Artist and activist Stacey L. Kirby to speak on Election Day
VALIDnation, Anti-HB2 Mass Sit-in, NC Legislative Building, Raleigh, NC

VALIDnation, Anti-HB2 Mass Sit-in, NC Legislative Building, Raleigh, NC. Photo by Marie Garlock

The Smith Gallery at Appalachian State University is pleased to host artist Stacey L. Kirby on November 6 and 7 for a site visit and community research that will culminate in an exhibition and commissioned performance in Spring 2019. As part of her fall visit, Kirby will give a public artist talk on Tuesday, November 6th at 6pm at the Turchin Center For the Visual Arts Lecture Hall. This programming was planned to coincide with election day, in order to connect this day of civic duty with Kirby’s practice as an artist deeply engaged with issues of civil rights and political participation. 

Kirby is a queer artist based in Durham, North Carolina, who creates audience driven performances and installations that take place both at traditional venues and out on the streets. Her work seeks to engage viewers as participants through interactions that put the individual experiences of participants into dialog with political activism and broader social politics. Kirby was awarded a prestigious Art Prize Juried Grand Prize, and a NC Arts Council Artist Fellowship for Visual Artists, and she has been nominated for the Anonymous Was A Woman Award. She has shown her work both regionally and nationally at venues such as the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, Contemporary Art Museum (Raleigh, NC), Bard College, and Fraction Workspace (Chicago, IL). Recently, Kirby designed a billboard for 21c Museum Hotels in Durham, North Carolina. 21c also supported Kirby’s performance, CIVIL PRESENCE, as a segment of the national For Freedoms’ 50 State Initiative.

The Power of the Ballot, Nasher Museum of Art, Duke University  Credit: Jay Caldwell

The Power of the Ballot, Nasher Museum of Art, Duke University. Photo by Jay Caldwell

“The Smith Gallery is thrilled to bring this outstanding artist to campus this year,” said Gallery Director Jennie Carlisle. “There is so much we can learn from her about how creative practices can be used effectively for social change, and how we can see ourselves within the broader field of social politics. Stacey Kirby’s presence on campus will provide our community with an opportunity to deepen our connection to important civic issues from immigration rights to support for LGBTQ individuals.”