With artists Ria Brodell, Ariana Reines, and Valerie Stephens
2020 Talks is a series of events organized by Claire Barliant, Daisy Nam, and Meg Rotzel that aims to anticipate the future by reflecting on the past. Tufts University Art Galleries is pleased to host the next event, Channeling, which invites a group of artists to describe how they "channel" history to make their work. Artist and SMFA at Tufts Faculty Ria Brodell's ongoing series of intimate portraits, "Butch Heroes," features forgotten figures from the past who openly disregarded conventional rules about gender. Poet and educator Ariana Reines incorporates the experience of channeling an oracular entity to powerful effect in her stunning long poem, "Mosaic," which is the final poem in her award-winning collection from 2019, A Sand Book. Actor, storyteller, and vocalist Valerie Stephens, who grew up in Boston, assumes the guise of renowned personalities such as Nina Simone with uncanny accuracy in her captivating performances. Of course, channeling takes on new meaning in our current moment of doomscrolling and Zoom fatigue, and we will also address how being limited to screens affects our lives and spirits at this time.