Art-Making in a Vexed Era

Pictured Above: Kyle Marshall. Photo Credit: Tony Turner.



Princeton, NJ –  Princeton University’s Lewis Center for the Arts continues The Atelier@Large conversation series that brings guest artists and intellectuals to campus to discuss the challenges they face in making art in the modern world. For the second conversation in the 2023-24 series, Princeton’s Howard G.B. Clark ’21 University Professor in the Humanities and Director of the Princeton Atelier Paul Muldoon will be joined by Bessie Award-winning choreographer Kyle Marshall and acclaimed fiction writer Lorrie Moore. The event begins at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, October 10, in Richardson Auditorium on Princeton’s campus.

The Princeton Atelier, currently directed by Muldoon, was founded in 1994 by Toni Morrison, Nobel Laureate and Robert F. Goheen Professor in the Humanities, Emeritus, at the University. The Atelier brings together professional artists from different disciplines and Princeton students to create new work in the context of a semester-long course that culminates in the public presentation of that new work. Recent artists have included Stew, Laurie Anderson, the improv group Baby Wants Candy, and the Wakka Wakka Puppet Theatre. The Atelier@Large series, established in 2021, is an extension of the Princeton Atelier that brings guest artists and intellectuals to campus to speak on art’s role in the modern world. Among recent guests were Jennifer Egan, Joy Harjo, Jennifer Homans, Michael J. Love, Jonathan Majors, Darryl (Run DMC) McDaniels, Anais Mitchell, Suzanne Nossel, Lynn Nottage, Claudia Rankine, and Tom Stoppard. This year’s series is cosponsored by Labyrinth Books.

“Being an artist is tough enough at the best of times,” says Muldoon, “but it’s particularly difficult just now. Artists are coming under pressure from numerous orthodoxies, to both left and right, as to what they must or must not do. Most insidious, perhaps, is the form of self-censorship that has artists second guessing themselves. In addition to honoring some of our finest minds, The Atelier@Large series provides a rare enough forum in which some of these ideas may be aired.”

Pictured Above: Lorrie Moore Photo Credit: Contributed. 

Kyle Marshall is a choreographer, performer, teacher and artistic director of Kyle Marshall Choreography (KMC), a dance company that sees the dancing body as a container of history, an igniter of social reform and a site of celebration. Since inception in 2014, KMC has performed at venues including Chelsea Factory, BAM Next Wave Festival, Jacob’s Pillow Inside/Out, Actors Fund Arts Center, New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Little Island, and Roulette. Marshall has received choreographic and dance film commissions from the Baryshnikov Arts Center, “Dance on the Lawn,” Montclair’s Dance Festival, Harlem Stage and The Shed. In 2020, he received a Dance Magazine Harkness Promise Award, and he has held residencies at the 92nd Street Y, Center for Performance Research, Jamaica Performing Arts Center, and Mana Contemporary. In June 2021, Marshall was named a Caroline Hearst Choreographer-in-Residence by the Lewis Center’s Program in Dance. During his residency at Princeton, he created and staged a new dance work with Princeton students that was performed in the 2021 Princeton Dance Festival.

Lorrie Moore’s work has been published in over a dozen languages. She is the author of the short story collections Self-Help, Like Life, Birds of America, and Bark; three novels including Anagrams, Who Will Run the Frog Hospital?, and A Gate at the Stairs; and a children’s novel, The Forgotten Helper. Moore has also written cultural criticism and essays for The New York Review of Books, The New YorkerYale Review, The Atlantic, and other publications. She has won the Rome Prize, the Berlin Prize, a Pushcart Prize, the O. Henry Award, The Irish Times International Fiction Prize, the Rea Award for the Short Story, the PEN/Malamud Award for Short Fiction, and the Finn Zinklar Award for the Short Story. In 2001, Moore was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and to the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2006. She is currently the Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Professor of English and Creative Writing at Vanderbilt University.

Paul Muldoon is the Howard G.B. Clark ’21 University Professor in the Humanities at Princeton, as well as the founding chair of the Lewis Center for the Arts. As an internationally renowned Irish poet, Muldoon has been described by The Times Literary Supplement as “the most significant English-language poet born since the second World War.” Muldoon won the Pulitzer Prize for his ninth collection of poems, Moy Sand and Gravel (2002). His 14th volume of poems, Howdie-Skelp, was released in 2021 by Farrar Straus & Giroux. His 15th, Joy in Service on Rue Tagore, will appear in April 2024. 

Additional events in the Atelier@Large conversation series this year include:

  • Andrey Kurkov and Alan Lightman on November 14
  • Jennifer Finney Boylan and Bridget Kearney on February 13

The event is free and open to the public, but tickets are required through University Ticketing. Guests in need of access accommodations are invited to contact the Lewis Center at at least one week prior to the event date.

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