The Creative Life

The Creative Life: A Conversation Series at UAlbany

Created and produced by the University Art Museum, NYS Writers Institute and UAlbany Performing Arts Center in collaboration with WAMC Northeast Public Radio, this original series features leading figures from a variety of artistic disciplines in conversation about their creative inspirations, their craft and their careers. "Roundtable" host Joe Donahue conducts live on-stage interviews followed by a Q&A with the audience.

Series funded by The University at Albany Foundation, The John D. Picotte Family Foundation and Stewart’s Shops/Dake Family with additional support provided by the College of Arts and Sciences, Office of the Provost, Alumni Association and University Auxiliary Services.


2019-2020 Series

Jerry Saltz - Wednesday, September 23 at 7pm

Jerry Saltz is one of the most influential-and popular-culture writers working today. Since 2006, he has been senior art critic and columnist for New York Magazine. Formerly the senior art critic for The Village Voice, he received the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism in 2018 and was nominated for the award in 2001 and 2006. He has also contributed to Art in America, Flash Art International, Frieze and Modern Painters.  

For two seasons, he was a judge on Bravo's Work of Art: The Next Great Artist. Saltz served as a visiting critic at The School of Visual Arts, Columbia University, Yale University, and The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the New York Studio Residency Program, and was the sole advisor for the 1995 Whitney Biennial. Saltz’s new book, How to Be An Artist, is full of practical inspiration for creative people of all kinds - brimming with dozens of brand new rules, prompts, exercises and tips designed to break through creative blocks, ignite motivation, conquer bad habits and help artists of all kinds to realize their dreams.

Before the conversation, there will be a book signing and reception at the University Art Museum starting at 6pm.

Jerry Saltz photo courtesy of Pulitzer Foundation

Jerry Saltz photo courtesy of Pulitzer Foundation

Past Guests:

Jhumpa Lahiri - January 30, 2020
Novelist and short-story writer 
Author of The Lowland (2014), Unaccustomed Earth (2009) and The Namesake (2004)


Philippe Petit - October 3, 2019
High wire artist
Star of Man on Wire


Susan Orlean - March 1, 2019
Author of The Orchid Thief


Jean Shin - November 1, 2018
Noted sculptor
Art curator
Public installation artist


Patti LuPone - April 26, 2018
Actress, singer, Broadway star
Grammy & Tony Award winner
New York Times best-selling author


Lois Lowry - November 10, 2017
Author of The Giver & Number the Stars
Newbery Medal winner
Leading voice of children's literature


Regina Carter - February 11, 2017
Violin virtuoso
Jazz artist and improviser
MacArthur Fellow


Joyce Carol Oates - September 15, 2016
Novelist, poet and essayist
Pulitzer Prize finalist
New York Times best-selling author

Rakim - October 28, 2019
Rapper and MC
Part of the rap duo Eric B. & Rakim


Paul Reiser - April 4, 2019 
Actor & author
Star of Mad About You


Esmeralda Santiago - November 8, 2018
Author & essayist
Social activist
Documentary film writer


Bibbe Hansen - September 5, 2018
Performance artist
Star of Andy Warhol films


Garth Fagan - March 28, 2018
Lion King Choreographer
Tony Award winner
Dance company founder


David Salle - March 23, 2017
Renowned painter
Film and stage designer
Author on fine art


Savion Glover - October 15, 2016
Dancer, choreographer and hoofer
Tony Award nominee and winner
Broadway, television and film star