Next Talks & More | Artist Talks

Artist Response to Coal Transitions

Reception Follows

Collage image of Siobhan Angus, Jonas N.T. Becker, Anne Cornell, Tom Dugdale, and Julie Rae Powers.

Join this panel of artists and scholars for a conversation about how creatives are responding to the global transition away from coal energy.

Artist Jonas N.T. Becker (whose exhibition A Hole is not a Void is currently on view), Tom Dugdale and Anne Cornell (contributors to the July 17 performance Calling Hours), and poet Julie Rae Powers speak to how artists are responding to changing landscapes, economic disruptions, and energy extraction. The discussion is moderated by scholar Siobhan Angus.

Following the conversation, join us for a reception with food and a cash bar. The galleries will remain open with educators available to engage in conversation around the exhibitions on view.

This artist-focused event coincides with Ohio State’s Conference on Global Coal Transitions, which focuses on the ways that changes in energy production and consumption affect communities and create profound social, environmental, political, and economic impacts worldwide.

From left to right: Siobhan Angus. Jonas N.T. Becker, photo: Marzena Abrahamik. Anne Cornell, photo: Susan Kridler. Tom Dugdale. Julie Rae Powers, photo: Kate Sweeney.

"The coal transition is multifaceted, with many different types of transitions, such as surface mine closure, subsurface mine closure, and power plant closure."

More about the speakers

Siobhan Angus chevron-down chevron-up

Siobhan Angus works at the intersections of art history, media studies, and the environmental humanities. Her current research explores the visual culture of resource extraction with a focus on materiality, labor, and environmental justice. She is an assistant professor of media studies at Carleton University and holds a PhD in art history and visual culture from York University, where her dissertation was awarded the Governor General’s Gold Medal. Prior to joining Carleton, Angus was the Banting Postdoctoral Fellow at Yale University. She is the author of Camera Geologica: An Elemental History of Photography (Duke University Press, 2024), and her research has been published in Capitalism and the Camera (Verso, 2021) and October. At the heart of her research program lies an intellectual and political commitment to environmental, economic, and social justice.  

Jonas N.T. Becker chevron-down chevron-up

Jonas N.T. Becker has exhibited internationally, including the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; the Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; FotoFocus Biennial at the Contemporary Art Center in Cincinnati; the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago; Craft Contemporary in Los Angeles; and Lancaster Museum of Art and History in Lancaster, California. Awards include the Magnum Foundation Counter Histories Fellowship (2022–23); Lucas Artist Residency Fellowship at Montalvo Art Center, Saratoga, California, (2016–19); Saas-Fee Summer Institute of Art, Switzerland (2015); and Six Points Fellowship (2011–13). Becker is a professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a 2023–24 Global Arts and Humanities Discovery Theme External Fellow at Ohio State. They live and work between West Virginia and Chicago.

Anne Cornell chevron-down chevron-up

The daughter of a teacher and an engineer, Anne Cornell is a conceptual artist rooted in education and innovation. Her humanities studies at Kenyon College, training as a pianist in Germany, and decades of plein-air and studio figure drawing inform her current civic practice. Cornell considers people to be her most important medium and her community as a studio. By meeting people where they are and using local, at-hand (or found) materials, her works give voice to a particular culture. Her processes compound native ingenuity and possibility. She has directed the Pomerene Center for the Arts in Coshocton, Ohio, since 2000.

Tom Dugdale chevron-down chevron-up

Tom Dugdale is a director, writer, and associate professor of theater, film, and media arts at Ohio State. He has developed many community-engaged productions, including Calling Hours: A Theatrical Memorial for a Deceased Power Plant with residents of Coshocton, Ohio; Into the Void, a journey into space and black holes with Central Ohio Symphony; and My Whole Life Changed, a documentary film with high school students about the challenges they faced during the COVID-19 pandemic. Dugdale is the author of Directing Your Heart Out: Essays for Authenticity, Engagement, and Care in Theatre, published by Bloomsbury/Methuen Drama.

Julie Rae Powers chevron-down chevron-up

Julie Rae Powers is an artist and writer from West Virginia and Virginia. They come from a working-class family of homemakers, teachers, coal miners, and railroad laborers. Their photographic and written work has focused on family history, coal, Appalachia, and queerness.

American Electric Power Foundation
Martha Holden Jennings Foundation
Ingram-White Castle Foundation
The Ohio State University Office of Outreach & Engagement
Ohio Arts Council
Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation
Mike and Paige Crane

Ohio Department of Development

Greater Columbus Arts Council

The Wexner Family 
Institute of Museum and Library Services

Ohio Arts Council, with support from the National Endowment for the Arts 

Nationwide Foundation

Ohio State’s Global Arts + Humanities Discovery Theme

The Columbus Foundation 
Axium Packaging
Vorys, Sater, Seymour, and Pease

Mike and Paige Crane

Nancy Kramer 
Ohio State Energy Partners  
Ohio History Fund/Ohio History Connection  
Larry and Donna James

David Crane and Elizabeth Dang

Bruce and Joy Soll

Melissa Gilliam and William Grobman
Rebecca Perry Damsen and Ben Towle

Jones Day  
Alex and Renée Shumate


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Artist Response to Coal Transitions