Close Looking at a Distance

Examine a work of art, ask questions and learn how art can frame our understanding of both the past and present. Join the live conversation every 2nd and 4th Wednesday at 12:00 p.m.

Host Key Jo Lee, assistant director of academic affairs, brings a multifaceted expertise, from curriculum design and administration, gallery teaching, and curation, to scholarship in American art history and African American studies. She is committed to deepening engagement and fostering ethical practices among local, regional, and national students and faculty.


Past Events

Close Looking at a Distance: Revising the Form

Wednesday, September 23, 12:00 p.m. - 12:45 p.m.

In portraiture, artists often impart specific attributes to represent power, presenting their subjects such that they best “look the part.” In this CLAD session, we look at two works by contemporary artists, whose pieces both defy and revise art historical conventions, in order to make Black women’s enduring power and historical influence visible. Join host Key Jo Lee for an interactive discussion regarding artistic revisions by artists Simone Leigh and Amy Sherald that amend the canonical European portrait.  

CLAD is an interactive program. Your comments, questions, and reflections are at the heart of the conversation, and we hope to hear from you before, during, and after the program!  

Close Looking at a Distance: Revising the Form

Close Looking at a Distance: Printing Democracy

Wednesday, September 9, 12:00 p.m.

Why do artists select specific media to express their ideas? Does what something is made of affect its meaning? How do we know? These questions guide the next CLAD session, “Printing Democracy,” as we meticulously examine the print The 1920’s . . . The Migrants Arrive and Cast Their Ballots (1974) by Jacob Lawrence and contemplate screenprinting as a medium for political protest or artistic activism.  

In preparation for this session, we invite you to watch last week’s Desktop Dialogue between Andrew Cappetta and Erika Anthony, the co-founder of Cleveland VOTES and the executive director of the Ohio Transformation Fund, as they discuss how artists have represented the democratic process in the United States. 

Close Looking at a Distance: Printing Democracy

Close Looking at a Distance: A Matter of Perspective

Wednesday, August 26, 12:00 p.m.

Artists are well aware that personal perspective determines so much of how we translate what we see. If you could only use one, what adjective would you use to describe this untitled photograph from Lee Friedlander’s series Prayer Pilgrimage for Freedom

Following last week’s conversation with Andrew Cappetta where she described care as a central tenet of her curatorial practice, scholar, curator, and cultural organizer La Tanya Autry joins Key Jo Lee to carefully analyze this photograph with you, the viewers.  

La Tanya Autry has curated exhibitions and organized programs at moCa Cleveland, Yale University Art Gallery, Artspace New Haven, and other institutions. Through her graduate studies at the University of Delaware, where she is completing her PhD in art history, Autry has developed expertise in the art of the United States, photography, and museums. Her dissertation The Crossroads of Commemoration: Lynching Landscapes in America analyzes how individuals and communities memorialize lynching violence in the built environment. 

As a cultural organizer in the visual arts, Autry has co-produced #MuseumsAreNotNeutral on Instagram, an initiative that exposes the fallacies of the neutrality claim and calls for an equity-based transformation of museums, and the Social Justice and Museums Resource List, a crowdsourced bibliography. 

Close Looking at a Distance: A Matter of Perspective

The Inquisitive Eye

Wednesday, August 12, 12:00 p.m.

Art is both a window to and a mirror of the world. It can hide as much as it reveals, often disguising or erasing inconvenient truths. Museums work to divulge art’s secrets, but every story told conceals others. So how might we better sense the other stories waiting to be witnessed?  

This week, Andrew Cappetta and Key Jo Lee lead the audience in viewing two unique portrait miniatures to show how active noticing can lead to discovering or recovering ideas, histories, and people who might have otherwise remained obscure.  

Close Looking at a Distance: The Inquisitive Eye

This program has been made possible in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor.