Woodward Lecture Series

1998 – 2016
100 public lectures and counting

Since 1998, The CCS Woodward Lecture Series has remained one of Southeast Michigan’s most prominent visiting speaker series, attracting over 100 renowned artists, critics and scholars to Detroit.  It’s an invaluable resource for CCS students and the public alike, and central to CCS’s interdisciplinary curriculum.  In addition to public lectures, Woodward Lecturers directly engage with CCS students through critiques and roundtable discussions, fostering a greater understanding of and appreciation for contemporary art and culture.  The Series is made possible by a generous endowment gift from an anonymous donor.


John Sims WLSJohn Sims

Conceptual artist

Thursday, March 2, 2017 at 6:30 p.m.

John Sims, a Detroit native is an interdisciplinary conceptual artist, creating multimedia projects spanning the areas of mathematics, art, text, performance and political-media activism. His main projects are informed by the vocabulary of mathematical structure, the politics of sacred symbols and poetic reflections. He is currently completing Recoloration Proclamation, a 15-year multi-media project which explores the complexity of identity, cultural appropriation and visual terrorism in the context of Confederate iconography and African-American culture. This project features recolored Confederate flags, installations, a play, a documentary film and a music project, leading to him  organizing a 15 state simultaneous burying of the Confederate flag across the American south in 2015 in honor of the 150th anniversary of the end of the civil war.   As the former coordinator of mathematics at Ringling College Art and Design in Sarasota, Florida, he designed a visual mathematics curriculum for artists and visual thinkers.  Sims has lectured and exhibited nationally and internationally including Hungary, Spain, Slovenia, Israel and Argentina. He has worked with Sol LeWitt, Karen Finley, Dread Scott, DJ Spooky and Amiri Baraka. His work has been featured in Art in America, Sculpture, BOMB magazine, Hyperalleric, Guernica, FiberArts, NYArts, Science News, Nature, The Guardian, TheRoot, TheGrio, CNN, the New York Times and the Washington Post.

Lesley Dill WLSLesley Dill

Print media artist

Thursday, April 6, 2017 at 6:30 p.m.

Lesley Dill is one of the most prominent American artists working at the intersection of language and fine art. Her elegant sculptures, art installations, mixed-media photographs, and evocative performances draw from both her travels abroad and profound interests in spirituality and the world’s faith traditions. Exploring the power of words to cloak and reveal the psyche, Dill invests new meaning in the human form. Intellectually and aesthetical engaging, the core of her work emerges from an essential, visionary awareness of the world.  The artist has been the focus of two retrospective exhibitions, which traveled widely. Her awards include a sculpture fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and a grant from the Joan Mitchell Foundation.  Dill’s work has been widely exhibited and is in the collections of many institutions, including Albright Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo; Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland; Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City; the Museum of Modern Art, New York City; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. The artist is represented by George Adams Gallery, New York, and Arthur Roger Gallery, New Orleans.

Lectures takes place in the Wendell W. Anderson Jr. Auditorium inside the Walter B. Ford II Building, CCS
The Woodward Lecture Series is made possible by a generous endowment gift from an anonymous donor.
All lectures are free, open to the public.  Seating and parking are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

More Information

For additional information, please call 313.664.7800.

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 WLS Past Lecturers





















  • All lectures are free and open to the public.
  • Seating and parking are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Free parking available in the CCS Parking Structure, located on Brush Street, just north of Frederick Douglass.

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