Public speaking is about love.

Speaking in public has never come naturally to me, in fact, it's been a source of fear since childhood that I’ve worked to overcome. This challenge has been one that has allowed me to discover my drive for storytelling. I've been overwhelmed by the positive responses I've received from those who have heard me speak. It's profound to witness how sharing stories can inspire and empower people.

Public speaking is a responsibility and opportunity to create positive impacts. I strive to always be open and giving while sharing my art, philosophy, and motivation: my why’s, and feel honored to be able to serve in this way.

Recent lectures and topics

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Artist Mary Mattingly at the Brooklyn Public Library during the Night of Philosophy and Ideas

United Nations, NYC

I spoke about the power of art to change perceptions and perspectives, and art in public space. Csaba Kőrösi, President of the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly, helped open the exhibition called "Disasters are Not Natural" alongside the UN General Assembly meeting “Working Together to Reduce Risk for a Resilient Future.”

United Nations, UNDRR and Platform for Disaster Displacement, Geneva

In what ways can the experiences of individuals and communities impacted by slow-onset climate change be effectively integrated into relevant policy development processes to ensure their needs and perspectives are adequately addressed? How can policy discourse and art interact, to foster a more holistic understanding and approach to addressing human mobility challenges in the context of slow-onset climate change? I spoke about imagination and creative action to bring about policy change.

Telephotography, FotoFocus, OH

April 2022, I participated in FotoFocus, a photography conference in Cincinnati, Ohio. There, I was part of a panel discussion questioning the relevance of discerning between a center and a remote location. I spoke about my research work specific to the photography supply chain, the parts of the camera, the mining, production, and distribution of the elements that make the camera, film, and paper she prints on, describing the interconnectivity of places surrounding the production of photography.

School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Tufts, MA

In March 2022, I lectured about several ecologically-focused artworks that function as a type of soft activism that bridge concerns and communities, as part of a week-long environmental art symposium. I also spoke about bundling the objects in her possession into large sculptures and pulling them through New York City in absurd performances that emphasize the emotional weight of those objects. I touched on spectacle, public performance, and art as a regenerative act.

University of Cincinnati, OH

In February 2022, I presented my artwork to students and faculty at the University of Cincinnati in Ohio, for a lecture geared towards undergraduate and graduate students that took place over zoom. I described the importance of balancing public art projects with photography and storytelling.

CalArts, CA

In January 2022, I lectured at CalArts about ecological art projects as part of a curriculum that focused on imagined futures curriculum hosted by several faculty. I focused on co-creating regenerative culture through art, collective world-building, and talked in depth about specific projects, including the Flock House, Swale, Waterpod, Wading Bridge, and Pull in Havana.

Fordham University, NY

I lectured about community based, local art projects at Fordham University in March 2022. I focused on the Swale project, a floating food forest that docked near Fordham University at Concrete Plant Park and specific community groups she worked with in order to complete the project, as well as the effects the project had on New York City Park land. I also focused on the Waterpod project, a precursor to Swale, one that helped to identify many community groups.

Oxford University in the UK

In 2016 I was able to speak at Oxford University in the UK about photography and environmental public art, and the power of art. 

National Gallery of Victoria, Australia

At the National Gallery of Victoria, Australia I spoke about my work with the US Department of State through a project called smArtpower, and how I facilitated a collaborative sculpture based on a project called Wearable Portable Architecture. I also spoke about bundling the objects in her possession to make statements about her personal consumption and waste, and how to co-build meaningful actions in the world.

Alaska Design Forum, Anchorage Museum, AK

As part of Alaska Design Forum, I traveled to several cities and towns in Alaska including Anchorage at the Anchorage Museum, AK. My lectures included public artworks such as Waterpod, Wetland, and Wearable Homes.

Harvard University Graduate School of Education

In 2014, with Art21s Jess Hamlin, I lectured at Harvard University Graduate School of Education on topics of arts-based research, public engagement and social practice in the arts, and looking towards art in the Anthropocene.


Lecture and Event Testimonials - What Are People Saying?

“I think we need to address climate change everywhere. A lot of my students are really afraid of the future, and I think through art, one can engage the public in a different way than bombarding them with data. Thank you so much for taking the time to visit us in Chapel Hill and for sharing your exciting and thought-provoking work with us!" - G. Wuerfel, University of North Carolina

"Everyone came away with fresh ideas and a sense of awareness and initiative." -E. Ferrill, Anderson Ranch Arts Center

"I’ve had so many wonderful conversations with students about your work and public talk—thank you for engaging the students so profoundly." - A. Lepage, W&L University

“It was such an honor and a huge pleasure to meet you and have you as a speaker at the Global Forum on Migration and Development event in Geneva, Mary!  On behalf of the Platform for Disaster Displacement Secretariat: THANK YOU!  I really hope we can work together again soon!“ - C. El-Labbane, GFMD, United Nations

"As you can see from yesterday's feedback, the students were very engaged and eager to learn about the intersection of art, climate change, and sustainability. Your lecture changed the way people are working!” - J. Monti, Pratt Institute

Lectures + Speaking


Selected Lecture Bibliography

Beginning in 2024, I will only be able to give four lectures each year.

  • Interdisciplinary artist Mary Mattingly on Swale in New York City

    2023 + 2024

    *United Nations, Geneva

    *Anderson Ranch, CO

    *United Nations, NY

    *Carbon 180, DC

    *North Carolina Museum of Art, NC

    *MICA, Baltimore, MD

    *W&L University, Virginia

    *Museum für Kunst
    und Gewerbe Hamburg

  •  Interdisciplinary artist Mary Mattingly at the Anchorage Museum


    *FotoFocus, OH
    *School of the Museum of Fine Arts/Tufts, MA
    *University of Cincinnati, OH
    *CalArts, CA
    *Fordham University, NY
    *Cornell University, NY

  • Artist Mary Mattingly being interviewed about floating sculptures


    *Focal Point Gallery, UK
    *NYC Water Futures (host), Brooklyn Public Library, Brooklyn, NY
    *SUNY Purchase, NY
    *University of Michigan, MI
    *Baruch College, NY

  • Photographic print Sphere Garden


    *Night of Philosophy and Ideas, Brooklyn Public Library, Brooklyn, NY
    *ecofeminism(s) (panelist), Thomas Erben Gallery, New York, NY
    *College of DuPage, IL

  • Mary Mattingly art21 New York City


    *Conference on World Affairs, Boulder, CO
    *Aperture, NY
    *National Gallery of Victoria, Australia
    *Massachusetts College of Art
    *Hanes Visiting Artist Lecture Series, University North Carolina, NC
    *University of Colorado, Boulder

  • Mary Mattingly at the Queens Museum


    *University of Pennsylvania
    *Museum of the City of New York, NY
    *Watkins College, TN
    *Foundation Monet, Giverny, France
    *8th Floor, NY
    *92nd Street Y, NY
    *Des Moines Art Center, IA
    *Light Work, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY

  • Sculptor Mary Mattingly speaking at the Brooklyn Public Library


    *Yale University School of Art
    *Penny Stamps, University of Michigan, MI
    *University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom
    *College Art Association, Washington DC
    *A Blade of Grass, New York
    *Alaska Design Forum, Anchorage Museum, AK

  • Artist Mary Mattingly on a panel at the Queens Museum with Mierle Ukeles


    *AIPAD /Art21, New York, NY
    *Rutgers University, NJ
    *Democracy Alliance, San Francisco, CA
    *Creative Chemistries with Art21, New York Armory, NY
    *Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes de la Habana, Cuba
    *University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA

  • Eco Artist Mary Mattingly being interviewed by CNN on Swale


    *University of Maine, ME
    *Anchorage Museum, Anchorage AK
    *The Institute of the North, Nome and Barrow, AK
    *Fairfield University, CT
    *University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
    *Harvard University Graduate School of Education “The Future of Learning”

  • NYC Interdisciplinary Artist Mary Mattingly at PS1 MoMA Queens


    **MoMA PS1, Queens, NY
    *University of Buffalo, NY
    *Art21, New York, NY
    *Queens Museum of Art, NY
    *The Bronx Museum of the Arts, Bronx, NY
    *University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, IL

  • University of the Philippines artist Mary Mattingly


    *University of the Philippines, Manila, The Philippines
    *The Bronx Museum of the Arts, Bronx, NY
    *The Queens Museum of Art, Queens, NY
    *Bennington College, Bennington, VT
    *The New School, A Cultural Response to Climate Change, New York, NY

  • Sculptor and photographer Mary Mattingly in her Brooklyn studio


    *Columbia College, Chicago
    *CalArts, Los Angeles, CA
    *deCordova Sculpture Park, Lincoln, MA
    *WINTEC, International Festival of Media and Art, Hamilton, New Zealand
    *Yale University School of Art, CT
    *Big Ideas in Art & Culture Lecture Series, with Contemporary Art Forum Kitchener and Area, CANADA

  • Manila Museum Mary Mattingly


    *DePaul University Museum, Chicago, IL
    *M.I.T. Senseable Cities Lab, Cambridge, MA
    *New School University, New York, NY

  • Museum of Modern Art, Waterpod Mary Mattingly


    *Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
    *Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY
    *Cornell University, NY

  • Artist Mary Mattingly at the International Center of Photography


    *Artist talk, New York Public Library, New York, NY
    *International Center of Photography, NY

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