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Mark Finlay Memorial Lecture

Jerry Saltz, Pulitzer Prize-winning art critic at the Armstrong Campus Fine Arts Theatre Nov. 9, 2023

Art critic, author, and columnist Jerry Saltz  will be at Georgia Southern University’s Armstrong Campus Thursday, November 9, as the Mark Finlay Memorial Lecture Series speaker. Jerry’s 60-min lecture, The Art World Problem, will be start at 6 p.m at the Fine Arts Theatre followed by a 15-min Q&A. A book signing will follow 7:15 – 8:15 p.m. The lecture is hosted by the College of Arts and Humanities and co-sponsored by the Betty Foy Sanders Department of Art and the Telfair Museums. The event is free and open to the public as space allows. The Fine Arts Theatre is located at 11935 Abercorn St. in Savannah.

Jerry Saltz is the Senior Art Critic for  “New York” magazine, where he writes about the constantly shifting dynamics of the art world, from up-and-coming artists to billionaire collectors to the role of criticism. Hailed as a “critic of the people” by “Architectural Digest,” he democratizes art for a broad audience through his irreverent column and his social media channels, where has nearly one million followers. In 2018, he won the Pulitzer Prize in Criticism for “My Life as a Failed Artist,” an essay about how his disappointing career as an artist is responsible for his success as a critic. In his entertaining lectures, Saltz dispenses valuable advice for amateurs and professionals alike, along with sharp analysis of the role of criticism in the art world today.

Born and raised in Chicago and now residing in New York City, Saltz has been a columnist for “New York” magazine since 2007. Formerly, he was the senior art critic for “The Village Voice” for almost 10 years, where he was twice nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. A frequent guest lecturer, he has spoken at the Museum of Modern Art, the Guggenheim, the Whitney Museum, and many others, and has appeared at Harvard, Yale, Columbia, the Rhode Island School of Design, the Art Institute of Chicago, and elsewhere. He has also contributed to “Art in America,” “Flash Art International,” “Frieze,” and “Modern Painters”—among other publications.

The Mark Finlay Memorial Lecture Series was created in honor of Mark Finlay, a Professor of History and Assistant Dean of the College of Liberal Arts at the current Armstrong campus. Mark was well-published, and his last major work, a book entitled Growing American Rubber, won a national book award. He was, undoubtedly, one of the most well-respected faculty and administrators at Armstrong State University in Savannah.

Unfortunately, Mark died in an accident that left a sorrowful emptiness in many lives, particularly for his widow, Kelly Applegate, and his two sons, Ellis and Greyson. For eight years, the Series has featured prominent nationally and internationally acclaimed speakers. The series began in 2015 with rockstar Chuck Leavell, an environmentalist and Rolling Stones pianist, who spoke about his work in forestry conservation. The series will conclude with Jerry Saltz, the rockstar of the art world.

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Below is a list of the prior speakers:

Last updated: 9/12/2023