Bill Gaskins, Award-Winning Associate Professor at Cornell University, Speaks to Students

On Tuesday, February 26, Mr. Bill Gaskins, an award-winning Associate Professor in the Cornell University Department of Art, spoke during Archmere's assembly to the student body. As an artist and essayist, Bill Gaskins explores the possibilities of portraiture in photography and cinema from an interdisciplinary foundation that includes journalism, the history of photography and art, and American and African American Studies.

Believing that "contemporary art can help us make sense of the times we live in and inspire conversations of substance between strangers that in turn help us to see our common selves through the perspective of others", Bill shared examples of his work and engaged the students and faculty through his path as an artist and the making of his short film, The Meaning of Hope.

From Bill: "The 'Meaning of Hope' renders a conversation between citizens of the City of Detroit on the topic of hope, a conversation on an unexpected topic in an unexpected place. This conversation is dramatically underscored by an unexpected point of view through an unexpected source. The 'Meaning of Hope' is not a film about Detroit, nor is it a documentary film. Part fact, part fiction, The 'Meaning of Hope' is a film about an essential necessity of twenty first century life on Earth that ends with a moving mix of wit, wisdom, poetry and power from Detroit."

Bill's interest in representations of African American life in visual and popular culture are important entry points for his work. His relevance as a contemporary artist has garnered attention through journals, books, catalogs as well as solo and group exhibitions at major venues including the Crocker Museum of Art, Brooklyn Museum of Art, Detroit Institute of Arts, and The Smithsonian Institution.

Bill teaches undergraduate research seminars, studio courses, and guides students in the MFA program in Art. He is also on the faculty of the Program in African American Studies at Cornell where he teaches seminar courses on race and visual representation, and the histories of photography.

Click here for link to the trailer for The Meaning of Hope on Vimeo that presents the effect of the film on a group of viewers rather than its content.

For Bill's profile, click here.

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