Artist’s Talk and Conversation: Sam Contis

Join artist Sam Contis for an exhibition walkthrough focusing on her use of photography and archival research to explore the relationship of bodies and landscape. The photographs featured in the exhibition were made at Deep Springs College, one of the country’s last all-male institutions of higher learning, located in a remote desert valley east of the Sierra Nevada. The college and its surroundings provide a stage where Contis explores the construction of myth, place, and masculine identity. Deep Springs alumnus Abdramane Diabate joins Contis in conversation. Following the program, Contis will sign her first book, Deep Springs, published by MACK.

Sam Contis is based in California. Her work is represented in the collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Yale University Art Gallery, and has recently been exhibited at the Fotomuseum Antwerp, Gallery Luisotti in Los Angeles, and Klaus von Nichtssagend Gallery in New York. She is the recipient of a 2017 Nancy Graves Foundation Artist Grant, a 2016 Aaron Siskind Foundation Fellowship, and a Tierney Fellowship. She holds an MFA from Yale University and a BFA from New York University.

Abdramane Diabate was born in Mali, West Africa, and spent his early education in Senegal at a military academy before leaving to join the African Leadership Academy (ALA) in Johannesburg, South Africa. After ALA, Diabate attended Deep Springs College, where he also worked as a mountain cowboy. Diabate is the cofounder of iNERDE Inc., a STEM social enterprise working to innovate education in Africa. iNERDE’s pilot program was launched in 2014 in Bamako, Mali, and has been continuing to expand across the continent as it works to transform STEM education and accessibility for young Africans. Diabate is currently finishing his BA in Economics at Stanford University.