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  • NYS Writers Institute

Announcing the fall 2022 Creative Life Series events

Art critic Lucy Sante and illustrator Maira Kalman will visit the University at Albany in the fall for conversations with WAMC’s Joe Donahue as part of The Creative Life: Conversation Series.

Sponsored by The University at Albany Foundation, Creative Life events feature live onstage interviews conducted by WAMC’s "Roundtable" host Joe Donahue with artists of national and international prominence in conversation about their creative inspiration, their craft, their careers, and the demands of sustaining an artistic practice over time. A question and answer period closes each program.

Both events, free and open to the public, will take place in the UAlbany Performing Arts Center on the University at Albany’s uptown campus at 1400 Washington Avenue. Free parking in the State Quad Commuter / Student parking lot. See map and more parking information.

You may purchase their books at the events or in advance at the local, independent Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza. Book signings will take place following the events.

Lucy Sante

7 p.m. Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Photo credit: Bob Krasner

Lucy Sante is a transgender, Belgian-born nonfiction writer, art critic, and cultural commentator of astonishingly wide interests, including the Beastie Boys, early photography, and the history of NYC reservoirs. She’s also “one of the handful of living masters of the American language, as well as a singular historian and philosopher of American experience” (Peter Schjeldahl of the New Yorker).

Heretofore known as Luc Sante, she is best-known for Low Life (1991), about crime and entertainment in Old New York, 1840-1919, and her collected essays, Kill All Your Darlings: Pieces 1990-2005 (2007). A second collection, Maybe the People Would Be the Times, came out in 2020. She wrote about her recent gender transition in the February 2022 issue of Vanity Fair.

Read more

Photo credit: Bob Krasner

Maira Kalman

7 p.m. Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Photo credit: Kimisa H

Maira Kalman is one of America’s most beloved illustrators, as well as an acclaimed author of books for children and adults. The creator of many covers for The New Yorker, her work adorns books by Daniel Handler (Lemony Snicket), Michael Pollan, and the bestselling Illustrated Elements of Style by Strunk & White.

She collaborated with David Byrne (The Talking Heads) on the 2020 book, American Utopia, with text from Byrne’s Broadway show, and more than 150 paintings by Kalman.

She has also designed fabric for Isaac Mizrahi, accessories for Kate Spade, sets for Mark Morris, and— with her late husband Tibor Kalman— clocks, umbrellas, and other objects for MOMA. In 2017, she collaborated with choreographer John Heginbotham to produce a theatrical and dance interpretation of her blog, The Principles of Uncertainty, and performed with his company at Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival and the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Read more

Photo credit: Kimisa H

A sample of Maira Kalman's illustrations. The "New Yorkistan" New Yorker cover was a collaboration with Rick Meyerowitz.

Covid protocols

The event will comply with the University at Albany's COVID-19 protocols. For more information, visit

About The Creative Life Series

The Creative Life series is a major arts initiative of the University Art Museum, New York State Writers Institute, and UAlbany Performing Arts Center in conjunction with WAMC Public Radio.

Major support for The Creative Life is provided by The University at Albany Foundation with additional support from University Auxiliary Services.

For more information, contact the UAlbany Performing Arts Center’s box office at (518) 442-3997.

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