Liz Roberts and students. Photo: Ada Matusiewicz
Filmmaker and visual artist Liz Roberts is no stranger to the Wex: earlier this year she taught Un-Selfie Video, a popular WexLab, and had work featured in Ohio Shorts. So we’re excited to have her join us on January 9 for Super Empowered, a brand new WexLab designed for girls ages 13–18 focused on digital video production and critically assessing representations of girls and women in the media. There are still spots available for the free, one-day course; register here.
On the cusp of Super Empowered, we wanted to hear from Liz about the course and her work; read on below.
Let’s start with the basics: what can students who sign up expect?
Students who sign up for the workshop can expect a quick primer in looking critically at media, followed by a fun, thoughtful and playful workshop that teaches video production basics. At the end of the day we screen the videos made by the students.
Can you talk a bit about your practice? Are there particular moments or artists or influences that solidified film and moving images as one of your media of choice?
I was originally trained in 16mm film production by Leighton Pierce, who remains an important influence, at the University of Iowa. When I moved to Columbus four years ago and went to graduate school at Columbus College of Art & Design, I was influenced by the fine arts department—specifically sculpture—and became intrigued by placing the moving image in physical space, rather than on a screen. I still make single-channel videos, but my current practice primarily consists of projecting moving images onto objects and/or screens in spaces where the viewer can move around, freed from their seat.
The Wex exhibited one of my favorite video installation artists, Pipilotti Rist. I also admire Joan Jonas as an early video art pioneer.
How does this wexLab differ from your Un-Selfie course?
The Un-Selfie course focused on taking the selfie back to the self-portrait and finding different ways to show yourself as how you want to be seen. Super Empowered also addresses self-representation, with the goal of unlocking the superpower of your unique perspective: finding your voice and articulating what you want to say through video. In addition, we will talk about the dire underrepresentation of women in the production industry.
What can you tell us about your ongoing relationship with the Wex?
I can tell you first about the thrilling moment that I discovered the film/video programming at the Wex. Despite growing up in the midwest, I had taken on some decidedly east coast biases and was sure I’d never get to see anything except Hollywood movies in Ohio. Little did I know! I love having the opportunity to lead the WexLabs for young women, I take in a lot of culture at the Wex, and some of my favorite people in Columbus work at the Wexner.
What’s next for you on the creative and educational front?
I’ll be teaching at CCAD and have several new projects in the works for exhibitions that are scheduled throughout the year. I want to expand and continue offering production workshops to young women: Un-selfie, Super Empowered, and more.
Anything else you’d like to add?
Always take the chance.
To learn more about Liz’s work, head to her home online.