The Value of a Work of Art Can Be Measured By the Harm Spoken of It

Conversations with David Shields

Saturday, October 20, 2 pm: War Is Beautiful with guest Whitney Otto
Saturday, November 10, 2 pm: Lynch: A History with guest Kurt Streeter
Saturday, December 1, 2 pm: I Think You’re Totally Wrong: A Quarrel with guest Caleb Powell

This three-part series examines key literary and film works by author David Shields, contextualized using the touchstones of lived experience, art, and politics. Shields will be joined by special guests from the fields of literature, journalism, and sports.

Shields received the 2015 James W. Ray Venture Distinguished Artist Award, which is funded by the Raynier Institute & Foundation through the Frye Art Museum | Artist Trust Consortium. The award supports and advances the creative work of outstanding artists living and working in Washington State and culminates in a presentation at the Frye Art Museum.

About the Presenters

David Shields, the Milliman Distinguished Writer in Residence in the English Department at the University of Washington, is an internationally bestselling author of twenty books, including Reality Hunger, The Thing About Life Is That One Day You’ll Be Dead, Black Planet, and Other People: Takes & Mistakes. The film adaptation of I Think You’re Totally Wrong: A Quarrel was released by First Pond Entertainment last year; The Trouble With Men: Reflections on Sex, Love, Marriage, Porn, and Power is forthcoming next year. The recipient of Guggenheim and NEA fellowships and senior contributing editor of Conjunctions, Shields has published essays and stories in the New York Times Magazine, Harper’s, Esquire, Yale Review, Salon, Slate, McSweeney’s, and Believer. His work has been translated into two dozen languages.

Whitney Otto is the author of five novels, including How to Make an American Quilt, which was a New York Times bestseller and adapted into a feature film produced by Steven Spielberg. Now You See Her was nominated for an Oregon Book Award. The Passion Dream Book was a Los Angeles Times bestseller. Eight Girls Taking Pictures was published in 2012. Her novels have been published in fourteen languages. Her articles and reviews have appeared in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, and Oregonian. In 2006 she had an art exhibition of her shadow boxes at the Littman & White Galleries in Portland.

Caleb Powell has work in Pleiades, The Sun Magazine, and The Superstition Review. The Seneca Review published an excerpt from his nonfiction book, Love and Happiness and Suffering in Sialkot, Pakistan. He lives just north of Seattle with his wife and three daughters, and he coaches girls basketball.

Kurt Streeter was born and raised in Seattle. His father was one of the first African-American basketball players at the University of Oregon and a pioneering black architect in Seattle. His parents were among the first bi-racial couples to be married in the state of Oregon, in 1954. After a stint in the minor leagues of pro tennis, Streeter became a Metro reporter and columnist for the Los Angeles Times, then a feature writer for ESPN The Magazine. He is now a national sportswriter for the New York Times.

Support for this program is provided by the Raynier Institute & Foundation through the Frye Art Museum | Artist Trust Consortium.

Upcoming Events

Saturday, October 20 2:00 – 3:30 pm
David Shields and Whitney Otto | War Is Beautiful

Saturday, November 10 2:00 – 3:30 pm
David Shields and Kurt Streeter | Lynch: A History


Free tickets are available on a first-come-first-served basis, and may be picked up at the desk in the foyer outside the auditorium thirty minutes prior to the start of the program. There is no late seating, so please arrive early. As a special benefit, Frye members may reserve free tickets in advance to guarantee seating. To reserve, call 206 432 8289 or email at least two days prior to the event. Each member may reserve two tickets and may claim their tickets one hour prior to the start of the program.