The Arts Council of Princeton continues its monthly series of virtual conversations between artists on and curators on Tuesday, July 7, with a discussion between Mario Moore and James Steward.

Mario Moore

Moore is a New York City-based artist who had recently been awarded a Princeton Hodder Fellowship for 2018-’19 and exhibited his portraits of Princeton University’s Black employees.

Steward is the director of the Princeton University Art Museum. The talk is being held in collaboration with the museum.

A Detroit native, the 33-year-old artist has work in several public and private collections, including the Detroit Institute of Art and the Studio Museum in Harlem, and has been the subject of solo shows at the David Klein Gallery in Detroit and Urban Institute of Contemporary Art in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

James Steward

Several of his Princeton portraits have been added to the Princeton University Art Museum’s permanent collection.

In a statement, Moore says his “artwork is grounded mostly in painting, and I think about how human stories are described in 17th-century Baroque European painting. The drama and almost stage-like setting of those paintings created a sense of urgency within those images, but the depiction of the Black body was missing from those narratives. Or if Black people were painted in them they almost appear as shadows and secondary to the central narrative of the work. My artwork expands upon this history of painting by talking about issues and concepts that are connected to my personal experiences and those who are close to me.”

His Princeton works were created “in honor of my father and other blue-collar workers. For this exhibition, I set out to meet Black men and women who work in and around Princeton University and let the process unfold from our interaction.”

He adds that the series walked “a tight line between the expectation of how Black people are seen in blue-collar jobs versus the true representation of them — making them visible.”

Mario Moore and James Steward, Arts Council of Princeton. Tuesday, July 7, 7 to 8 p.m. Free. Register.

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