Apr 25, 2021, 3PM–4PM

Coffee & Conversation: Materializing the Everyday

Jessica Vaughn, Our Primary Focus Is To Be Successful, 2021. Installation view, Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania. Photo by Constance Mensh.

Paper transformed into aluminum, LED lights, stock images from training videos, discarded textiles used for seating on public transportation. Fascinated by modularity and the formal vocabulary of minimalism, Jessica Vaughn’s investigations of materials present the sensuality of the matter that shapes everyday structures connected to race, labor, and space. Join University of Pennsylvania graduate students Tyler Shine and Amrita Stützle for a discussion of Vaughn’s wide-ranging use of materials, the associative connections tied to them, and phenomenological experience. All are welcome to participate in the conversation.

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.


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.

Amrita Stützle is an Austrian born artist and educator with a focus in lens-based media. Her practice dissects contemporary and historical aspects of her identity, exploring themes of femininity, labor, and power. She received her BFA in Art Photography from Syracuse University and is currently pursuing her MFA at the University of Pennsylvania.

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.