Stanford University is the home of interdisciplinary thinking that catalyzes innovation. Artists on the Future is a conversation series that pairs world-famous artists with cultural thought leaders from various fields to talk about issues vital to our society. These public events bring those working at the highest levels of human expression, creative thinking, and aesthetic impact into our deepest national conversations. The Office of the Vice President for the Arts at Stanford University presents one conversation per academic quarter.
The program is free and open to both members of the Stanford community and the public. This program is generously supported by Komal Shah and Gaurav Garg.
The May 10 conversation brings together Cuban American visual artist Teresita Fernández with Ghanaian-British architect Sir David Adjaye to discuss place, geography, and global environmental issues.
Teresita Fernández’s work is characterized by interactive self-reflection and conceptual wayfinding. Her immersive, monumental works are inspired by a rethinking of landscape and place, as well as by diverse historical and cultural references. Often using images from the natural world, Fernández’s work emphasizes the stacked connections between place, people, and materials–using gold, graphite, iron-ore, and other minerals that reveal loaded historical ties to colonization and the violence embedded in the landscape. Her practice engages in a quiet unraveling of power, land, visibility, and erasure that prompts an intimate experience for viewers.
Fernández is a 2005 MacArthur Foundation Fellow and the recipient of numerous awards including a Guggenheim Fellowship, an NEA Artist's Grant, and a Louis Comfort Tiffany Biennial Award. Appointed by President Obama, she is the first Latina to serve on the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts, a 100-year-old federal panel that advises the President and Congress on national matters of design and aesthetics.
Fernández’s works have been exhibited both nationally and internationally at The Museum of Modern Art, New York; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; The Smithsonian Museum of American Art; MASS MoCA; and Castello di Rivoli, Turin, among others. She lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.
Sir David Adjaye has received international acclaim for his impact on the field of architecture. He is known for his unique, site-specific designs; his innovative use of materials and light; and the cultural and social sensitivities incorporated into his work. Adjaye’s largest project to date, The National Museum of African American History & Culture in Washington, DC opened on the National Mall in Washington DC in 2016 and was named Cultural Event of the Year by The New York Times. Most recently, Adjaye was announced the winner of the 2021 RIBA Royal Gold Medal. Personally approved by Her Majesty the Queen, the Royal Gold Medal is considered one of the highest honors in British architecture for one’s significant contribution to the field internationally. Adjaye is also the recipient of the World Economic Forum’s 27th Annual Crystal Award, which recognizes his “leadership in serving communities, cities and the environment.