Bill Gaskins returns to MICA as Director of the Photgraphy + Media & Society MFA uniquely suited to lead and take it to the next level. His depth of experience represents a rich tapestry of practice, teaching, and research in photography and media.

Bill Gaskins is an informed and inspired professor, acknowledged by his students and peers for his teaching as a winner of the Watts Prize for Faculty Excellence, Cornell University Department of Art in 2016, and the University Distinguished Teaching Award at the New School University in 2011.

Bill explores questions about visual and media culture in the twenty-first century through photography and media from an interdisciplinary professional and academic foundation that includes his body of arts and culture writing framed through photography, the history of photography, visual and material culture, and American and African American Studies scholarship. A critical entry point for Gaskins’ work is his fascination with the myths of photography, and American life through depictions of race in visual culture.

He is the author of the groundbreaking monograph, Good & Bad Hair: Photographs by Bill Gaskins, and has published essays and reviews in numerous journals including, The Society of Contemporary Craft, Artsy, Exposure The Journal of The Society of Photographic Education, and The New Art Examiner, among others. His relevance as a contemporary artist has garnered attention through books, catalogs, 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.

Critic in Residence: Danni Shen

Danni Shen is an independent curator and writer. She is currently Project Director & Curator of the next Jamaica Flux: Workspaces & Windows 2021 produced by the Jamaica Center for Arts & Learning (JCAL), which commissions new, site-specific, public projects by artists in collaboration with local business and social organizations around Jamaica, Queens, New York. Previous curatorial roles include at SPRING/BREAK Art Show LA Frieze + NY Armory week editions, OUTPUT Shanghai (byoutput), and Empty Gallery—a black-cube space dedicated to time-based, non-object-oriented, interdisciplinary practices physically located in Hong Kong. She is based in New York, where she was also the Curatorial Fellow at Wave Hill, Curator-in-Residence at Residency Unlimited, and Guest Critic at NYU Tisch-ITP. Shen has also managed various media initiatives for Prospect New Orleans U.S. Triennial, ArtsConnection, Empty Gallery, and the Today Art Museum in Beijing included. She is a regular contributor to various publications including BOMB Magazine, The Brooklyn Rail, Hyperallergic, Rhizome, onscreentoday介面, and has written catalogue essays for artists Jillian Mayer, Wonjung Choi, Esperanza Cortés, Mo Kong, and Rina Banerjee among others. Shen is the current recipient of the Art Writing Workshop and the Art Critic Mentoring Program in collaboration with CUE Art Foundation x International Association of Art Critics.

Shen’s curatorial research investigates the intersections of techno-ecological practice, unpacking the anthro- in Anthropocene, and culture as a survival mechanism within post-colonial, digital times + global supply chains. Upcoming exhibitions include at 601artspace, Herkimer Place, and in 2020.