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The Phillips Collection and the University of Maryland Present International Forum in Washington

October 19, 2017

Alana Carchedi Coyle, 301-405-0235

COLLEGE PARK, Md. and WASHINGTON, D.C. — Academic and artistic partners The Phillips Collection and the University of Maryland  (UMD) will present the International Forum in Washington on Saturday, November 4, 2017.   

An annual event hosted at the Phillips, this year’s program will include a prestigious Duncan Phillips Lecture presented by artist Sanford Biggers, recipient of a 2017 Rome Prize. Following his lecture, Biggers will participate in a conversation with artist‐scholar Curlee Holton, Executive Director of UMD’s  David C. Driskell Center, focusing on the rise, role, and impact of “artists of consciousness” in society.   

Also planned during the program, Fatimah Asghar, influential poet and co‐creator of the web series  Brown Girls, will offer a reading, followed by a conversation with Dr. Susan Dwyer, Associate Professor in  Philosophy at UMD and Executive Director of UMD Honors College.   

“Art remains a relevant and unique tool for prompting reflection and dialogue on a wide range of issues influencing our present and future,” said Director Dorothy Kosinski. “Through personal expression,  artists across disciplines help us make sense of our world. As an extension of our longstanding  partnership with the University of Maryland, I am pleased that the Phillips will again host an important  exchange of ideas during International Forum, which will be deeply enriched this year by the invaluable  insights of Sanford Biggers and Fatimah Asghar.”     

“The International Forum is a perfect example of how academia and art intersect to create and enhance dialogue around important social and political issues, as addressed by Sanford Biggers and Fatimah  Asghar in their work,” said UMD Senior Vice President and Provost Mary Ann Rankin. “We are glad to  host this event with The Phillips Collection as we continue our partnership to transform scholarship and  innovation in the arts.”


Photo of Sanford BiggersA Los Angeles native currently working in New York, Sanford Biggers  integrates film, video, installation, sculpture, drawing, original music, and performance to spark conversation about race and culture. He explores  issues such as hip hop, Buddhism, politics, identity, and art history, offering  new perspectives and associations for established symbols. His multidisciplinary works often address racial violence and the history of  trauma for African Americans in hopes of promoting dialogue about our  shared past.  

Biggers’s work has been celebrated through solo exhibitions nationally and internationally—most  recently at the Brooklyn Museum in New York; Sculpture Center in Long Island City, New York; and Mass MoCA in North Adams, Massachusetts. He has also participated in prestigious residencies and fellowships, including Akademie Schloss Solitude in Stuttgart, Germany, and ARCUS Project Foundation  in Ibaraki, Japan. He has also been a fellow of the Creative Time Global Residency, the Eyebeam Atelier  Teaching Residency, and the Studio Museum AIR Program.  

Biggers’s installations, videos, and performances have appeared in venues worldwide including Tate  Britain and Tate Modern in London, the Whitney Museum and Studio Museum in New York, and the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, as well as institutions in China, Germany, Hungary, Japan, Poland and Russia. His works are included in the collections of the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; and the Museum of Modern Art, Whitney Museum, Brooklyn Museum, and Bronx Museum in New York.  

Biggers is Associate Professor and Director of Sculpture at Columbia University’s Visual Arts program and a board member of Sculpture Center, Soho House, and the CUE Foundation. He has also taught at  Virginia Commonwealth University’s Sculpture and Expanded Media program and was a visiting scholar  at Harvard University's VES Department in 2009.  


Photo of Fatimah AsgharFatimah Asghar is an acclaimed poet, screenwriter, educator, and performer. She is the writer and co‐creator of Brown  Girls, a web series that highlights friendships between  women of color, which debuted in February 2017 and was  recently picked up by HBO to be adapted for television. Her work has appeared in many journals, including POETRY  Magazine, Gulf Coast, BuzzFeed Reader, The Margins, The  Offing, Academy of American Poets, and many others. Her  work has been featured on news outlets including PBS, NPR,  TIME, Teen Vogue, and The Huffington Post.   

While on a Fulbright fellowship studying theater in post‐genocidal countries in 2011, she created a spoken word poetry group in Bosnia and Herzegovina called REFLEKS. She is a member of the Dark Noise  Collective and a Kundiman Fellow. In 2017, she was the recipient of the Ruth Lilly Dorothy Sargent  Rosenberg Poetry Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation. Her chapbook After came out on Yes Yes  Books fall 2015. Her debut book of poems Today We’re American is forthcoming on One World/ Random  House.  


Admission for the event is $12; free for students and Phillips members. To purchase tickets, click here