David Winton Bell Gallery

Past Events

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Join us in celebrating the arrival of Indomitable, Brown University's most recent public art work and mascot, during homecoming weekend!

Location Ittleson Quadrangle and Nelson Fitness Center
Thursday, October 31, 2013

A conversation with artist Nick Bibby, creator of Indomitable. Brown University's most recent public art installation and mascot, Indomitable stands on Ittleson Quadrangle next to the Nelson Fitness Center.

Location List Art Center Auditorium
Friday, October 18, 2013
Location List Art Lobby
Friday, October 18, 2013

The David Winton Bell Gallery will present a symposium in conjunction with the opening of Vincent Valdez: The Strangest Fruit on October 18, 2013 from 3:30 to 6:30 pm.  The Strangest Fruit, Valdez's new series of ten large-scale paintings, references the lynching of Latinos in the United States and metaphorically illustrates the persecution and oppression felt by contemporary Latino Americans. Monica Muñoz Martinez, Daniel Hernandez, and Vincent Valdez will respond to the works and the histories and contemporary experiences that fostered them. An opening reception will follow at 6:30 pm.

Welcome and Introductions

Monica Muñoz Martinez
Carlos E. Castañeda Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Texas at Austin
Reckoning with Anti-Mexican Violence: Visual Legacies of State Sanctioned Violence in Texas, 1910-Present

Daniel Hernandez
Editor, VICE México, Mexico City
Hanging Brown Men

Vincent Valdez
The Strangest Fruit

Location List Art Center Auditorium
Friday, June 7, 2013
Location Cohen Gallery, Granoff Center
Thursday, April 18, 2013

Directed by Rory Kennedy '91. Running time: 78 min.

Followed by a conversation between Joshua Neves, Department of Modern Culture and Media, Brown University, and Jo-Ann Conklin, David Winton Bell Gallery

The familiar and disturbing pictures of torture at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison raise many troubling questions: How did torture become an accepted practice at Abu Ghraib? Did U.S. government policies make it possible? How much damage has the aftermath of Abu Ghraib had on America's credibility as a defender of freedom and human rights around the world?

Acclaimed filmmaker Rory Kennedy ‘91 looks beyond the headlines to investigate the psychological and political context in which torture occurred in the documentary Ghosts of Abu Ghraib.

Ghosts of Abu Ghraib features both the voices of Iraqi victims (interviewed in Turkey after arduous attempts to meet with them) and guards directly involved in torture at the prison. Conducted by Kennedy, these remarkably candid, in-depth interviews shed light on the abuses in an unprecedented manner. Through these interviews, the film traces the events and the political and legal precedents that led to the scandal, beginning with the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001.

While the White House and Pentagon claimed that the situation at Abu Ghraib was "a kind of animal house on the night shift," other on-site participants and observers maintain that the abuses at Abu Ghraib were part of a general pattern of a "gloves off" interrogation policy that had been put in place after 9/11. 

Ghosts of Abu Ghraib strongly suggests that, far from being an unauthorized, isolated event by rank-and-file soldiers acting on their own initiative, the physical and psychological torture employed at the prison was an inevitable outgrowth of military and government policies that were implemented in a climate of fear and chaos, inadequate training and insufficient resources.

Ghosts of Abu Ghraib is a Moxie Firecracker Films production of an HBO Documentary Film; directed and produced by Rory Kennedy; produced by Liz Garbus; written and produced by Jack Youngelson; director of photography, Tom Hurwitz; editor, Sari Gilman;

Rory Kennedy, co-founder and co-president of Moxie Firecracker Films, is one of the nation's most prolific independent documentary filmmakers, focusing on issues such as poverty, domestic abuse, human rights and AIDS. Kennedy's work has been featured on numerous broadcast and cable outlets, including HBO, A&E, MTV, Lifetime and PBS. She has directed and produced more than 20 films, including the HBO specials "Indian Point: Imagining the Unimaginable," which examines the potential for a nuclear disaster in New York City's backyard; "Pandemic: Facing AIDS," a five-part series that follows the lives of people living with AIDS throughout the world (nominated for two primetime Emmy® Awards); "American Hollow," which documents an Appalachian family caught between tradition and the modern world (nominated for a Non-Fiction Primetime Emmy® Award and Independent Spirit Award); and "A Boy's Life," about the troubling forces shaping the life of a young child in impoverished Mississippi.  



Location List Art Center Auditorium
Friday, April 5, 2013
Location List Art Center Lobby
Friday, April 5, 2013
Location List Art Center Lobby
Friday, April 5, 2013

The David Winton Bell Gallery, Brown University will present a symposium entitled Art and War in Iraq on Friday, April 5, 2013 from 12:15-5:30pm in the List Art Center Auditorium. The symposium marks the opening of the gallery's spring exhibitions— the American premier of The Ashes Series by Iraqi-American artist Wafaa Bilal and I am Sorry It is Difficult to Start by American artist Daniel Heyman. An opening reception for the exhibitions will follow the symposium from 5:30 – 7:30 pm. In addition, a screening of Rory Kennedy’s documentary film entitled Ghosts of Abu Ghraib, will be held on April 18, at 5:30 pm in the List Art Center Auditorium.

About Art and War in Iraq 

Ten years since the launch of Operation Iraqi Freedom and twenty-three years since the first Gulf War, the ramifications of the armed invasions and occupations of the Republic of Iraq by the United States continue to be felt by the Iraqi people as well as throughout the Middle East and the world. Amidst these fraught conflicts, artists have offered responses to the complexities of war and the challenges of its aftermath. The Art and War in Iraq symposium brings together American, Iraqi, and Middle Eastern artists, scholars, and critics to address the impacts of the wars in Iraq and the wider conflicts in the Middle East, with special attention to contemporary artistic practices in Iraq and its diaspora.

Videos of presentations



Wafaa Bilal, Artist and Assistant Arts Professor, Photography, Tisch School of the Arts, New York University 

Lecture: Making the Invisible Visible 




Daniel Heyman, Artist and Lecturer, Rhode Island School of Design, and Critic, Princeton University 

Lecture: The Iraqi Portraits 




Meir Wigoder, School of Communication, Sapir College, Sderot and the Faculty of the Arts, Tel Aviv University

Lecture: The Intermediary-Spaces of Wafaa Bilal's The Ashes Series




Susanne Slavick, Artist and Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Art, Carnegie Mellon University

Lecture: Out of Rubble




Nada Shabout, Associate Professor of Art History and Director of Contemporary Arab and Muslim Cultural Studies Institute (CAMCSI), University of North Texas

Moderator for final panel discussion


Support for the Art and War in Iraq is provided by Brown University’s Woods Lectureship,Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Department of Modern Culture and Media, and Creative Arts Council

Location List Art Center Auditorium
Friday, November 16, 2012
Location List Art Center Lobby
Wednesday, October 3, 2012


Falling from the Sky 天降 (2009)
Directed by Zhang Zanbo 张赞波
124 min. Mandarin Chinese with English subtitles.


On the occasion of Jin Shan's exhibition My dad is Li Gang! 我爸是李刚!, the David Winton Bell Gallery will host a special screening of Chinese documentary filmmaker Zhang Zanbo's "Falling from the Sky" (2009). The screening will be introduced by Prof. Joshua Neves of Brown University's Department of Modern Culture and Media and followed by a question and answer session with Prof. Neves and gallery curator Ian Alden Russell.
Film Synopsis
Little-known Suining county lies directly in the path of falling debris from the Xichang Satellite Launching Base, one of three satellite launching bases in China. Ten times in the last 20 years, the county has been visited by dangerous “aliens from the skies”: falling satellite debris that smashes into the tranquil lives of the 160,000 impoverished local inhabitants. In China, 2008 was both “the year of the Olympics” and “the year of space exploration.” While the people of Suining, like their fellow countrymen and women, eagerly awaited the Olympic Games, their pride about Chinese development, particularly in terms of space exploration, was tempered by the fact that they had to endure falling wreckage from constant satellite launches.


Director's Statement
The film Falling From the Sky aims to represent the life under the strong will of nation in a magical and realistic area of Suining and wishes to raise awareness to our homeland and subsistence with the concern of individual life under the will of the nation. The title Falling from the Sky not only refers to the debris; it is an allusion to fate, something befalling of these people. Moreover, its meaning can be extended to point to a kind of heavenly destiny looming over their heads, hinting not only to the physical sky, but also the ancient Chinese concept of the “mandate of heaven”, the will of the nation. Thus, the expression of the film about remote Suining is somehow much closer to a real China rather than the splendid Olympics and Shenzhou 7 spaceship in 2008.

About Zhang Zanbo 
Independent documentary filmmaker Zhang Zanbo was born in the 1970s, and earned his master’s degree in film directing from the Beijing Film Academy in 2005. His films have been screened at many international film festivals in China and abroad.

  • Falling From the Sky (2009)
  • A Song of Love, Maybe (2010)
  • The Interceptor from My Hometown(2011)
  • My grandfather's address in Taipei (2010)
  • Red White and Blue(2011)
  • What We Talk About When We Talk About Sex(2011)
  • Disappear in the green grass, dried grass and duckweed(2011)
  • Righteous Flame(2011)
Location List Art Center Auditorium
Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Location List Art Center Lobby