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Provocative Visual Artist Laylah Ali Speaks at SUNY New Paltz

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NEW PALTZ -- On Wednesday, April 10, 2001, Boston-based artist Laylah Ali visits SUNY New Paltz to deliver a slide lecture and discussion of her work. The event takes place in Lecture Center room 102 at 7:30 PM and is free and open to all.

Images are available at's gouache-on-paper paintings have become popular recently for their distinctive style and shocking narratives. Utilizing a palette of pastel blues, greens and yellows, and a graphic style of separately colored flat forms, her works take on a cartoon-like appearance, reinforced by the uniform skin color and genderless look of the paintings' characters. A second glance, however, reveals the disturbing narrative hiding beneath this simplistic façade.

Ali's enigmatic narratives, with so many details left unsaid, are each easily applied to any number of historical time periods worldwide. From Nazi Germany to the Salem witch trials to domestic and school violence, Ali's cartoonish figures offer not just an oddly timeless picture of history, but also a mirror of the present and a foreboding vision of the future.

Born in 1968 in Buffalo, New York, Laylah Ali graduated from Williams College with degrees in studio art and English literature. Ali continued studies at the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program and Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. She received an MFA in painting from Washington University in Saint Louis, Missouri in 1994. Her recent exhibitions include solo shows at Miller Block Gallery in Boston; 303 Gallery in New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; and Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, where she was the 2000 winner of the ICA Artist Prize.

The Student Art Alliance (, a funded member of the Student Association, sponsors the Art Lecture Series. For information on other upcoming arts events at SUNY New Paltz, visit or call 845-257-3872.

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