Ouachita Baptist University will host Rick Poynor Sept. 16 at 7:30 p.m. as part of the university’s endowed Birkett Williams lecture series. Poynor’s lecture, “All Art Aspires to the Condition of Music (or vice versa),” will be held in Mabee Fine Arts Center’s McBeth Recital Hall on Ouachita’s campus and is open to the public and free of charge.
Poynor is an internationally recognized writer, editor, critic and curator specializing in design, media and visual culture. He was the founding editor of “Eye” magazine in London as well as the “Design Observer,” a leading design weblog. Poynor has also been a columnist for “Print” magazine in New York and has contributed chapters and essays to many books on art and design. His writing has appeared in such international publications as “I.D.,” “Metropolis,” “Harvard Design Magazine,” “Blueprint,” “Icon” and “The Guardian.”
“OBU and HSU students, faculty and staff, including the Arkadelphia community, are most fortunate to have the opportunity to attend Mr. Poynor’s lecture,” said Dr. Raouf Halaby, OBU professor of visual arts and English. “It is quite an honor to have someone of his stature in our midst to enlighten us and to bring the outside world to our community.”
In Thursday’s illustrated lecture, Poynor will explore the relationship between art and music, taking his cue from art critic Walter Pater’s assertion that “all art constantly aspires to the condition of music.”
He will focus primarily on three contemporary figures: Brian Eno, David Byrne and Russell Mills. Eno and Byrne both attended art school prior to careers as successful rock musicians, and both went on to produce visual art. Mills, a visual artist and designer, has “a deep commitment to music,” according to Poynor, and continually intersects the visual and auditory in his work. Relatively early in his career, Poynor provided commentary for “More Dark than Shark,” a collaborative book by Eno and Mills which featured lyrics to Eno’s songs accompanied by artwork created by Mills which was inspired by those lyrics in addition to explanatory notes from the two artists.
Poynor has written 14 books including “No More Rules: Graphic Design and Postmodernism,” “Travels in Visual Culture,” and his latest, “Jan van Toorn: Critical Practice.” In 1999, he co-organized “First Things First 2000,” a manifesto urging responsibility in design. The manifesto was signed by more than 30 leading visual communicators and spurred international debate. Poynor was also recently featured in the documentary film “Helvetica,” which was released internationally to wide acclaim.
Ouachita’s Birkett Williams lecture series was established in 1977 through a gift from the late Birkett L. Williams, a 1910 Ouachita graduate. His generous endowment established the lectures as an opportunity to extend the concepts of a liberal arts education beyond the classroom by bringing outstanding scholars and public figures to Ouachita’s campus.
For more information, contact Summer Bruch at email@example.com (870) 245-4655.