David Winton Bell Gallery

Virtual Events

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Four filmmakers discuss adaptation, “truth” in narrative, and their most recent projects; the feature-length Zola (Bravo), and shorts The Tumbler and SCREENS: A Project About “Community” (Knoop), and 100 Boyfriends (Purnell). This pre-recorded event is in conjunction with the exhibition Savannah Knoop: Soothing the Seams, which opens to the public on July 9th.

Janicza Bravo is an award-winning director and writer who continues to push the creative boundaries in Hollywood by breathing life into the most distinctive of stories. Most recently, Janicza served as the director and co-writer of the highly anticipated film, Zola, which is based on a viral 148-tweet thread by A’ziah “Zola” King. A24 will release the film in theatres in Summer 2021. The film explores the story of Zola’s road trip to Florida with an unlikely friend, Stefani. What begins as a seductive and glamourous trip quickly transforms into a 48-hour odyssey. Co-written by Slave Play playwright Jeremy O’Harris and starring Taylour Paige, Riley Keough, Nicholas Braun, and Colman Domingo, the film premiered in competition at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival and received critical acclaim, calling it “indie film art.” Upcoming, Janicza will write, direct and executive produce Annapurna’s series adaptation of Ian Parker’s New Yorker article A Suspense Novelist’s Trail of Deceptions, which will star Jake Gyllenhaal. The series will explore the complex life of former book editor Dan Mallory, and the struggles and strange twists that led to his historic success of writing the first debut novel to hit number one on The New York Times bestseller list in twelve years. Janicza’s previous film work has screened at AFI, BAM, Carnegie Hall, SXSW, Sundance, and Tribeca. Her feature film debut Lemon premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and was sold to Magnolia Pictures. In 2014, Filmmaker Magazine named her as one to watch in "25 New Faces of Film.” That same year, her short film Gregory Go Boom won the Jury Prize for US Fiction at Sundance. On the television side, she directed the “Juneteenth” episode of Atlanta as well as episodes of HBO’s Divorce, Here and Now, In Treatment; Netflix’s Love and Dear White People; and Amazon’s Forever. A NYU graduate with a degree in directing and theatre design, Janicza was born in New York City and currently resides in Los Angeles. 

Maori Karmael Holmes is a curator, filmmaker and writer. She founded BlackStar in 2012 and serves as its Artistic Director and CEO. She has organized programs in film at a myriad of organizations including Anthology Film Archives, Museum of Contemporary Art (Los Angeles), The Underground Museum, and the Whitney Museum of American Art. As a director, her works have screened internationally including her feature documentary Scene Not Heard: Women in Philadelphia Hip-Hop (2006). She has also directed and produced works for Colorlines.com, Visit Philadelphia, India.Arie, and Mike Africa, Jr. of MOVE. Her writing has most recently appeared in The Believer, Film Quarterly, Seen, Pleasure Activism: The Politics of Feeling Good, How We Fight White Supremacy: A Field Guide to Black Resistance, and the forthcoming Collective Wisdom: Co-Creating Media Within Communities Across Disciplines and Algorithms. Maori received her MFA in Film & Media Arts from Temple University and her BA in History from American University. She currently serves on the board of American Documentary (POV), Asian Arts Initiative, the advisory boards of Ulises, Vidiots, and Lightbox Film Center; and is a member of Brown Girls Doc Mafia, The Community Board, and Programmers of Color Collective. Maori was a 2019-2020 Soros Equality Fellow and serves as Mediamaker-in-Residence at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania, Curator-at-Large at the Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, and a Creative Executive with Blackbird.

Savannah Knoop is an artist and educator working in film, sculpture, writing, and performance. They have exhibited and performed at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia; Artist Curated Projects, Los Angeles; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, Museum of Modern Art, Movement Research, and Leslie Lohman Museum, New York. Their solo exhibition Savannah Knoop: Soothing the Seams is currently on view at the Bell Gallery at Brown University.

Brontez Purnell is a writer, musician, dancer, filmmaker, and performance artist. He is the author of a graphic novel, a novella, a children’s book, and the novel Since I Laid My Burden Down. Recipient of a 2018 Whiting Award for Fiction, he was named one of the 32 Black Male Writers for Our Time by T: New York Times Style Magazine in 2018. Purnell is also the frontman for the band the Younger Lovers, the co-founder of the experimental dance group the Brontez Purnell Dance Company, the creator of the renowned cult zine Fag School, and the director of several short films, music videos, and, most recently, the documentary Unstoppable Feat: Dances of Ed Mock. He recently released his current novel 100 Boyfriends on FSGxMCD.  Born in Triana, Alabama, he’s lived in Oakland, California, for 19 years. 

Friday, June 11, 2021

Join current Bell exhibiting artist Savannah Knoop in a conversation with their longtime mentor and friend Clifford Owens. Both artists probe the limits of performance and intimacy within the gallery, and by extension the many other mediums they deploy in their work. Savannah Knoop: Soothing the Seams is on view at the Bell Gallery to students, staff, and faculty of Brown University through July 18th. 

Register for this live conversation here.

Savannah Knoop is an artist and educator working in film, sculpture, writing, and performance. They have exhibited and performed at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia; Artist Curated Projects, Los Angeles; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, Museum of Modern Art, Movement Research, and Leslie Lohman Museum, New York. 

Clifford Owens is an interdisciplinary artist. He makes photographs, performance art, drawings, videos, and texts. His art has appeared in many solo and group exhibitions, both nationally and internationally. Owens’s solo museum exhibitions include Anthology at MoMA PS1, Better the Rebel You Know at the former Cornerhouse in Manchester, England, and Perspectives 173: Clifford Owens at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston; and his group exhibitions include Freestyle, Greater New York 2005 and Performance Now: The First Decade of the New Century. His performance-based projects have been widely presented in museums and galleries, including the Museum of Modern Art, the Baltimore Museum of Art, and the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Owens has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, a William H. Johnson Prize, and numerous other fellowships and awards. He is guest faculty at Sarah Lawrence College and he lives and works between New York City and Jersey City. 

Location Online
Tuesday, November 24, 2020

This conversation convenes a cross generational group of curatorial arts workers to discuss the many letters written by museum staff in the wake of the recent uprisings and increasing visibility of the Black Lives Matter movement. Indira A. Abiskaroon, Dr. Kelli Morgan, and Tausif Noor have worked individually and collectively on statements directed at leadership, boards, and various institutional publics.

Though this program is rooted in the years of work each participant has done to promote a more equitable and just museum culture, the panel was inspired by a letter moderator Anni Pullagura drafted with Museum of Fine Arts, Boston Curator Michelle Millar Fisher, Tufts University Art Galleries Curator Abigail Satinsky, and artist Anthony Romero. Titled Boston Arts for Black Lives, the letter, in a summer of institutional rhetoric, thoroughly yet pithily captured the intricacies of what a museum that is truly for Black lives—and Indigenous lives and the lives of people of color—needs to address to, as the letter aptly frames, remake itself.

Indira A. Abiskaroon is a New York-based art historian and member of A Better Guggenheim. Her research focuses on classical reception in modern and contemporary art and, more recently, the function of mythology in art of the Caribbean and its diaspora. She holds a BA in Art History, Ancient Greek and Latin, and a Special Honors Curriculum from the Macaulay Honors College at Hunter College and an MA in the History of Art and Archaeology from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University.

Dr. Kelli Morgan was recently associate curator of American art at the Indianapolis Museum of Art Galleries at Newfields. She specializes in American art and visual culture with a scholarly commitment to the investigation of race within that field. Prior to her role at the IMA, Dr. Morgan held positions at the Tyler School of Art and Architecture at Temple University, Wayne State University, the University of Michigan, the Birmingham Museum of Art, and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. In 2014, she was awarded a dissertation fellowship by the Ford Foundation. She was also named the Curatorial Fellow of African American Art at the Birmingham Museum of Art and became the inaugural recipient of the Winston & Carolyn Lowe Curatorial Fellowship for Diversity in the Fine Arts at PAFA in 2016. She earned a PhD in Afro-American studies and a graduate certificate in public history–museum studies from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Dr. Morgan served as an Exhibitions & Public Interpretation panelist at the Center in 2019.

Tausif Noor is a critic, curator, and graduate student in the Department of History of Art at UC Berkeley, where he studies modern and contemporary art with a focus on South Asia. His criticism and essays can be found in Artforumfrieze, ArtAsiaPacific, among other publications, and in catalogues for the India Habitat Centre and Karma Gallery in New York. He has curated exhibitions at various artist-run spaces in Philadelphia and previously worked at the Whitney Museum, the Imperial War Museum in London, and the Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania, where he was the Spiegel-Wilks Curatorial Fellow from 2017-20.

Anni Pullagura, a PhD candidate in the Department of American Studies and an MA candidate in the Department of the History of Art and Architecture at Brown, will moderate the discussion.


Program will be released HERE on November 24th at 6 pm


Location Online
Thursday, October 1, 2020

This conversation served as a preview of in Pursuit of Venus [infected], which is on view at the Bell February 21 - May 29, 2022 and featured artist Lisa ReihanaMarisa Angell Brown, Assistant Director for Programs, John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities; Julia Lum, Assistant Professor of Art History at Scripps College, Claremont, CA; and Annawon Weeden, an educator and performer. Moderated by Jo-Ann Conklin, Director, David Winton Bell Gallery.

Presented in conjunction with REMAKING the real, a program of the Brown Arts Institute.

Location online
Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Join us for a screening of Elisabeth Subrin’s 1997 film, Shulie, followed by a conversation with the filmmaker and Kate Kraczon, Curator of the David Winton Bell Gallery, on Subrin's current project, Maria Schneider, 1983, an experimental cinematic recreation of a 1983 television interview with the late French actress Maria Schneider (1952-2011). 

Staging an extended act of homage – as well as a playful, provocative confounding of filmic propriety – Subrin's 1997 film resurrects a little-known 1967 documentary portrait of young Chicago art student Shulamith Firestone, who several years later would become a notable figure in Second Wave feminism and author of the radical 1970 manifesto The Dialectic of Sex: The Case for Feminist Revolution. Reflecting on her life and times, Shulie functions as a prism for refracting questions of gender, race and class that continue to resonate.

Elisabeth Subrin is a Brooklyn-based filmmaker, visual artist and associate professor of film and media arts at Temple University. Her critically acclaimed feature narrative A Woman, A Part was released theatrically in 2017. Her critically acclaimed short films and installations have screened and exhibited widely in film festivals, museums and galleries. A 2020 Fulbright Fellow, she’s currently working on a film and book project about the late French actress Maria Schneider, in light of the global #metoo movement. 

Presented in conjunction with REMAKING the real, a program of the Brown Arts Initiative.

Location Online
Friday, September 11, 2020


12:00 pm        Introduction: Dietrich Neumann and Jonathan Duval

12:30 pm        Online exhibition premiere 

3:00 pm          Annabelle Selldorf in Conversation
                       with Dietrich Neumann and Jonathan Duval
                       Based in New York, Selldorf was the architect of the Hay Library renovation;
                       she specializes in art galleries, residences, and high-rises in New York City.


Monday, June 8, 2020

Monday, June 1, 2020