured as one of the Advocate Magazine’s 40 under 40. Sheng first became known for “Fearless,” a photo series about “out” LGBT athletes on high school and college sports teams that integrated art with social activism, and Sheng frequently exhibits and speaks about his work at various high schools, colleges and corporations. Between 2006-2011, he did over forty solo exhibitions and artist talks at high school and college campuses across the United States. In 2009, he was awarded a grant to exhibit his artwork at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. Other exhibition venues have included ESPN Headquarters in 2008, the 2009 International LGBT Human Rights Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, and Nike World Headquarters in 2010. His most recent photo series, “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” featured closeted service members in the United States military affected by the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. These images were widely referenced by the national press, media and activist groups during the repeal of the policy, including a solo exhibition of Sheng’s work sponsored by the Human Rights Campaign in Washington DC a few weeks before the final repeal vote was passed by Congress. Sheng holds a BA degree from Harvard University in Visual and Environmental Studies and an MFA in Studio Art from the University of California, Irvine, in 2007.

Amber Davis Tourlentes

Tourlentes grew up in the 70s–80s in the gay community with her father. For thirteen years she has photographed the same-sex parented family movement, including her own extended family. The photographic projects investigates the reworking of not only gender but also ethnic, religious, and cultural/class roles for family life, lobbyist groups, coalitions and corporate sponsorship and the portrayal of shifting LGBT community in the media. Unexpectedly, so far in this body of work, class more than gender has emerged as a defining family social structure. Tourlentes’s current work examines the processes of identification and inclusion as evidenced with the corporate “swag” handed out during Gay Pride Parades; collected beginning in 2000 until the present. The swag marketed to the LGBT communities at Gay Pride Parades represents the mobility and the constant redefinition of the territory of political community and the effect of the increasing visibility of the LGBT family and lifestyle within the larger society. A native of Boston’s South End, Tourlentes received her MFA in Photography + Digital Media at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She has taught photography at Princeton University, Massachusetts College of Art, Emerson College & ProArts Consortium and School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Tourlentes’ solo and invited group exhibitions include Axiom Gallery, Lesley University, Smith College, Hampshire College, APE Gallery, WORKS, San Jose, Harvery Milk Institute, the Photographic Resource Center at Boston University, Circa Gallery in Montreal, Mills Gallery at the Boston Center for the Arts, ArtStrand in Provincetown, MA, and the Boston Public Library.