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Leu Gallery

Lecture Series

Creative Professionals Lecture Series | SPRING 2023

The Creative Professionals Lecture Series invites a broad range of interdisciplinary practitioners including artists, designers, curators, educators, and historians to engage with the campus and local communities. The Watkins College of Art is committed to inviting diverse and innovative voices that propel the transformative power of art and design forward. In addition to public lectures, students benefit from personal engagement with speakers through class visits and studio critiques.

This lecture series is FREE and open to the public. All lectures begin at 5:00 PM in the Leu Center for the Visual Arts Room 120.


February 06 – Loss and the Human Condition

During this lecture, we will hear from Photographer and Professor at the University of the South Pradip Malde. Malde will speak on his work, specifically considering the experience of loss and how it serves as a catalyst for regeneration. The session will be moderated by Watkins College of Art Associate Professor of Photography Robin Paris.

Pradip Malde

Photographer and Professor at the University of the South, Sewanee, TN

Swirling in From Vapor, Dodoma, Tanzania, 2017

Raheli Hezeroni Msagala, former ngariba and now an activist who is changing initiation practices in her community. Platinum-palladium print.

Ours is a Shield, Mtinko near Singida, Tanzania, 2018

Retired ngariba Amina Hadiya and anti-FGM activist Christowaja Japhet. Platinum-palladium print.

March 20 – Exploring Black Hair Through Abstraction

During this lecture, we will hear from artist Astanté Kindle. Kindle will speak on her personal hair story and how it has inspired her practice. She will also speak to her artistic career and her current solo exhibition of work in the Leu Art Gallery – Convergence: A Personal Investigation of Color, Texture and IdentityThe session will be moderated by Watkins College of Art Assistant Professor of Painting Mandy Rogers Horton.


Ashanté Kindle

Fine Artist

Sounds of Blackness (detail), 2022

Strips, found objects, and acrylic on canvas. 48 x 60 inches.

Infinitely Flowing in the Truth of My Existence (detail), 2021

Acrylic on canvas. 60 x 96 inches. 

April 03 – Finding Experiential Design 

 During this lecture, we will hear from two women that followed different educational pathways, but found careers working within the experiential design space. Katie Barnard and Melba Searcy will speak on how they fell into the world of immersive, experiential design. The session will be moderated by Watkins College of Art Assistant Professor of Experiential Graphic Design Dr. Emmanuel Saka.


Katie Barnard

Senior Associate and Head of Content Strategy at ESI Design



Melba Searcy

Experiential Designer

The Creative Professionals Lecture Series is presented by the Watkins College of Art at Belmont University and made possible through grant funding provided by the Tennessee Arts Commission.