Desktop Dialogue: Re-visioning Art and History


Desktop Dialogues

Experience many different ways of telling the story of art. Every 1st and 3rd Wednesday at noon, curators, educators, community leaders, artists, and other select guests offer ways to look at artworks, special exhibitions, and museum-specific issues through new lenses. Participate in the live online discussion by making comments or asking questions. 

The program is hosted by Andrew Cappetta, manager of collection and exhibition programs at the CMA. As a museum educator, programmer, and scholar, he is committed to fostering conversations around works of art, making objects from the past and present relevant to contemporary audiences, and understanding how artists and the general public learn about art. 



Upcoming Events

Care and Curatorial Practice: A Conversation with La Tanya Autry

Wednesday, August 19, 12:00 p.m.

How do you define the word “care” and how does it relate to curatorial practice?  

Scholar, curator, and cultural organizer La Tanya Autry discusses her innovative approach to creating exhibitions that focus on collective community care, including recent projects Temporary Spaces of Joy and Freedom (moCa Cleveland, 2020), Let Us March On: Lee Friedlander and the Prayer Pilgrimage for Freedom (Yale University Art Gallery, 2017), and The Art of Black Dissent (various sites, 2016–).  

After the program, all participants are welcome to continue the conversation and interact in an informal, live Zoom video conference. A link to this additional discussion will be provided during the program. 

La Tanya Autry has curated exhibitions and organized programs at moCa Cleveland, Yale University Art Gallery, Artspace New Haven, and other institutions. Through her graduate studies at the University of Delaware, where she is completing her PhD in art history, Autry has developed expertise in the art of the United States, photography, and museums. Her dissertation The Crossroads of Commemoration: Lynching Landscapes in America analyzes how individuals and communities memorialize lynching violence in the built environment. 

As a cultural organizer in the visual arts, Autry has co-produced #MuseumsAreNotNeutral, an initiative that exposes the fallacies of the neutrality claim and calls for an equity-based transformation of museums, and the Social Justice and Museums Resource List, a crowdsourced bibliography. 


Past Events

Re-visioning Art and History

Wednesday, August 5, 12:00 p.m.

At this moment, engaged citizens across the world are questioning the systems, structures, and values that museums are built upon. Join Andrew Cappetta and Key Jo Lee to discuss how these much-needed critiques will inform CMA programs like Desktop Dialogues and Close Looking at a Distance, explore objects that reshape what we know about art and museums including Fred Wilson’s To Die upon a Kiss, and learn the value of adopting multiple perspectives to understand works of art. 

Starting at 12:30 p.m., all participants are welcome to continue the conversation and interact in an informal, live Zoom video conference meeting. A link to join this additional discussion will be provided during the program.  


Instructions for Joining

Click the virtual event link, “Join the Desktop Dialogue.” This will send you to your web browser. 

If you have Microsoft Teams, click “Open Microsoft Teams” on the pop-up and the event will open.

If you do not have Microsoft Teams, click “Cancel” if you receive a pop-up, and then click “Watch on the web instead.” You will have the option to sign in, if you have a Microsoft Outlook account (not required), or choose “Join anonymously” and the event will open.

Recovering Lost Histories of Pride

Wednesday, June 24, 12:00 p.m.

Honor the origins of Pride Month and its connections to the Black Lives Matter movement. Join writer-educator Naazneen Diwan from the LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland and curator Nadiah Rivera Fellah to discuss the importance of BIPOC (black, indigenous, and people of color) queer and trans activists and artists to movements for LGBTQ+ rights. This is a live event, and questions from the audience are encouraged. 

After the program, held from 12:00 to 12:30 p.m., all participants are welcome to continue the conversation and interact in an informal, live Zoom video conference meeting from 12:30 to 1:00 p.m. A link for this additional discussion will be provided during the program. 

Healing and Heritage

Wednesday, May 27, 12:00 p.m.

Join curator Kristen Windmuller-Luna and artist-educator Orlando Caraballo to discuss how artists and makers have turned to cultural objects and practices for healing.

Restore and Reflect

Wednesday, May 20, 12:00 p.m.

Are you feeling overwhelmed? Join curator Sonya Rhie Mace and meditation instructor Jennifer Bochik as they look closely at examples of Buddhist art and demonstrate how traditional mindfulness practices can help us manage the challenges we are facing today.

The Comforts of Home

Wednesday, May 13, 12:00 p.m.

What objects around your home bring you comfort? Curator Stephen Harrison and educator-scholar Key Jo Lee discuss Emma Amos’s Sandy and Her Husband and decorative art from the museum’s collection, reflecting on the ways works of art and design make the home a place of tranquility.


Wednesday, May 6, 12:00 p.m.

Have you found yourself developing hacks and work-arounds to put dinner on the table or celebrate a holiday? Join curator Nadiah Rivera Fellah and artist-educator Robin Heinrich to discuss how limitations helped artists Sanford Biggers, Louisa Joiner, and Robert Rauschenberg become resourceful and arrive at new creative solutions.

Communicating across Distances

Wednesday, April 29, 12:00 p.m.

Join curator Britany Salsbury and educator Arielle Levine for a discussion around the exhibition A Graphic Revolution and how artists José Guadalupe Posada and León Ferrari used printmaking to communicate ideas and messages across great distances.

This program has been made possible in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor.