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 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.


Upcoming Guests:

Jean Shin

Jean Shin is nationally recognized for her monumental installations that transform everyday objects into elegant expressions of identity and community. For each project, she amasses vast collections of a particular object—prescription pill bottles, sports trophies, sweaters—which are often sourced through donations from individuals in a participating community. These intimate objects then become the materials for her conceptually rich sculptures, videos and site-specific installations. Distinguished by her meticulous, labor-intensive process, and her engagement of community, Shin’s arresting installations reflect individuals’ personal lives as well as collective issues that we face as a society. Her work has been widely exhibited in over 150 major museums and cultural institutions. As an accomplished artist practicing in the public realm, she also realizes large-scale, permanent installations commissioned by major public agencies on the federal level as well as city and arts for transit programs. She recently completed a landmark commission for the MTA’s Second Ave Subway at the 63rd Street Station in New York City.

Thursday, November 1 at 7pm
Pre-Event Reception: 5:30pm, University Art Museum

UAlbany Performing Arts Center

Jean Shin
Esmeralda Santiago

Esmeralda Santiago is a founding mother of Nuyorican literature. The eldest in a family of 11 children, Santiago came to the States from Puerto Rico at the age of 13. After eight years of part-time study in community colleges, she transferred to Harvard where she graduated magna cum laude. Santiago’s bestselling 1993 memoir, When I Was Puerto Rican was named one of the “Best Memoirs of a Generation” by Oprah’s Book Club. In 2018, it was one of five finalists for the “One Book, One New York” community-wide reading project. Her second memoir, Almost a Woman (1999), received the American Library Association’s Alex Award, and was adapted for Masterpiece Theatre on PBS. Her epic 2011 novel, set in 19th century Puerto Rico, was hailed as a “triumph” in The Washington Post. Oprah’s O. magazine called it, “A splendid expedition into colonial history complete with enrapturing suspense to the very end.”

Thursday, November 8 at 7pm
Campus Center Ballroom

Esmeraldo Santiago

Past Guests:

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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