The Maier Museum of Art
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32nd Annual Helen Clark Berlind Symposium

November 4, 2023 @ 1:00 pm - 5:30 pm

32nd Helen Clark Berlind Symposium

The 32nd Annual Helen Clark Berlind Symposium is a day-long program inspired by the 112th Annual Exhibition – Back to Front: Artists’ Books by Women which presents the expansive concept of the book as art, in an array of formats and materials.

Panelists include artists Lyall Harris and Nia Easley, guest curator Martha Chiplis, and Lynora Williams who will moderate.

1 PM – Artist Talk – Nia Easley
2 PM – Artist Talk – Lyall Harris
3 PM – Reception
4 PM – Panel Discussion

Artist talks will give the audience a snapshot of each artist’s career, chronologically describing their path as artists and what led them to artists’ books.

Nia Easley has two books in the exhibition: A Dozen Deaths (2015) and The Last Green Book (2022). A Dozen Deaths is a counter-narrative in the form of twelve stories about Trayvon Martin’s murder. The Last Green Book is a beautiful and thought-provoking book that reveals the precariousness of travel in 1962 Chicago for African-Americans. Easley earned her MFA in Visual Communication Design and practices an art informed by methods of design production. This work engages the absurdity, violence, and beauty of contemporary American life, focusing on our shared histories and how they have shaped the current landscape. She is a Lecturer at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Lyall Harris has three works in the exhibition. Grace (2023) is an artists’ book presented in three different states. Harris’ two additional pieces are collaborations with Patricia Silva. Unapologetic Initiative is a mixed media interactive installation which will engage visitors throughout the run of the exhibition. Without Fault turns questions of conventional beauty upside-down, pointing out the humor and tragedy in vintage beauty guides, with echoes of today’s impossible social media standard of beauty. Harris holds a BA in Art History from Northwestern University and an MFA in Book Art and Creative Writing from Mills College as the inaugural graduate in the nation’s first MFA of this kind. She teaches book art and creative writing workshops and classes, most recently at James Madison University, the University of Virginia, and at the Virginia Center for the Book.

Martha Chiplis curated Back to Front: Artists’ Books by Women. She holds an MFA from the University of Wisconsin, Madison and a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She worked for Sherwin Beach Press as a letterpress printer and designer for 16 years, and currently teaches at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She coauthored For the Love of Letterpress: a Printing Handbook for Instructors and Students, published by Bloomsbury LLC, now in its second edition.

Lynora Williams will moderate the panel. Williams is former director of the National Museum of Women in the Art’s Betty Boyd Dettre Library and Research Center. Williams curated Holding Ground: Artists’ Books for the National Museum of Women in the Arts, opening in conjunction with the grand re-opening of the NMWA in Washington, D.C. following a two-year renovation. Holding Ground also opened the same weekend as Back to Front.

The Berlind Symposium is always held in conjunction with the College’s Annual Exhibition of Contemporary Art. On the occasion of the 80th Annual, friends and family of Helen Clark Berlind, class of 1958, established a symposium to honor her memory. The event has expanded the educational impact of the Annual every year since, hosting scholars and artists to discuss issues relevant to each exhibition.

FREE and open to the public.


November 4, 2023
1:00 pm - 5:30 pm
Event Category:


Kathleen Fort


Maier Museum of Art at Randolph College
1 Quinlan St.
Lynchburg, VA 24503
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