Aracelis Girmay is the author of Kingdom Animalia (BOA Editions, Ltd. 2011) and Teeth (Curbstone Books, 2007) for which she was awarded a Great Lakes College Association New Writers Award. Girmay has taught youth writing workshops in schools and community centers for the past ten years. She is assistant professor of poetry writing at Hampshire College, and also teaches in the MFA program at Drew University in New Jersey. Girmay is a Cave Canem Fellow and an Acentos board member.
Elizabeth Murray (1940-2007) was commissioned to create two large-scale mosaic permanent works in the New York City Subway system: Blooming at 59th St – Lexington Avenue, and this work, titled Stream at 23rd Street-Ely Avenue/Long Island City - Court Square, described in this podcast. Leading the way for female painters in the 1960s and 70s, Murray was an important player in the art world. Often alluding to domestic objects in her work, her bold forms and unconventional construction technique put her at the crest of the abstract movement. She drew inspiration from painters like De Kooning and Cezanne, from life, and from everyday images in cartoons, comic strips, and street art. Her work is animated and playful, but it also reflects a tension between what you can see on the surface, and the formidable structure underneath. Born in Chicago in 1940, Murray earned a BFA at the Art Institute of Chicago and an MFA from Mills College in Oakland, California. The recipient of many awards, Murray received the Skowhegan Medal in Painting in 1986, the Larry Aldrich Prize in Contemporary Art in 1993, and a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Award in 1999. Her work is featured in many collections, including Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. Elizabeth Murray lived and worked in New York.