St. Olaf to host ‘The Kids are Alright’ artist series
This March the St. Olaf College artist series will return with “The Kids are Alright: Art, Culture + Social Change.” The full week of events March 7-11 will include hands-on workshops, lectures, and a performance by a Grammy Award–winning musician.
The series is organized by Daniel Alejandro Leon-Davis, a designer, entrepreneur, and cultural architect focused on using the power of art, media, and entertainment for social good. He will be joined throughout the week by prominent artists Muna Malik, Caliph, and Florian Koenigsberger.
“The Kids Are Alright” is inspired by the ways that young people have shown leadership, even while surviving a pandemic. The series will feature the artists’ work, as well as highlight the ways that their personal experiences have influenced their art and the ways they use art to create social change.
Each of the four artists brings a different perspective and art form.
Muna Malik is an artist based in Los Angeles, California. She uses painting, sculpture, and photography to explore abstract ideas of movement, identity formation, and biomorphism inspired by Arabic and Somali thought. Her work has been featured in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Vogue, and many other publications.
Caliph is a rapper, singer, and songwriter from Massachusetts. He works to share the perspectives of Black and immigrant communities and improve mental health, both through his art and his nonprofit and music company SAFE+. He is also the face of the three-time Grammy Award–inning jazz album “American Dreamers: Voices Of Hope, Music of Freedom.”
Florian Koenigsberger is a photographer and technologist who has worked with Google to lead the Image Equity Initiative, creating cameras and imaging technology that work more equitably for people with darker skin. In 2020 he helped found See in Black, a collective of Black photographers who raised money through a two-week print sale to support Black-centric charities last summer.
Daniel Alejandro Leon-Davis works to share his perspectives as a formerly undocumented immigrant and gay Latino and bring attention to the voices of these communitites through his art. He has helped curate exhibits for the Smithsonian and United Nations headquarters, and spent a year researching the impacts of art and fashion on social change as a Civic Media Fellow with the University of Southern California. He led a St. Olaf Taylor Center for Equity and Inclusion event in the fall of 2020 on “The Power of Our Stories.”
“The Kids are Alright” is funded by the Artist Series at St. Olaf. The Artist Series annually presents outstanding interdisciplinary fine arts events with the aim of reaching a wide audience. Sponsored events are primarily intended for St. Olaf students as an important part of their liberal arts education. Events are free and open to students, faculty, staff, and alumni.
EVENTS AND PROGRAMMING THROUGHOUT THE WEEK:
Monday, March 7
Through Our Eyes | 4 p.m. | Viking Theater
Join photographer Florian Koenigsberger and multidisciplinary artist Muna Malik in an intimate conversation around their journeys working at the intersection of art and social impact.
Tuesday, March 8
Recontextualizing Iconic Symbols | 6:30 p.m. | CAD Drawing Studio
Join multidisciplinary artist Muna Malik for a live painting workshop exploring abstract expressionism. All painting materials will be provided to participants.
Wednesday, March 9
Keynote: More Than Art | 7 p.m. | Viking Theater
Join multidisciplinary artist Muna Malik as she speaks on her non-traditional journey into the art world and the importance of building community, taking risks, and trusting your gut.
Thursday, March 10
More Than Us | 11 a.m. | The Link
Sit with multidisciplinary artist Muna Malik for a one-on-one 15-minute conversation as she holds office hours.
Beyond Borders | 7 p.m. | Viking Theater
Join Grammy Award–winning musician Caliph and cultural architect Daniel Leon-Davis for a discussion on what it means to be an immigrant artist, creative, and community leader in the U.S.
Friday, March 11
Immigrant of the Year | 7 p.m. | The Pause Mane Stage
Come finish out the week and celebrate with a musical performance by Grammy Award–winning artist Caliph.