Annual Braun Memorial Lecture welcomes well-known artist


Courtesy of Oakland University

Artist Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons, whose work has been featured in the Smithsonian, will be speaking at the Jean and Fred Braun Memorial Lecture on Wednesday, Nov. 13.

A renowned artist is coming to Oakland University to share her knowledge, history and talent with students.

Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons is an artist whose work has been featured in more than 30 museums throughout North America, including the Smithsonian. Her work is described as autobiographical, using themes such as history, memory, gender and religion.

Campos-Pons will be speaking at the Jean and Fred Braun Memorial Lecture, taking place Nov. 13 at 7 p.m. in Meadow Brook Hall.

The memorial lecture was established in 1986 by Jean Braun, who was a professor emerita of psychology and former chair at OU. She founded the lecture after her husband, who had a deep appreciation for visual arts, passed away.

Stephen Goody, a professor of art and chair of the Department of Art and Art History, said the annual lecture allows the university to bring in art historians, designers and artists to speak to students. He suggested Campos-Pons for this year’s Braun lecture.

“Over the years, our community has been exposed to an impressive number of national and international makers and creators of culture in the visual arts,” he said via email.

Goody was involved in the installation of some of Campos-Pons’ work at Sunset Terrace, the president’s home at OU. He said Campos-Pons will be talking about 

her work and her artistic journey during the lecture.

“It’s a poignant, intriguing composite work of 12 photographs, with two self-portraits, hung in a grid about 7 feet wide by 6 feet high,” he said via email. “In talking with Dr. Pescovitz about the work, we thought it would be a great opportunity for us to have an artist of Campos Pons’ stature speak at Oakland.”

John Corso Esquivel, an associate professor of art history, studied with Campos-Pons during his schooling at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University. He said even though Campos-Pons’ work is complex, it is an approachable contemporary art.

“People will be able to access the images right away,” he said. “You’re not going to need to know too much background to be able to enjoy it right off the bat.”

Corso said he sees a lot of joy in her work and thinks she uses gorgeous colors in order to portray strength, resistance and resilience.

From his experience with Campos-Pons, Corso said she is a storyteller. During the lecture, he predicts she will likely show a range of images that come from different periods and talk about her own background.

“I think you’re just going to see this generous, wonderful person,” he said.

The event is free and open to the public, though seating will be limited. Interested students can RSVP on the Office of the Provost page on the OU website. For more information about the event, contact Stephen Goody.