Artist Titus Kaphar to discuss The Jerome Project and other artworks

Titus Kaphar will speak about The Jerome Project, The Vesper Project, and his other artworks in the second session of the Spiro Lecture Series, titled “Learning to See.”

The talk will begin at 5 p.m. in the Beaumont Room of the Sterling Hall of Medicine, 333 Cedar St., on Thursday, Feb. 25. Refreshments will be served. Hosted by the Program for Humanities in Medicine, the event is free and the public is invited.

Kaphar is a widely exhibited artist based in New Haven. His artworks interact with the history of art by appropriating its styles and mediums. The Jerome Project began while he was researching his father’s prison records and came across a number of men who shared his father’s full name. Intrigued by this pattern, Kaphar began a series of small portraits of the men based on their “mug shots.” The Jerome Project (Asphalt and Chalk) XXII, 2015 represents a new phase of this project and investigates racial injustice through the vagaries of the justice and penal systems in contemporary American society. 

Kaphar’s installation The Vesper Project, 2013 is currently on tour across the United States in venues that include the Lois and Richard Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Arts, Cincinnati, and the Katzen Arts Center at American University. It is a culmination of Kaphar’s five-year engagement with surviving members of the historical Vesper family, who unearth lost storylines of psychological trauma and oppression. 

Kaphar received an M.F.A. from the Yale School of Art. His work has been exhibited at Savannah College of Art and Design, the Studio Museum in Harlem, and the Seattle Art Museum. Kaphar’s art is included in the collections of the New Britain Museum of American Art, the Seattle Art Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Studio Museum in Harlem. In 2014, TIME commissioned Kaphar to create an artwork in response to protests in Ferguson.

The Learning to See series is sponsored by the Barwick Fund. The Titus Kaphar session is also co-sponsored by SNMA/LMSA.