Invited Speakers

Anong Migwans Beam

Anong Migwans Beam is a painter, mother, paint-maker, and curator, living and working in her home community of M’Chigeeng First Nation on Manitoulin Island. After studying art at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, OCAD University, and the Institute of American Indian Arts, she returned home to be a studio assistant for her father, Carl Beam. Her painting practice is in large-format oil on canvas. She is the founder of Gimaa Radio, Ojibwe-language radio CHYF 88.9FM. She maintains an independent curating practice, and served as director of the Ojibwe Cultural Foundation before leaving to focus on her own practice and the art of paint-making. She is the founder of Beam Paints, where she combines an early education in Indigenous pigments from her parents Carl and Ann Beam, with a lifelong interest in art and colour. She has always loved the colours pink and green more than anyone should. She collects art, makes art, and is generally obsessed with all aspects therein. She recently showed her work at Campbell House Museum, in Toronto.

Visit Anong Beam’s website here
Read about Anong Beam’s Indigenous Based Colour Research on CBC News here

Angélica Dass

Angélica Dass is an award-winning photographer born in Brazil and currently living in Madrid, Spain. Angélica’s practice combines photography with sociological research and public participation in defense of human rights globally. She is the creator of the internationally acclaimed Humanæ Project – a collection of portraits that reveal the diverse beauty of human colours. The initiative has traveled to more than 80 cities across six continents – from The World economic Forum in Davos to the pages of National Geographic – to promote dialogue that challenges how we think about skin colour and ethnic identity.


Humanæ is a photographic work in progress by artist Angélica Dass, an unusually direct reflection on the color of the skin, attempting to document humanity’s true colors rather than the untrue labels “white”, “red”, “black” and “yellow” associated with race. It’s a project in constant evolution seeking to demonstrate that what defines the human being is its inescapably uniqueness and, therefore, its diversity.

Visit Angélica Dass’s website
Watch her TED talk on What kids should know about race

Robert DeSalle

Rob is a curator at the American Museum of Natural History working in comparative genomics. He is also a professor in the museum’s graduate school, The Richard Gilder Graduate School, and has been adjunct professor at New York University, Columbia University, City University of New York and Yale University. He recently received a Fulbright Professorship to work in Australia and a von Humboldt Fellowship for work in Germany. His scientific work at the museum is complemented by exhibition outreach for which he has curated a permanent hall on Human Evolution and seven temporary exhibitions including Brain: The Inside Story , Our Senses and currently The Nature of Color He has written over twenty books including Our Senses (Yale Press), Troublesome Inheritance (Columbia University Press) and A Natural History of Color. (Pegasus Books). He lives in the East Village of New York City with his wife and son.

Anna Franklin

Professor Anna Franklin investigates human colour perception using methods drawn from cognitive psychology, developmental science and neuroscience. Much of her work investigates the development of colour perception, both to understand perceptual development and to establish the origins and underlying mechanisms of perceptual colour phenomena. She led a six-year European Research Council (ERC) funded project on colour categorisation, with one of the key findings being that infants use the biological mechanisms of colour vision to categorise colour at just four months. She is currently leading another large-scale ERC project which is investigating how colour vision tunes and calibrates to chromatic scene statistics both in adulthood and during early development. Professor Franklin has led several applied projects: She has developed a gamified psychophysical app with her collaborators which tests for colour vision deficiency in young children, and has worked with industrial partners on projects related to infant visual perception and developmental aesthetics.

Read more about The Colour Group at the University of Sussex:

Anya Hurlbert

Anya Hurlbert is Professor of Visual Neuroscience and Dean of Advancement at Newcastle University. She trained as a physicist (BA, Princeton University), physiologist (MA, Cambridge University), neuroscientist (PhD, Brain and Cognitive Sciences, MIT), and physician (MD, Harvard Medical School). After doing postdoctoral research as a Wellcome Trust Vision Research Fellow at Oxford University, she moved to Newcastle University, where she co-founded the Institute of Neuroscience in 2003, serving as its co-Director until 2014. Hurlbert’s research focuses on colour perception and its role in everyday visual and cognitive tasks, in normal development and ageing as well as in colour vision deficiency and developmental disorders. She is also interested in applied areas such as biomedical image processing, digital imaging and novel lighting technologies for enhancing mood, performance, and aesthetic experience. Professor Hurlbert is active in the public understanding of science, lectures widely on colour perception and art, and has devised and co-curated several science-based art exhibitions, including an interactive installation at the National Gallery, London, for its 2014 summer exhibition Making Colour. She is former Chairman of the Colour Group (GB) and Scientist Trustee of the National Gallery, and currently on the editorial board of the Journal of Vision, the Board of Directors of the Vision Sciences Society, and the Rank Prize Funds Optoelectronics Committee.

More information about Anya Hurlbert:

Joseph Ingoldsby

Joseph Ingoldsby is an environmental designer, ecologist, and artist whose work over the past thirty years has sought to understand the interrelationship of geology, hydrology, soils, vegetation, and wildlife within of the natural landscape. His Landscape Mosaic series began as a layered and temporal mapping of visible ecological patterns using satellite, aerial, land-based, and microphotography. A colorful visual ‘mosaic’ of vegetation, earth, and water, changing with the seasons and years, emerged as each geographical area was studied immersively. Colour palettes were explored as narratives of the changes occurring in the landscape with the ongoing impact of development and anthropogenic climate change. The work progressed beyond documentation to specific ‘kinetic colour installations’ set in salt marshes, along tidal rivers, and within sand plains and dunes. These highlighted the patterns of coloration shifting over time, indicating damage and deterioration of the natural ecosystems. The temporary artworks provided opportunities for ‘viewing stations’ along roadways, with on-site education panels, developing public interest and engagement with threatened landscapes and endangered species. Gallery installations linked to these sites included artistic/poetic works and technological installations, using the art/technology to explain the science. Ingoldsby’s art-science projects have been exhibited at major museums including MIT and NYSCI and published in Leonardo, Landscape Architecture Magazine, Orion, and other journals.

Ingoldsby’s artistic oeuvre illuminates how landscape color and pattern can be described in scientific terms to denote chemical composition, health, environmental factors, temperature, salinity, water levels, and stress. His aerial images and studies of the salt marsh along the New England coastline show what is termed ‘salt marsh dieback’, an ecological disaster compounded by rising seas. Ingoldsby’s work is an important and timely call for public participation, understanding, and focus on the anthropogenic impacts affecting vanishing landscapes and endangered species. The artist can play an integral role in the raising of the public consciousness through advocacy. Art can be used to communicate complex ecological and scientific principles to an audience outside of the confines of the academy.