“I have always wondered whether you can take something beautiful, solid and whole and smash it, shatter it into pieces, and in putting the pieces together make a whole that is actually more beautiful, stronger and more interesting that it was before.” ~Wangechi Mutu


About the Program

Creative Counterpoints is an annual MassArt series founded and organized by Marika Preziuso, Associate Professor of World Literature, that is devoted to the intersections of narratives of creativity and difference as investigated by visual artists, writers, public intellectuals, and other culture makers. The program specifically addresses gender, racial, ethnic and sexual identities across differences, looking at the contemporary world of the arts and culture within the U.S.A. and transnationally. 

The “difference” that the CC series investigates has a long, radical history in activism, education and social justice.  As scholar, poet, activist, and educator Audre Lorde wrote in the 1980’s: Difference is that raw and powerful connection out of which our personal power is forged. (Lorde, “Age, Race, Class, Sex: Women Redefining Difference”). 

Creative Counterpoints began in March 2016, thanks to a MassArt Foundation Fellowship Grant that Marika was awarded in 2014 to attend the Transnational Feminist Summer Institute (TFSI) at Ohio State University, and to organize a program event engaging MassArt student and faculty artists in the themes of transnational feminism.

Over the years Creative Counterpoints has hosted speakers of the caliber of Maria Popova, media producer, blogger and founder of Brain Pickings, and Dr. Jack Halberstam, Professor of English and Gender Studies at Columbia University, and author, among others, of Trans*: A Quick and Quirky Account of Gender Variance (2018).   

We are excited to contribute to the work of the Feminist Art Coalition in Fall 2020 with a program that reflects the call of 21st century-feminism to engage critically with transnational arts and activism.

Creative Counterpoints 2020: Uprooted/Translated will feature an engaging conversation between author and activist Valeria Luiselli ( Tell me How it Ends, The Lost Children Archive) and visual artist Sherazade Garcia

The running thread of CC2020 is the transformative power of talented women creatives to tell narratives of border-crossings, uprooting and transplanting, and the agency that exists in every participatory act of cultural translation through the arts. 

Creative Counterpoints 2020 also features the participation of MassArt students. This event is co-sponsored by the newly renovated MassArt Art Museum (MAAM), Boston's newest museum featuring visionary artists at the forefront of contemporary art. 


“Transgenderism is not just another identity competing for the rainbow umbrella. It constitutes radically new knowledge about the experience of being in a body (flesh matters) and can be the basis for very different ways of seeing the world.” ~ Jack Halbersham


Difference, at its most useful, asks us to be hospitable to contradictions and to experience every border - with other cultures, other people, and the many selves within ourselves - as porous and full of cracks. ~ Marika Preziuso


Many of us share this transnational discomfort. We are the Pochos, as they call some Mexican-Americans. “yes, I am Brazilian, my Portuguese could be better, but wait, what I say is more important than how I say it. Please listen.” ~ Gustavo Barceloni

Creativity is a combinatorial force: it’s our ability to tap into our mental pool of resources that we’ve accumulated over the years just by being present and alive and awake to the world, and to combine them in extraordinary new ways. ~ Maria Popova