Friday, November 30, 2012

SoFA today! Come join us!

 Join art undergraduates from across the state of Kentucky for "On the SoFA: State of Fine Art," a statewide exhibition of work by students nominated by their art faculty.  The opening reception with a Panel Discussion, "Opportunities After Graduation (NEXUS), is TONIGHT, November 30, from 6-8 p.m. in the Anne Wright Wilson Fine Arts Gallery.

Get off the SoFA for just a bit, though, to listen to GC Art Senior Mark Terrell Taylor, whose thesis includes a "Hip Hop Forum" (NEXUS) taking place at 5 p.m. followed by a curated Hip Hop Listening Party (NEXUS).

See you tonight!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Oral History Project

 Students in the curatorial studies course (ART 302, offered every fall) develop an oral history project that focuses on a person close to them. Our website for the course is here.

This project was inspired by a few resources and individuals. First, the famed journalist and chronicler of people, Studs Terkel, author of the interviews collected and entitled Working

Studs Terkel, an oral historian extraordinaire

Cleveland author, Harvey Pekar, did a graphic novel interpretation that both revived and spread interest in Terkel's work and approach.

Always a Clevelander, Harvey Pekar (of American Splendor fame)
In developing this project, I also was informed by the approach of a faculty member at Case Western Reserve, my alma mater. Dr. Gladys Haddad, professor of history and American Studies and chronicler of the Western Reserve, hosts a blog and journal entitled Regionally Speaking. An oral historian extraordinaire, Haddad kindly shared her course materials from a recent seminar that she taught with Dr. John Bassett (Case, English Department). For this project, their students were charged with the task of interviewing a graduate of the Flora Stone Mather College for Women, the sister college of the Adelbert College for Men at Western Reserve University (Case's predecessor). 
Flora Stone Mather Collge, on the historic Case campus
And, of course, inspiration came from the StoryCorps project, an independent non-profit that encourages listening to one another as "an act of love."
Wouldn't you love to have the StoryCorpsMobile come to our neighborhood?
Foremost in this project was the transition for the students from curating objects (such as objects from the GC archives) to virtual curation. This topic is taken up by McTavish's essay in Janet Marstine's New Museum Theory, a book that we've discussed on this blog previously. 

As you might suspect, I could go on and on about this project. So, if you're interested in hearing more from me, do let me know. But, at any rate, the interviews are featured on this site (follow the link). Take a listen and let us know what you think. We hope that you enjoy them!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

ART 338 Intermediate Digital Imaging, Broad Collaboration

Maddy FritzStephanie BarkerDarrell KincerLauren BrockmanMiranda SosbyJacalynn Marsh
Melanie TotsikasMallory Meisner

The ART 338 class collaborated with creative writing students from Adam Clay's class. The poets graciously provided us with original works for which we produced "broadsides", attempting to create a visual context and presentation of their poems.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Fiscal Cliff: Museum Admission

In the political arena, all of this talk about a fiscal cliff brings to mind a possible impending doom through higher taxes and budget cuts for Americans in the new year. Some resolution must be reached by our leaders. But, the terms of that are yet undefined and might lead us to pause and think about how we spend our own funds. In terms of deficits and budget cuts, where are you willing to budge? What is "worth" an increase to you? What do you value?

Well, in the museum world, value and admission price are touchy topics, particularly given the new lawsuit against the Metropolitan Museum of Art. See here, here, and here. At issue is the Museum's fiscal policy for admission that offers a price, and in small print, defines that fee as suggested. The fee is steep - $25 - but when you consider what comes with that fee, the benefits seem to outweigh the costs by far.

However, two long-time members of the Met are suing the museum because of its fiscal policy for admission, and also, its supposed intent to deceive folks into believing that they HAVE to pay the recommended price (currently, $25).

Dr. Brill and Prof. Zakic enjoying a conversation
in front of Tom Coates' works.
Some of the comments made by readers of the articles linked above have pointed out some of the many tropes of the benevolence shown toward public services and cultural entities - that museums have benefitted from public funding and subsidies. This is undoubtedly true, but museums and cultural institutions, like the Met and our own galleries and collections, do face rising costs. Nor are they immune to inflation.

Other commenters have remarked at the murkiness of the fee structure - it's unclear to visitors not familiar with the miniscule font that reads "recommended" underneath the admission fee. Still, others have claimed that it shouldn't be a bother to pay what you wish. Responders have noted that those who do pay less get glares and snares from Met staff who seem to pass judgement upon those who choose - for whatever reason - not the pay for the full recommended admission fee.

Good art inspires conversation and reflection. 
I do agree with the premise of the lawsuit - that the Museum's recommended fee and language at the admission desk is unclear. While certainly the majority of folks will not refuse to visit the Met because of the lawsuit filed by Theodore Grunewald and Patricia Nicholson who want a court order barring the Museum from charging admission. The lawsuit may have an impact: there may be a few shy of 6 million visitors next year, to the Met perhaps. Well, that's possible, but highly unlikely.

And, it's best shared with fiends!

In light of all of these financial and litigious discussions, I encourage you to continue to patronize museums, galleries, and collections as you wish - and embrace those that truly remain free, such as our own collections: the outdoor Sculpture Collection, the Wilson and Cochenour Galleries, Gallery 108 (the new annex site in the LRC), and the Dr. Donald L. and Dorothy Jacobs Collection. We have art on view every day of the year, open and accessible 24/7 for you. For free! Really, truly FREE!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

More SoFA Time!

If you eat too much turkey and trimmings this weekend, don't worry! 
Your couch potato time can be extended. 

Come to the "On the SoFA: State of Fine Art" Opening Reception on Friday, November 30, from 6-8 p.m. and ask questions of our "Opportunities After Graduation" Panel.  Discussants are Becky Alley of the Lexington Art League, Peter Morrin of the University of Louisville, and Charla Reed of the Kentucky Arts Council. Stay for the Hip Hop Listening Party with art senior Mark Terrell Taylor. The exhibition will be on view through January 4 in the Anne Wright Wilson Gallery at Georgetown College.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Opportunity: Mural artists needed

From Leah, Art Ed instructor: If you are interested in painting murals, contact Tim at He will give you more details on the project.

ART 120 Photography, Holga, Fall 2012

Corri MuhaZack AdkinsChelsea KrausBrandy SmithIvy BlantonStephanie Barker
Katie WhitakerJen StephensMelanie TotsikasCheyenne NeffShawna Parson

The photography class experienced a cult classic, the Holga. Students experimented with this toy camera and color film to produce a wide variety of dreamy and even unexpected photographs. If the style looks a little familiar, it may be because aspects of Instagram mimics the look of the Holga.

Friday, November 16, 2012

ART 338 Intermediate Digital Imaging, Exquisite Corpse Project

Maddy Fritz, Miranda Sosby, Lauren BrockmanMiranda Sosby, Mallory Meisner, Jacalynn MarshMallory Meisner, Melanie Totsikas, Miranda SosbyStephanie Barker, Lauren Brockman, Melanie TotsikasLauren Brockkman, Jacalynn Marsh, Stephanie BarkerJacalynn Marsh, Maddy Fritz, Mallory Meisner
Melanie Totsikas, Stephanie Barker, Maddy Fritz

Results of our Exquisite Corpse project in ART 338, Intermediate Digital Imaging. It was a great experiment to collaborate with others in the class to produce inventive, responsive work that incorporates a sense of imagination through free association. One of my favorite projects of all time. Well done everyone.

Robert C. May Photo Lecture at UK Today


Exhibition: November 16 – December 23, 2012
Lecture: November 16, 4 pm

in the UK Student Center's Worsham Theater

In her lyrical representations of the female body, Lalla Essaydi employs a visual language rooted in her childhood in Morocco, where public spaces were defined by men, and women were confined to the private region of the home. In her photographs, women literally become part of the space they inhabit: she covers them in Islamic calligraphy that extends to the walls, furniture, and drapes, or garbs them in marvelous patterns that merge into surrounding mosaics.

As a contemporary artist, she also contests sexualized Western stereotypes of the harem seen in nineteenth-century Orientalist painting. “In my art, I wish to present myself through multiple lenses—as artist, as Moroccan, as Saudi, as traditionalist, as liberal, as Muslim,” she says. “In short, I invite the viewer to resist stereotypes.” re-post from the Art Museum at UK

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Dead Sea Scrolls

On December 2, 2012 students from my Survey of Art History course and Dr. Clark's Religion course will make a visit to the Cincinnati Museum Center to see the exhibit on the Dead Sea Scrolls. The scrolls are leather and papyrus documents dating from the classical era, around the first century BCE and the first half of the 1st century CE. They were discovered, in the modern era, in caves of the NW shore of the Dead Sea. We refer to these caves, seen below, as the Qumran Caves. Types of documents found in these caves include copies of the books of the Hebrew Bible; copies of books of the Old Testament Apocrypha; and documents written by an ascetic community. 

View of the Qumran Caves, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered in 1947. (2008). In The Bridgeman Art Library Archive. 

Dead Sea Scrolls. (2001). In Encyclopedia of Archaeology: History and Discoveries. Retrieved from

This exhibit will be visually stunning, as it features 600 actual archaeologically excavated artifacts plus 10 samples of authentic scrolls.  This is unusual for a traveling exhibition. Most come with 250 to 300 artifacts and replicas.  All 600 are actual pieces from Biblical to the Byzantine period in Israel and many are from recent excavations and on public display for the first time.

Watch this page for another post after the event. And, if you're interested in going, let me know! We're offering NEXUS for up to 4 credits which will include pre-reading and discussion. 

PS: If you remember GC alum '12, Jordan -- she'll be working at the Museum Center that day. So, we'll reconnect with a GC alum, history major, and art history/museum studies student during our visit. Yay!