November 17, 2022

The Atelier@Large presents a Conversation on Art-making in a Vexed Era with Jonathan Majors

Princeton University’s Lewis Center for the Arts continues the Atelier@Large conversation series that brings guest artists to campus to discuss the challenges they face in making art in the modern world. For the last event in the fall series, the rising Hollywood star and Emmy-nominated actor Jonathan Majors (The Last Black Man in San Francisco, HBO series Lovecraft Country, ABC miniseries When We Rise) joins in discussion with Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Paul Muldoon, Princeton’s Howard G.B. Clark ’21 University Professor in the Humanities and Director of the Princeton Atelier. The event begins at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, November 29, in the James Stewart Film Theater at 185 Nassau Street on Princeton’s campus. The event is free and open to the public, but tickets are required through University Ticketing. The Film Theater is an accessible venue, and guests in need of access accommodations are invited to contact the Lewis Center at at least one week prior to the event date.

The Princeton Atelier, directed by Muldoon, was founded in 1994 by Toni Morrison, Nobel Laureate and Robert F. Goheen Professor in the Humanities, Emeritus, at Princeton University. The Atelier brings together professional artists from different disciplines to collaborate with students to create new work in the context of a semester-long course. Recent artists have included Stew, Laurie Anderson, the improv group Baby Wants Candy, and the Wakka Wakka Puppet Theatre. The Atelier@Large series, established in 2021, is an extension of the Princeton Atelier that brings guest artists to campus to speak on art’s role in the modern world.

“There’s a notion still doing the rounds,” says Muldoon, “that art is primarily a source of comfort and joy. That it’s all about salve, maybe even salvation. For many artists the true solace comes through their acceptance that art is in fact most interesting when it is most disruptive. The change a work of art represents often seems minor, but it may have major repercussions.”

jonathan majors gazes at camera with parted lips and bright eyes. He is a Black man with black hair and wears a white tee with green jacket

Jonathan Majors.
Photo by Jeff Vespa / Shutterstock

Emmy-nominated actor Jonathan Majors announced himself to be a star in the making as early as his 2017 on-screen debut in the ABC miniseries When We Rise. His other work for television includes the role of Kang the Conqueror in the hit Marvel series Loki and the role of Atticus Freeman in HBO’s drama Lovecraft Country, for which he earned his first Emmy nomination in addition to Critics’ Choice and NAACP Image award nominations. In February 2019, Majors received rave reviews for his role as Montgomery Allen in Joe Talbot’s The Last Black Man in San Francisco. Marking his first leading role, Majors was soon nominated for a Gotham Award for “Breakthrough Actor,” an Independent Spirit Award for “Best Supporting Male,” and he was named a rising young star by The Hollywood Reporter. Majors’ other film credits include Spike Lee’s epic war drama Da 5 Bloods, as well as the Westerns Hostiles and The Harder They Fall, Jungleland, Captive State, White Boy Rick, and Gully. A graduate of the North Carolina School of the Arts and the Yale School of Drama, his extensive stage credits include Henry V, A Raisin in the Sun, The Tempest, Fences, and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. Majors’ current and upcoming film projects include Black Label Media’s Devotion, directed by J.D. Dillard and opening this month; Marvel Studios’ soon-to-be-released Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, opening in February 2023; Creed III, slated for a March 2023 release; and Avengers: The Kang Dynasty, most likely released in May 2025.

Paul Muldoon is the Howard G.B. Clark ’21 University Professor in the Humanities at Princeton, as well as the founding chair of the Lewis Center for the Arts. As an internationally renowned Irish poet, Muldoon has been described by The Times Literary Supplement as “the most significant English-language poet born since the second World War.” Muldoon won the Pulitzer Prize for his ninth collection of poems, Moy Sand and Gravel (2002). His 14th volume of poems, Howdie-Skelp, was released in November 2021 by Farrar Straus & Giroux. Muldoon is the editor of the recently released Paul McCartney boxed, two-volume set, The Lyrics:1956 to the Present, illuminating the stories behind 154 of McCartney’s song lyrics. His latest book, The Castle of Perseverance with watercolors by Philip Pearlstein, is being published this month.

All guests must either be fully vaccinated, or have recently tested negative (via PCR within 72 hours or via rapid antigen test within 8 hours of the scheduled visit) and be prepared to show proof if asked, or wear a face covering when indoors and around others.

The Atelier@Large conversation series will return on March 24, 2023, with a visit by Everett Glenn, the graphic novelist and cartoonist for The New Yorker, along with artist Bill Bowers.

Visit the Lewis Center website to learn more about the Princeton Atelier, the Lewis Center for the Arts, and the more than 100 public performances, exhibitions, readings, screenings, concerts, lectures, and special events presented by the Lewis Center each year, most of them free.

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