Duke University Office of the Vice Provost for the Arts and the Council For the Arts are pleased to announce the 2015-16 Visiting Artists lineup. These residencies bring world-class artists to campus not only to present their work but also to engage with the community in classroom visits, master classes, talks, and social events.

Since 2006, this signature program has funded nearly fifty artist residences. Many of them have been collaborations between Duke Performances, the Nasher Museum, and Duke's performing and visual arts departments, but the program has grown into a campus-wide phenomenon. Departments not typically associated with the arts, including Mathematics, Chemistry, the Divinity School, the Sanford School for Public Policy, the Program in Education, and the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences, have been key partners. These broadly conceived residencies bring the challenge, inspiration, and insight provided by the arts to students across the spectrum of academic disciplines.

The four artists engaged for the 2015-16 season represent diverse artistic styles but share a commitment both to artistic excellence and engagement with students and the public.

Odili Donald Odita

March-September 2015

A multi-visit residency by abstract painter Odili Donald Odita, who has been commissioned to create two large-scale murals as part of the Nasher Museum of Art’s ten-year anniversary celebration. One mural is in the Mary D.B.T. Semans Great Hall of the museum and the other is on the Foster Street wall of the Downtown Durham YMCA. The temporary murals will remain on view through 2017.

Nasher10  •  Artist's website

Rennie Harris Puremovement

October 19-24, 2015  •  Performances October 23 & 24

Rennie Harris is one of the great veterans of hip-hop dance, having broken down barriers between the vocabulary of the street and the vocabulary of the concert hall for nearly forty years. His company Rennie Harris Puremovement comes to Duke for a week-long visiting artist residency and to perform for two nights at Reynolds Industries Theater.

Event page  •  Artist's website

Jennifer Koh

January 27-30 and February 29-March 2, 2016
Performances January 30 (Chamber Arts Series) and March 2 (Duke Symphony Orchestra)

Violinist Jennifer Koh will come to Duke for a two-visit, seven-day residency during which she will perform a program entitled “Bridge to Beethoven” with pianist Shai Wosner and also perform the Beethoven Violin Concerto in D Major with the Duke Symphony Orchestra. A committed educator, Koh has won high praise for her performances in classrooms around the country under her innovative “Music Messenger” outreach program. Now in its 10th year, the program continues to form an important part of her musical activities.

Event page  •  Artist's website

Julia Adam

January 27-30 and February 29-March 2, 2016


A visiting artist residency by acclaimed choreographer Julia Adam will provide an extraordinary opportunity for Duke Dance Program to have direct experience with this acclaimed artist. Adam will make new work while in residence using her unique innovative approach, and also build on the broader Ballet Forward (re) thinking and (re)forming western classicism in dance initiative launched by Duke Dance Professors Tyler Walters and Julie Walters. Adam will also work with the Ballet Repertory students on a new choreography to be presented during the 2016 ChoreoLab.

Duke Dance Program • Artist's website


The goal of the Visiting Artist Program is to support projects that will enrich the life of the university and broader community, augment the curricular efforts of a range of departments and programs, facilitate the interaction of artists and scholars, foster the reputation of Duke University as a place where the arts are vital and diverse, and contribute to the arts as a whole.