2018 Conversations @ The Center
Artists as Activists, Lisa Harris & Prince Varughese Thomas
Galveston Arts Center (GAC) continues its annual speaker series, Conversations @ The Center. The series features contemporary artists and other arts professionals who speak about and show images of their work, practices, professions, or discuss timely issues in contemporary visual art. This year’s theme is Artists as Activists, including artists whose work engages communities, is political in nature, and acts as agents for social change.
The 2018 series featured six speakers, paired in conversation around their work through three Conversations. One Conversation remains Thursday April 12th (6:30pm), Lisa E. Harris and Prince Varughese Thomas will speak.
About the Speaker Lisa Harris, Performing and Visual Artist
Recognized by the Huffington Post as “One of Fourteen Artists that are Transforming Opera,” Lisa E. Harris is a creator from Houston, TX. Harris is an American soprano and composer who often creates with media, performance, and installation, and is a filmmaker, singer/songwriter, writer, educator, community organizer, environmental transformer, and Mother Earth advocate as well. Harris clarifies her artistic voice through experimental film, improvisational performance and compositional practices, and further translates her music through the application of natural sciences, spirituality, popular song, melody, harmony, ritual, and ceremony. She recently performed “Work Songs” at the 52nd Venice Biennale. In 2007, Harris founded Studio Enertia, a multi-media production collective, with longstanding collaborator Alisha B. Wormsley and in 2013 began the artists run Studio Enertia Artist Residency Program in Houston. A collaborative artist with Jason Moran presents A Fats Waller Dance Party, Harris is a featured vocalist along with Meshell N’degecello on the Grammy nominated album “All Rise: A Joyful Elegy for Fats Waller.” She is a 2015 Valiante Award recipient and a 2016 inaugural artist in residence at The New Quorum, New Orleans, LA. Her two new opera films “Cry of the Third Eye” and “Children of the Lost” use vocal composition and film to amplify the quelled voices of youth and displaced people due to rapid gentrification in Houston’s Third Ward. Harris obtained a Bachelor of Music Degree from the Mannes College and a Master of Music Degree from Manhattan School of Music. For more info go to lisaeharris.com.
Prince Varughese Thomas, Artist and Professor at Lamar University
Prince Varughese Thomas is an artist who is part of what has come to be known as the Indian Diaspora. A winner of the Time-Based Media in Art Prize 7 and a Texas Biennial Artist, Thomas has been invited to be a visiting artist, lecturer, panelist , and workshop instructor at numerous institutions including Ashkal Alwan Beirut, Lebanon; Indiana University; Memphis College of Art; the Light Factory, the University of Texas @ Arlington, and the Queens Museum. Thomas’ work has been exhibited in over 150 solo and group exhibitions at museums, galleries, and alternative spaces including: Gallerie Huit, Arles, France; The Queens Museum, NY; the Zentral Bibliotheck, Zurich; The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the Houston Center for Photography; Bunker 8, Beijing, China; the Museum of New Art, Detroit, MI; the Alternative Museum, NY, NY; the Contemporary Museum, Atlanta, GA; FotoFest International; and The Station Museum of Contemporary Art. Thomas received his B.A. in Psychology from the University of Texas at Arlington, and a M.F.A. from the University of Houston. He is currently a Professor of Art at Lamar University. For more info go to princevthomas.com.