Artist Talk | Marisa Williamson, Lightbox: An Illuminated Lecture

Friday, April 26, 2024 6pm

Kleinman Center, Fisher Fine Arts Library, Room 414 

A lightbox illuminates from behind. It makes objects and images visible in high contrast that might otherwise go unseen. This illuminated lecture by performance artist, Marisa Williamson, engages literally and conceptually with this form in order to highlight the influence of Barbara Earl Thomas and others on what is visible to us today. 

The commission responds to Thomas’ exhibition, The Illuminated Body, at Arthur Ross Gallery and Re(Focus), a multi-venue exhibition festival celebrating the 50th anniversary of the first major exhibition featuring American women artists mounted in 1974. For more information please see

Marisa Williamson

Marisa Williamson is a project-based artist who grew up in Philadelphia. She works in video, image-making, installation and performance around themes of history, race, feminism, and technology. Her work has been featured in exhibitions throughout the US, as well as Rome, Berlin, Switzerland, and Buenos Aires. She was a participant in the Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture in 2012 and the Whitney Museum’s Independent Study Program in 2014-2015. Williamson holds a BA from Harvard University and an MFA from CalArts. She is an Assistant Professor of Visual Art at the University of Virginia with a research focus on Blackness. 

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(re)FOCUS celebrates the 50th anniversary of Philadelphia Focuses on Women in the Visual Arts/1974, a citywide festival recognizing women artists. With over 150 exhibitions, panels, lectures, workshops, and demonstrations it was one of the first large-scale surveys of the work of contemporary American women artists, signaling the inception of the American Feminist Art Movement. For more information, visit: