Apr 18, 2021, 3PM–4PM

Coffee & Conversation: Art Work – Labor and Ecology

Jessica Vaughn, Irrational Rests, 2021. Photo by Constance Mensh.

In Our Primary Focus Is to Be Successful, Jessica Vaughn engages with the physical structures that proliferate corporate culture to expose how everyday objects are laden with complex histories of class, race, and gender. Join University of Pennsylvania graduate students Tyler Shine and Narendra Haynes for an open conversation that expands on some of the artistic and curatorial aesthetic strategies. Shine will discuss how Vaughn’s work participates in a critique of the art object and the gallery context through a conversation with Minimalism and Land Art. Haynes will utilize Vaughn’s research process to explore another corporate artifact with a fraught history, the recycling logo. All are welcome to participate in the discussion.

The program will take place via Zoom. To register, click here.

Live captioning will be provided for this program by Caption Access. Please contact Natalie Sandstrom, Program Coordinator, at nsand@ica.upenn.edu with any questions.


Narendra Haynes is a second-year MFA candidate in the Weitzman School of Design department at the University of Pennsylvania. His artistic practice is interdisciplinary in nature, combining painting and sculpture with his interests in digital culture, embodiment, phenomenology, and ecology.

Tyler Shine is a doctoral student in Art History at the University of Pennsylvania studying twentieth-century art and architecture with particular interest in the African diaspora. Before coming to Penn he was the Constance E. Clayton Fellow in the Department of Prints, Drawings, and Photographs at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Coffee & Conversation

Coffee & Conversation are discussions led by graduate students from the University of Pennsylvania’s History of Art and Weitzman School of Design departments. For the fall exhibition season, this iteration will involve the students working in tandem. Through their unique perspectives as practitioners and researchers, they offer different approaches to consider the various facets that go into the formation of an exhibition and the artist’s process, creating entry points along the way for the audience to be involved in the conversation on a personal level.


Support for Jessica Vaughn: Our Primary Focus Is To Be Successful has been provided by the Inchworm Fund. The Inchworm Fund is an endowment created to respond to ICA’s spirit of exploration, supporting artists and curators in their quest to uncover the unknown through multi-year research, exhibition, publication, and conversation. In naming the fund, visionary Philadelphia patron Daniel W. Dietrich, II wished to attract fellow contributors, encouraging ICA to reach and expand toward new possibilities.

Programming at ICA has been made possible in part by the Emily and Jerry Spiegel Fund to Support Contemporary Culture and Visual Arts and the Lise Spiegel Wilks and Jeffrey Wilks Family Foundation, and by Hilarie L. & Mitchell Morgan.