Annual Meeting, including Keynote by Bevil Conway

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2021 Annual Business Meeting

Our 2021 Annual Business Meeting will be held virtually via GotoTraining. We are excited to announce that we will open the meeting with a fascinating keynote by Bevil Conway. After registering for this event you will receive a follow up email with instructions on the GotoTraining registration and connection.

A tentative schedule (all times EDT)

2:00 - 3:15 Meeting opening and Keynote

3:15 - 3:30 Break

3:30 - 4:30 Annual Business meeting reports

4:30 - ?? Zoom Social gathering (link provided during the meeting)

There is no cost for the keynote or the meeting, but registration is required.

Keynote: "The Brain: the Artist’s Medium"

Oil paint, charcoal, tempera, watercolors, spray paint, ink, graphite, and video. These are some of the many media that visual artists might work with. Each medium represents a choice for the way information will be encoded, stored, and transmitted. In my talk, I will argue that there is a medium common to all art making: the brain. I will try to show that an analysis of how the brain works can inform our understanding of art, and in a parallel synergy, that an analysis of art can shed light on neural operations.


Bevil Conway is an artist and neuroscientist. His work investigates the relationship between visual processing, visual art, perception, cognition, art practice, and art history. Conway’s artwork explores a range of topics and themes including the limits of visualization, cultural metamorphosis and concepts of beauty and the sublime, using a range of media including glass-and-silk, etching, watercolor, drawing, and oil paint. He runs the Section on Sensation, Cognition and Action in the Laboratory of Sensorimotor Research at the National Eye Institute and National Institute of Mental Health. Prior to moving to Washington DC, Bevil was an Associate Professor of Neuroscience at Wellesley College, and a Principle Research Scientist in Brain and Cognitive Sciences at M.I.T.

Conway is a native of Zimbabwe and a transplant first to Canada and then to Cambridge, MA. Conway completed his undergraduate training at McGill University in Montreal, winning the Hewlett Packard Prize and the Muriel Roscoe Prize. He studied painting in the faculty of architecture at McGill University. Conway then finished a Masters of Medical Sciences at Harvard Medical School, a PhD and post-doctoral training in Neurobiology at Harvard University working with Margaret Livingstone and David Hubel. Following his graduate training, Conway moved to Nepal for eight months to paint and to help build the academic curriculum of the Kathmandu University Medical School, where he served as the Director of Education for Physiology and Pathophysiology; he documented his time in Nepal in a watercolor diary and a series of drypoint etching (two of them are in the Fogg Museum). He was subsequently elected a Junior Fellow in the Harvard Society of Fellows in recognition of his contributions to our understanding of the neural basis for visual perception. Conway has held fellowships from the Alexander von Humboldt Research Foundation (at the University of Bremen, Germany), and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard.

Conway’s research has focused on uncovering the brain’s mechanisms for color perception and cognition. Conway gained popular recognition in the immediate aftermath of #TheDress, and his explanation has emerged as the standard account of the phenomenon, with stories in Wired magazine, NPR, and the New York Times. Conway has authored over three dozen research articles and one book, Neural Mechanisms of Color Vision. In addition, he has written on the intersection between visual neuroscience and visual art, and is a pioneer in the emerging field of Vision and Art, having given numerous invited lectures on the topic at institutions including the World Science Festival (in an appearance with Alan Alda); the Rubin Museum (in an appearance with the choreographer Mark Morris); the Pulitzer Foundation in St. Louis; Harvard’s Mind Brain and Behavior Institute; the Center for Arts Science and Technology at M.I.T. (in an appearance with the philosopher Bruno Latour); the Columbus College of Art and Design; Lyme Academy of Fine Art; the Metropolitan Museum of Art (NY); the Brooklyn Museum of Fine Art; the United Kingdom Colour Group; and the Newark Museum of Fine Art. His research is widely cited in the research literature and has been reviewed in the popular press by periodicals including Discover magazine and Scientific American. Conway’s artwork is in many private collections, has been exhibited in a number of solo exhibitions and curated group shows, is published in several books, including Vision and Art (Abrams, 2002) and Brain and Visual Perception (Oxford University Press, 2005), and is held in collections at the Fogg Museum (Cambridge, MA), the National Institutes of Health (Bethesda, MD).

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