Our Own Work, Our Own Way: A Panel Discussion
Wednesday, May 17 | 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. | Galleries open 6:00 p.m. | Panel at 6:45 p.m.
During closing week of Our Own Work, Our Own Way: Ascendant Women Artists in the Johnson Collection, join us for a panel discussion featuring South Carolina women — representing several professional disciplines including education, law, art, and activism — fighting for equal rights and advancement of women in the world. Jackie Adams, CMA director of art and learning, moderates a conversation between Jeanet Dreskin-Haig, artist in Our Own Work, Our Own Way; Malissa Burnette, civil rights attorney; Jennifer Bartell Boykin, educator and Columbia’s new poet laureate; Nakisa Beigi, proud Iranian American artist and upcoming ArtFields participant; and Kenya Cummings, community organizer for Women’s Rights Empowerment Network.
$10 / $8 for members / free for students. Gallery admission included. Join Today!
Jackie Adams serves as director of art and learning at the CMA. She has worked for over 20 years in nonprofit arts and gallery management as well as studio practice and K-12 and higher education, teaching at Richland School District One, Columbia College, and the SC Governors School for the Arts and Humanities. Adams holds a BA in studio art from Columbia College and an MA in arts administration from Winthrop University.
Nakisa Beigi is an Iranian-born visual artist who lives and works in the United States. She earned her MFA in drawing from the University of South Carolina’s School of Visual Art and Design and now serves as an adjunct professor there. Her artwork is related to personal history, often combining traditional Persian imagery with contemporary elements to create unique pieces that reflect her experiences as an immigrant living between two cultures. Beigi’s art explores themes of identity, gender, politics, and cultural experiences in her homeland country. Her work aims to probe these experiences by integrating historical motifs with imagery taken from popular culture and contemporary media. She uses elements of the relationship between individual stories and collective memory and explores the possibilities of representing Iranian art and culture using inspirations from her background. Beigi’s interdisciplinary work combines traditional design and studio art practices with foci on design, human interaction, storytelling, typography, illustration, painting, drawing, photography, collage, installation, sculpture, and performance art.
Born and raised in Bluefield, a community of Johnsonville, South Carolina, Jennifer Bartell Boykin is the second-ever poet laureate of the City of Columbia. She received her MFA in poetry from the University of South Carolina. Her poetry has been published in Obsidian, Callaloo, pluck!, As/Us, Jasper Magazine, the museum americana, Scalawag, and Kakalak, among others. An alumna of Agnes Scott College, Boykin has fellowships from Callaloo and The Watering Hole. She teaches high school English at Spring Valley High School. Her debut book of poetry, Traveling Mercy (Finishing Line Press), will be released in November 2023.
A certified specialist in employment law since 1993, Malissa Burnette has a long history of fighting for social justice in cases that change lives. She worked on a federal case that opened the doors of state-supported military schools to women. In South Carolina, Burnette represented Tara Bailey in a case that made it clear: girls can play contact sports in S.C. public schools. More recently, she and Nekki Shutt, fellow founding partner of Burnette, Shutt, & McDaniel, PA, were lead counsel in the case that made same-sex marriage legal in South Carolina.
Kenya Cummings serves as WREN’s community organizer and has a decade of organizing experience. They use their commitment to community voices to help support advocacy for change. They graduated from the University of Kentucky with a Bachelor of Science in family science with a minor in African American studies as well as the Methodist Theological School in Ohio with a Master of Divinity. Cummings lives in the Lowcountry and is the owner, lead healer, and consultant of Creative Wellness Revival.
Jeanet Dreskin-Haig is a studio artist working in printmaking, ceramics, drawing, painting, photography, and mixed media. Her work in both 2D and 3D incorporates a common aesthetic, with concerns for color, space, layering, line quality, and energy. Frequently the imagery is abstracted from nature and often involves imposing geometry on the organic forms, visually creating multiple levels. Dreskin-Haig has an undergraduate degree in art from Smith College and an MFA in printmaking from the University of Michigan. Earlier in her career, she taught printmaking, drawing, and design at the college level. Currently she produces prints, drawings, paintings, photographs, ceramics, and mixed-media works in her home studio. Dreskin-Haig is the director of the North Dallas Artist Studio Tour, and her studio has been on the tour since 2010. She joins her sketching group, Artist Out and About DFW, to draw weekly in locations around the metroplex.