A collage of the Stieren Arts Enrichment Series 2022-23 guest artists
Presenting the 2022-23 Stieren Arts Enrichment Series
Meet this year's seven guest artists
Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Trinity University is pleased to present the 2022-23 Stieren Arts Enrichment Series, which brings to campus a distinguished array of leaders in the fields of art, music, drama, communication, literature, art history, and aesthetics. All events are free and open to the public. For more information, visit Trinity’s events calendar.  

The Stieren Arts Enrichment Series is made possible by an endowment gift from Jane and the late Arthur Stieren of San Antonio. 

Meet Trinity’s seven 2022-23 Stieren guest artists:


Thursday, Sept. 8 at 8 p.m., Stieren Theater

A portrait of Guillermo Gomez-Pena

Guillermo Gómez-Peña is a performance artist, writer, activist, radical pedagogue, and artistic director of the performance troupe La Pocha Nostra. Born in Mexico City,  Mexico, he moved to the U.S. in 1978, and since 1995, his two homes have been San Francisco and Mexico City. 

Gómez-Peña’s performance work and 21 books have contributed to the debates on cultural, generational, and gender diversity, border culture, and North-South relations. His artwork has been presented at over 1,000 venues across the U.S., Canada, Latin America, Europe, Russia, South Africa, and Australia. 

Gómez-Peña is a MacArthur Fellow, USA Artists Fellow, and a Bessie, Guggenheim, and American Book Award winner. He is a regular contributor to newspapers and magazines in the U.S., Mexico, and Europe. Gómez-Peña is also a contributing editor to The Drama Review (NYU-MIT), the Performance Art Week Journal of the Venice Biennale, and emisférica, the publication of the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics (NYU). Gómez-Peña is currently a patron for the London-based Live Art Development Agency and a Senior Fellow at the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics.

Balitronica Gómez, MFA, is a cyborg-feminist poet, performance artist, radical pedagogue, ritual occultist, hereditary witch, and Cabot Priestess. Born and raised on the border of San Diego/Tijuana by a family of multigenerational occultists, she has a background in classical theatre and Victorian Literature and holds a Master of Fine Arts in poetry and writing from Mills College. 

Gómez's performance work has been largely influenced by her time spent living in a 17th-century Catholic convent in Paris, France, with a Dominican order of nuns. Since joining La Pocha Nostra, she has made a full-time performance practice that explores the ideas of ritual psychomagic acts, occult methods of transcendence, and the human body as conduit. She has been touring internationally with Gómez-Peña since 2013 and currently resides between San Francisco, Mexico City, Mexico, and the San Diego/Tijuana Border. Track her current projects online here.

On Thursday, September 8 at 8 p.m. in the Stieren Theater, Guillermo Gómez-Peña presented a brand new spoken-word monologue and “live-action juke-box.” Utilizing a casino roulette to select his spoken word texts and props, Gómez-Peña was unplugged, thinking out loud and articulating the challenges and possibilities of reinvention during confinement and in the midst of multiple pandemics. For more information, visit Trinity's event calendar listing

Faculty Recital: Tuesday, Oct. 18 at 7:30 p.m., Location TBA

Fall Choral Concert: Friday, Oct. 21 at 7:30 p.m., Margarite B. Parker Chapel

A portrait of Chihchun Chi-sun Lee

Taiwanese-American composer Chihchun Chi-sun Lee is the winner of the 1st Biennial Brandenburg Symphony International Composition Competition in Germany and a 2015 Guggenheim Fellow. She has received numerous honors, including commissions from the Boston Symphony Orchestra (as the first Taiwanese and the fourth Asian composer), Fromm Music Foundation at Harvard University (2018 and 2001), Barlow Endowment, the Taiwan National Culture and Arts Foundation, Taiwan National Symphony Orchestra (NSO), National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra (NTSO), National Orchestra of Korea (NOK) and Taiwan National Chinese Orchestra, Theodore Front Prize from International Alliance for Women in Music, ISCM/ League of Composers Competition, International Festival of Women Composers Composition Prize, Florida Individual Artist Fellowship, Gugak Fellowship, and the Golden Melody Awards nomination for “best composer” (2019 and 2009). In 2017, she was honored with an Alumni Achievement Award in Music in Recognition of Outstanding Contribution to Music at Ohio University’s 100th anniversary of its music department.

Lee has written more than 40 compositions for traditional Chinese/Korean/Japanese instruments. Some of her most significant performances have included Carnegie Hall, the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, and the UNESCO International Rostrum of Composers. In addition, her music has been performed and broadcast worldwide in more than 30 countries. 

The October Stieren Arts Enrichment events will feature Chihchun Chi-sun Lee in residence with music professor Chia-wei Lee, D.M.A., and student ensembles. For more information, visit Trinity's events calender listing

Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2023, at 5 p.m., Ruth Taylor Recital Hall

Margo Sawyer: Presence and Absence of Color, Jan. 18 - Feb. 11, 2023, Neidorff Art Gallery

A portrait of Margo Sawyer

Margo Sawyer, MFA, was born in the U.S. and brought up in England, where she received most of her formal education. Sawyer studied foundation at the Brighton Polytechnic Faculty of Art and Design and received an honors bachelor’s degree from the Chelsea School of Art in London. Her interest in contemporary American art led her back to the United States, where she attended the sculpture program at Yale University and received her Master of Fine Arts in 1982. Sawyer is the Jack G. Taylor Regents Professor in Fine Art and a professor of sculpture and extended media in the Department of Art & Art History at the University of Texas at Austin.

Sawyer's work has been exhibited both nationally in New York, Los Angeles, New Haven, Houston, Dallas, and Austin, and internationally in the United Kingdom, Italy, India, Japan, and recently, the United States Embassy in Pristina, Kosovo. Sawyer has received numerous honors and awards for her work, such as the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship, the 84th Legislature Texas State Artist of the Year, The Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Biennial Award, Japan Foundation Fellowship, Fulbright Senior Research Grant to Japan, American Academy in Rome Fellowship, and a Fulbright Grant to India. 

Sawyer’s installations and public artworks unite an array of complex and unexpected unions of color and optical play and explore how transparency, reflectivity, luminosity, physicality, materiality, perceptual, material, and shape affect the psychological effects of color as a window into our multicultural world. Sawyer is fascinated with the relationship between space and transcendence, where architecture and ritual converge in creating unique and memorable experiences capable of restoring a quality of contemplation within our lives. For more information, visit Trinity's events calendar listing.

 “Master Class with David Portillo”

Friday, Feb. 17, 2023, at 7:30 p.m., Ruth Taylor Recital Hall

Tenor David Portillo is a San Antonio native and a proud alumnus of the University of Texas at San Antonio, where he received a Bachelor of Music Education, and the University of North Texas, where he received a Master of Music in vocal performance. He is also an alumnus of the Ryan Opera Center at Lyric Opera of Chicago, Merola Opera Program at San Francisco Opera, and Wolf Trap Opera in Vienna, Virginia.

Portillo has sung at the Salzburg Festival; Carnegie Hall; United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland; and the Orchestre Métropolitain in Montréal, Québec, to name a few. He has performed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Kansas City Symphony, and Richmond Symphony, among many others. Other highlights include performances at Opera Australia, Opera Philadelphia, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, San Diego Opera, Palm Beach Opera, the Saito Kinen Festival in Japan, Wiener Staatsoper, Bayerische Staatsoper, and the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence.

Portillo has been praised by Opera News for showcasing “high notes with ease” and “singing with a luxuriant warm glow that seduced the ear as he bounded about the stage with abandon.” Some of Portillo’s projects for 2022-23 include the lead role of Tamino in The Magic Flute at the Metropolitan Opera, Ferrando in Così fan tutte with the Dallas Opera, Nadir in The Pearl Fishers with Austin Opera, and Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni in Osaka, Japan.

On Friday, Feb. 17, at 7:30 p.m. in the Ruth Taylor Recital Hall, Trinity’s Department of Music will present a vocal master class led by Stieren guest artist David Portillo, featuring Trinity voice students. This master class is free and open to the public. For more information, visit Trinity's events calendar listing. 

Voice Recital with David Portillo, tenor, and Kristin Roach, piano

Saturday, Feb. 18, 2023, at 7:30 p.m., Ruth Taylor Recital Hall

Kristin Roach is a Grammy-nominated pianist and international conductor with 37 new operas and 21 world premieres under her baton. She is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music, where she earned a Bachelor of Music in applied music (piano), the Performer’s Certificate in piano, and a Master of Music in piano performance, literature and piano accompanying, and chamber music. Roach serves as assistant professor of opera at Lawrence University, conductor at the Vocal Academy of Orvieto, and maintains a busy private practice as a vocal coach and pianist.

As founding music director of the Alamo City Opera, Roach has conducted 17 opera productions, including many South Texas premieres. She has appeared as a soloist for four symphony orchestras and as a chamber musician for a number of ensembles. Roach has toured Europe with the Children’s Chorus of San Antonio and St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, performing at the Cathedral of Notre Dame, the Church of the Madeleine, Ely Cathedral, Bristol Cathedral, and York University.

Acclaimed for her “revelatory” and “infectious high spirits” at the keyboard, her recordings include the Trinity Jazz Project, a self-produced collection of her original arrangements of hymn tunes. Her recording of chamber works by Miguel del Aguila with Camerata San Antonio, Salon Buenos Aires, was nominated for two Latin Grammy awards.

On Saturday, Feb. 18, at 7:30 p.m. in Ruth Taylor Recital Hall, the Trinity Department of Music will present a guest voice recital featuring tenor David Portillo and Kristin Roach on the piano. This event is free and open to the public. For more information, visit Trinity's events calendar listing.

“An Evening with Ross Gay”

Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2023, at 8 p.m., Ruth Taylor Recital Hall

Ross Gay is an internationally acclaimed poet and essayist. He is the author of four books of poetry: Against Which, Bringing the Shovel Down, Be Holding: A Poem (winner of the 2021 PEN/Jean Stein Book Award), and Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude (winner of the 2015 National Book Critics Circle Award and the 2016 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Prize Finalist). His first collection of essays, The Book of Delights: Essays, was released in 2019 and was a New York Times Bestseller. His newest collection, Inciting Joy: Essays, was released by Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill in October 2022 and has already been named a Publisher’s Weekly “Best Book of 2022.”

On Tuesday, Feb. 21, at 8 p.m. in the Ruth Taylor Recital Hall, Trinity’s Department of English will host a reading and Q&A with Ross Gay, followed by a book signing. This event is free and open to the public. For more information, visit Trinity's events calendar listing.

Thursday, March 30, 2023, at 7 p.m., Northrup Hall 040, Reception to follow in Northrup Foyer (1st Floor)

a portrait of Sandra Shapshay

Sandra Shapshay, Ph.D., is a professor of philosophy at the City University of New York (CUNY) with appointments at Hunter College and the CUNY Graduate Center. She is a co-editor (with Jonathan Gilmore) of the Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism. Shapshay obtained her doctorate from Columbia University and taught at Indiana University Bloomington before coming to CUNY in 2019. 

Shapshay’s research focuses on contemporary intersections of aesthetics and ethics—especially with respect to public commemorative artworks such as monuments and memorials as well as the aesthetic appreciation of nature—and is informed by 19th-century philosophy (with a focus on Arthur Schopenhauer and Immanuel Kant). Her recent publications include: “What is the Monumental?” in the Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism (2021), “A Two-Tiered Theory of the Sublime” in the British Journal of Aesthetics (2021), and “Kantian Approaches to Ethical Judgment of Art” in the Oxford Handbook of Art and Ethics, ed. James Harold (forthcoming). Shapshay has also published widely in 19th-century German philosophy. For example, she recently published a monograph Reconstructing Schopenhauer’s Ethics: Hope, Compassion, and Animal Welfare (Oxford University Press, 2019).

Contemporary debates between "removalists" and "preservationists" of monuments tend to focus entirely on the moral and political-philosophical dimensions of these structures. Largely ignored, however, are questions about the aesthetics of monuments. Shapshay’s project imports some crucial but neglected dimensions of value into these debates—aesthetic, artistic, historical, age, and “sense of place” value—by focusing on the affective-cognitive aspects of monuments qua works of public commemorative art. She argues that, in some cases, aesthetic (rather than moral or political) considerations are powerful enough to tip the balance toward preservation or removal.

For more information about the event, visit Trinity’s events calendar listing.

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