Community Engagement March 20 2019

Provost Speaker Series: Artists Titus Kaphar and Mario Moore 

New Orleans La – Award-winning African-American contemporary artists Titus Kaphar and Mario Moore will be the distinguished guests in the Courageous Justice Provost Speaker Series at Xavier University of Louisiana on Wednesday, March 20, at 6:00 p.m. in the Administration Building Auditorium, 1 Drexel Drive. The event, “The Voice of Art: A Conversation with Titus Kaphar and Mario Moore” will be facilitated by Professor Sarah Clunis (Art History) and is free and open to the public. There will be a reception in the University Art Gallery immediately following, where Moore’s work is a featured piece in the exhibit.

Titus Kaphar works with history—history writ large, as well as his own story, familial and personal—to offer a stirring portrait of the here and now. As a result, his body of work is diverse, in both form and substance. In all his work, Kaphar speaks to the most vital discussions happening around race, diversity, and reconciliation in the U.S. As an engrossing keynote speaker—as well as a MacArthur Fellow and TED speaker—Kaphar (who earned a standing ovation for his presentation) exposes how all depictions, no matter how personal or grandiose, are always fictional, imperfect, and capable of being remade. In recognition of his powerful vision, TIME magazine commissioned him to create an artwork in response to the protests in Ferguson, Missouri—freezing in time an unforgettable moment of potential, protest, and civil rights upheaval.

Kaphar is the distinguished recipient of the Gwendolyn Knight and Jacob Lawrence Fellowship as well as the 2015 Creative Capital Award and 2016 Rauschenberg Artist as Activist Fellowship. His work has been included in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the New Britain Museum of American Art, the Yale University Art Gallery, and the Brooklyn Museum, as well as in solo and group exhibitions at Savannah College of Art and Design, the Studio Museum in Harlem (where he was Artist in Residence), the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery and the Seattle Art Museum.

Born in Kalamazoo, Michigan, Kaphar lives and works in New Haven, Connecticut and New York. He received an MFA from the Yale School of Art and a BFA from San Jose State University.

Mario Moore is one of the most dynamic, young standard-bearers depicting the legacy of the Black male. With a painting practice based in figurative realism he teases out complex and psychological transitions between himself in the positions of artist, subject, and viewer through contemporary interpretations of Black male identity. Moore is currently a Hodder Fellow at the Princeton University’s Lewis Center for the Arts, where he is creating large portraits and paintings featuring Black men who work in and around the campus, specifically blue collar workers. 
Moore’s work is included in several public and private collections, which include the Detroit Institute of Art and the Studio Museum in Harlem. Some of his solo show exhibits have been seen at the David Klein Gallery and The Urban Institute of Contemporary Art. His work is also included in Fired Up! Ready to Go! Finding Beauty, Demanding Equity: An African American Life in Art and The Studio Museum in Harlem’s catalog, Speaking of People: Ebony, Jet and Contemporary Art. Locally, Moore’s work is on display in the Xavier University Art Gallery in the exhibit, ICONS: Ideals of Black Masculinity. 

Mario Moore is a Detroit native, currently residing in New York City. Moore received a BFA in Illustration from the College for Creative Studies and an MFA in Painting from the Yale School of Art.

The Provost Speaker Series, which began in 2018, is organized by the XU Office of Academic Affairs and made possible because of a generous gift from Dr. Jack and Deb Forrest. For more information and to get free tickets, visit or call 504-520-5747.