Holy Family University Art Gallery

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Celebrity Portraits: Real or Constructed?


Exhibit: October 2, – October 28, 2015      

Panel Discussion: October 8, 2015 5:00-6:00 PM

In the ETC Lobby followed by

Artist Reception: 6:00- 8:00 PM

In the Art Gallery (LL ETC)

theresa ai weiwei

Nine artists from across the US are exhibiting works that address the topic of celebrity portraits.

Exhibiting Artists:

Byron Anway, Theresa DeSalvio, Norma Greenwood, Caroline Hubbell, Leon 47, Leo Morrissey, Breanne Trammell, Evan Williams and Elizabeth Withstandley

Panel Discussion: Celebrity Portraits: Real or Constructed?

October 8, 2015 5:00-6:00 PM

Join Dr. Janice H. Xu, Dr. Mary Beth Ray and Dr. Amanda S. McClain for a panel discussion that will explore the notion that in today’s media culture anyone and everyone can be “famous.” YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, blogs, Facebook and other social media allow insignificant actions to compete with truly important accomplishments. The distinction between great and trivial has been blurred by self promotion and Internet users’ tendency for a short attention span.

Janice H. Xu (Ph.D. in communication, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) is Assistant Professor of Communication at Holy Family University. She is faculty advisor of HFU Chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America. Previously she worked as news assistant at New York Times Beijing Bureau and radio broadcaster at Voice of America, Washington DC.  Dr. Xu received a Penn State University Page Legacy Scholar Grant for designing a teaching module “Media Relations in Crisis Communication” in 2013.

Mary Beth Ray (Ph.D. in Communication and Media, Temple University) is an Assistant Professor of Communication and Media Studies at Plymouth State University. Her research interests include emerging technology, creative industries, co-production, qualitative research methods, and popular music culture.  Her dissertation examined how the rise of widely available digital communication technology impacts the way music is produced, distributed, promoted, and consumed, with a focus on the changing nature of the relationship between artists and audiences. Dr. Ray’s chapter “If you catch me at the border I got visas in my name”: Borders, Boundaries, and the Production of M.I.A. was published in Rock Brands: Selling Sound in a Media Saturated Culture on Lexington Books. She is currently the Internet Culture area co-chair for PCA/ACA (Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association).

Amanda S. McClain  (Ph.D. in Mass Media and Communication, Temple University) is an Associate Professor of Communication at Holy Family University.  She is author of the books American Ideal: How American Idol Constructs Celebrity, Collective Identity, and American Discourses (2011, Lexington Books) and Keeping Up the Kardashian Brand: Celebrity, Materialism, and Sexuality (2013, Lexington Books).  She is co-chair of the Television Studies area for the Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association.  McClain’s research interests include reality TV, social media, celebrity, communication theory, narrative, and media representations of women.


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