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  • Writer's pictureMaryam Marne Zafar

All About The Arts: The Mia Friends Lecture Committee

The Friends Lecture Committee was created to bring nationally and internationally known scholars, artists and others in the art world to speak at Mia. We strive for compelling and informative talks about all things artistic, including painting and prints, sculpture, new media, architecture, photography and the many histories of art.

The Lecture Series is supported by the Mark and Mary Goff Fiterman Fund, and we follow the Fiterman Fund guidelines and budget and work closely with their trust officer, Kris Erickson. For background, Mary Goff Fiterman was a long-time member and benefactor of the Friends of the Institute of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, where she sponsored the Mary and Mark Fiterman Lecture Series, which brought nationally and internationally known scholars, artists, and others in the art world to Minneapolis each year.


We gather at monthly meetings September through June and discuss who and why a speaker would be of interest to Mia’s current and prospective audiences. After selections are made by our committee, we draft a list of prospective speakers for approval and submit our list to the Friends board and to Mia (Matthew Welch, the Deputy Director and Chief Curator).


Once we have a list of Mia-approved speakers, we then work to select nine from the list for a well-rounded season. We consider the diversity of the speakers, the variety of topics (architecture, photography, fashion, curators, artists), where the lecture location is to be (for example, the Pillsbury Auditorium, the Wells Fargo Room)and of course the budget. Committee members coordinate and host the selected speakers - overseeing the paperwork, dinner, travel, lodging, and providing information on the lecture for the Friends newsletter.


The Friends Lecture Committee’s newest focus on is on expanding the wider range of audiences by removing some of the barriers to attending these talks. To that end, we have added a diversity of lecture times including early evenings and weekend afternoons. We believe that looking at when – and occasionally, where – our talks are held will definitely allow for a broader audience to attend.


Upcoming this January 2024, The Friends Lecture Committee present “Doug Argue: My Life in Paintings” which will be held on Saturday, January 20th at 2:00 pm in the Pillsbury Auditorium.


Born in Saint Paul, Minnesota, New York City-based artist Doug Argue’s thirty-year painting career has culminated in a striking body of abstract work that encompasses a diversity of mediums and formats. Argue’s work has been the subject of numerous solo exhibitions including at the Richard Heller Gallery, Santa Monica, and in New York, Edelman Arts and Haunch of Venison. Most recently, two of his paintings were commissioned for the lobby of One World Trade Center in Manhattan. His work is held in the collections of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Walker Art Center, Weisman Art Museum, and numerous corporate and private collections. Argue has been the recipient of multiple awards including a Pollock-Krasner Foundation grant (1995) and the Rome Prize (1997). Don't miss this event – tickets go on sale on December 15th!

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