San Francisco-based artist Mildred Howard, who has achieved an international reputation for her collages and installations, will serve as the seventh Jerome M. Westheimer, Sr. & Wanda Otey Westheimer Distinguished Visiting Artist Chair. An exhibition of Howard’s work will open at the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art on Jan. 25 with a public opening at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 24. Mildred Howard’s work incorporates a variety of media to create nuanced examinations of gender, race, politics and other issues central to contemporary society. Through her use of collage, sculptural assemblage and large-scale installations, Howard blends American folk art and family photographs among other appropriated objects to explore these increasingly relevant issues of sexual harassment, racial oppression and class struggles found in America. Her methods for creating these pieces is just as diverse as the themes behind them. Over the course of her influential career, she has not limited herself to any one medium. Her Casanova series is a perfect example of her versatility, in which she uses both collage and jacquard woven tapestry. The endless possibilities and combinations for multiple materials is what fascinates Howard most. “I started off with collage, and I love the mixture of materials,” says Howard. “That’s always interested me – patterns within patterns. You can make art out of anything. That’s my reason for using those materials, because I’m interested in history, because I’m interested in memory and in place, and looking at objects in other kinds of ways that what they were originally intended for.” Her work in this exhibition provides a platform for discussion revolving around political and sociological topics currently making headlines in regard to the #MeToo movement and immigration, among others.