The Farnsworth Art Museum will present a lecture by contemporary Chinese art scholar Taliesin Thomas titled Ai Weiwei: Global Artist, Borderless Humanist, Contemporary Emperor Thursday, Aug. 16. The talk, in conjunction with the ongoing Ai Weiwei exhibition at the Farnsworth, will take place at 2 p.m. in the downtown museum’s auditorium.

Ai Weiwei is one of the most compelling figures working in the spheres of international art and political activism. His extraordinary range of creative articulation is unparalleled among his peers — from provocative large-scale museum exhibitions that reference traditional Chinese art forms, to candid Instagram posts at impoverished refugee camps around the world. In recent years, Ai’s outspoken stance regarding freedom of expression and basic human rights for all people has established him as leader in the conversation concerning humanity today.

Thomas has worked in the field of contemporary Chinese art since living two years in rural China (1999-2001). Since 2007, she has been the founding director of AW Asia in New York, a private arts organization that promotes the field of contemporary Chinese art through institutional loans, museum acquisitions, curatorial projects and publishing. Thomas works closely with Ai Weiwei’s studio to oversee the management of the “Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads” (2010) sculpture series and world tour. Thomas has lectured widely on contemporary Chinese art.

Fee for this program is $15, $12 for Farnsworth members. For more information or to register, visit

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or