Category

Traveling Exhibition

Installation of Leo Twiggs: Requiem for Mother Emanuel

Immanuel: A Symposium

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On June 17, 2015 when Dylan Roof entered Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina he was entering the oldest African American church in the South, the home of the first independent black denomination in the United States in a city that was central to the slave trade in the United States. Roof, a young white man, murdered nine African American members of a Bible study group, sparking a series of events that brought the city, the state, and the country together long enough to finally drive state governments to take down from public buildings the battle flag of Northern Virginia, more commonly known as the Confederate flag. There were more than just political ramifications. Artist, Dr. Leo Twiggs said, “What I feel is that the tragedy changed our state in a way that I had not seen before. I think for us that was a shining moment where people came together not because of the color of their skin, but because of the humanness in their hearts. I think for the first time we started communicating heart to heart instead of head to head.” Twiggs responded with a series of nine batik paintings that chronicles a narrative of violence and redemption that not only refers to the Mother Emanuel massacre, but also serves as metaphor for the broader African American religious experience in this country.

“Immanuel: A Symposium” will take place at JCSM on the afternoon before the opening of Leo Twiggs: Requiem for Mother Emanuel. It will provide the opportunity to discuss the African American church, and its historical and contemporary role as both sanctuary and location for civic and political activism. Taking the exhibition as point of departure, the objective of the symposium will be to explore the history of the black church in the U.S., and to open a discussion about the historical intersections between the Christian conversion of enslaved Africans, and the metaphorical and real church as location and catalyst for spiritual and political redemption. “Immanuel,” the Hebrew word for “God is with us,” gave Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church its name, and the concept of “Immanuel” offers a powerful point of departure for both the artwork of Dr. Twiggs and the broader themes the Symposium will explore. The symposium will consist of four talks and a panel discussion leading up to the opening artist talk. JCSM has been deliberate in choosing a scholar who can address the history of the African American church both nationally and in Alabama, a scholar from Charleston, and scholars from the local community.

The symposium has been made possible in part by a grant from the Alabama Humanities Foundation, a state program of the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Auburn University Special Lectures Fund.

Auburn University’s Mosaic Theater will perform.

“Under Their Own Vine and Fig Tree: African Americans and the Church in Southern History”

Presented by Dr. Richard Bailey, Alabama historian and retired research specialist

“We Are Charleston”

Presented by Dr. Bernard E. Powers, Jr. Professor of History, College of Charleston

Following this presentation, there will be a break.

“‘The Most Segregated Hour in America’: Churches and Social Justice Across the Color Line, from the Civil Rights Era to the Present”

Presented by Dr. David Carter, Associate Professor of History, Auburn University, and Dr. Johnny Green, Assistant Vice President for Outreach in Student Affairs, Auburn University

Following this presentation, there will be a panel discussion and a break. 

“Requiem for Mother Emanuel,” Dr. Leo Twiggs, Professor Emeritus, South Carolina State University

Dr. Twiggs’s lecture will shed light on his conceptualization and resolution of works in his exhibition of nine batik paintings he made in response to the June 17, 2015 massacre in Emanuel AME Church in Charleston and to its aftermath and far-reaching consequences.

Opening reception for Requiem for Mother Emanuel immediately follows.

Camera Lucida: Jillian Mayer

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Popular culture has been molded by television and electronic graphic information since the mid-20th century. Whether appearing on a TV console, computer monitor, or smart device, video has become a comfortable, accessible, and preferred medium for both consumption and creation, especially to those among us under 30. Many critics today consider it to be this generation’s quintessential format for expression. Camera Lucida features eight contemporary artists from around the world who work with video and digital moving imagery. Artists Jay Bolotin, Rob Carter, Joe Hamilton, Yeon Jin Kim, LigoranoReese, Jillian Mayer, Rosa Menkman, and Rick Silva offer fresh perspectives on enduring concerns and new issues, using a technology that is widely familiar through common exposure, if not as broadly known as an independent art form. Yet video has been used as an eloquent and powerful vehicle by artists for more than 50 years, ranging from early documentary formats and narrative expositions to digital abstraction and game-playing interaction. JCSM’s survey provides a compelling look at the state of the medium today, where age-old intentions find new purpose in new applications.

This exhibition has been made possible by grants from the Alabama State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Jillian Mayer

That manner of subversive appropriation today includes pseudo infomercials and music videos, along with the slick fades and editing tricks we have come to know through contemporary mainstream television. The videos of Jillian Mayer, another artist exhibiting in Camera Lucida, hold up a virtual funhouse mirror to the deceits of popular television, cinema, and the Internet. Their humorously distorted reflections are both ludicrous and acutely on point. As if wielding the ultimate universal remote, Mayer channel hops among genres and formats as she takes on the clichéd memes, cultural affectations, lowbrow entertainment, social media confessionals, and online cons that occupy a large portion of her generation’s post-wired existence. Though masked by an aura of pop accessibility and innocence, her work raises serious questions about our spiraling immersion into a surrogate experience of the natural world.

This video contains an excerpt from I Am Your Grandma, 2011.

Courtesy of David Castillo / Borscht Corp.

Camera Lucida: LigoranoReese

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Popular culture has been molded by television and electronic graphic information since the mid-20th century. Whether appearing on a TV console, computer monitor, or smart device, video has become a comfortable, accessible, and preferred medium for both consumption and creation, especially to those among us under 30. Many critics today consider it to be this generation’s quintessential format for expression. Camera Lucida features eight contemporary artists from around the world who work with video and digital moving imagery. Artists Jay Bolotin, Rob Carter, Joe Hamilton, Yeon Jin Kim, LigoranoReese, Jillian Mayer, Rosa Menkman, and Rick Silva offer fresh perspectives on enduring concerns and new issues, using a technology that is widely familiar through common exposure, if not as broadly known as an independent art form. Yet video has been used as an eloquent and powerful vehicle by artists for more than 50 years, ranging from early documentary formats and narrative expositions to digital abstraction and game-playing interaction. JCSM’s survey provides a compelling look at the state of the medium today, where age-old intentions find new purpose in new applications.

This exhibition has been made possible by grants from the Alabama State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.

LigoranoReese

LigoranoReese is the collaborative name of artists Nora Ligorano and Marshall Reese, whose work, Dawn of the Anthropocene, is featured in Camera Lucida. LigoranoReese’s video documents the limited life span of their massive work of ice sculpture installed outdoors in a downtown Manhattan pedestrian plaza. Moreover, it functions independently as a compelling work of art, compressing time and the transformation of matter into an accelerated viewer experience, thus amplifying the artists’ conceptual statement. The installation of the 3,000-pound sculpture of the words THE FUTURE, measuring five by twenty-three feet, took place at the intersection of Broadway and 23rd Street on the morning of Sept. 21, 2014, to coincide with the United Nations Climate Summit and the People’s Climate March. The artists photographed and filmed the sculpture’s steady disappearance, posting it in real-time on the Internet.

This video contains an excerpt from Dawn of the Anthropocene, 2015.

Courtesy of Catharine Clark Gallery, San Francisco

“Dawn of the Anthropocene” is titled after the proposed name for the geological epoch in which we live. The term Anthropocene, popularized by the Nobel prize-winning chemist Paul Crutzen and other scientists, describes the period in which human activity has become the dominant influence on climate and the environment, overtaking that of the Earth’s natural forces. LigoranoReese’s work at large addresses the impact of technology on society, while utilizing high technology itself in novel applications. Recent projects by them include screening micro-projections of Hollywood war movies on the head of a pin and fiber optic data tapestries that alter appearance in response to biometric feedback.

Camera Lucida: Joe Hamilton

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Popular culture has been molded by television and electronic graphic information since the mid-20th century. Whether appearing on a TV console, computer monitor, or smart device, video has become a comfortable, accessible, and preferred medium for both consumption and creation, especially to those among us under 30. Many critics today consider it to be this generation’s quintessential format for expression. Camera Lucida features eight contemporary artists from around the world who work with video and digital moving imagery. Artists Jay Bolotin, Rob Carter, Joe Hamilton, Yeon Jin Kim, LigoranoReese, Jillian Mayer, Rosa Menkman, and Rick Silva offer fresh perspectives on enduring concerns and new issues, using a technology that is widely familiar through common exposure, if not as broadly known as an independent art form. Yet video has been used as an eloquent and powerful vehicle by artists for more than 50 years, ranging from early documentary formats and narrative expositions to digital abstraction and game-playing interaction. JCSM’s survey provides a compelling look at the state of the medium today, where age-old intentions find new purpose in new applications.

This exhibition has been made possible by grants from the Alabama State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Joe Hamilton

Most of the artists in Camera Lucida utilize editing and animation technologies that would have astonished earlier creators, thus highlighting how far the field has advanced in half a century. Visual effects seen today in the works of Joe Hamilton, Rosa Menkman, and Joe Silva quite simply could not have been created in an earlier time. Hamilton’s videos integrate rolling overlays of natural landscape views with fields of color, abstract forms, and collaged elements. This thoroughly contemporary, digital take on Cubism elicits an expanded field of awareness that incorporates multiple perspectives and perceptions, much as Braque and Picasso’s paintings achieve. His videos mimic our roaming focus and engagement in the environment and allude to our inner reflections on those sights and activities.

This video contains an excerpt from Trouble in Utopia, 2013.

Camera Lucida: Rob Carter

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Popular culture has been molded by television and electronic graphic information since the mid-20th century. Whether appearing on a TV console, computer monitor, or smart device, video has become a comfortable, accessible, and preferred medium for both consumption and creation, especially to those among us under 30. Many critics today consider it to be this generation’s quintessential format for expression. Camera Lucida features eight contemporary artists from around the world who work with video and digital moving imagery. Artists Jay Bolotin, Rob Carter, Joe Hamilton, Yeon Jin Kim, LigoranoReese, Jillian Mayer, Rosa Menkman, and Rick Silva offer fresh perspectives on enduring concerns and new issues, using a technology that is widely familiar through common exposure, if not as broadly known as an independent art form. Yet video has been used as an eloquent and powerful vehicle by artists for more than 50 years, ranging from early documentary formats and narrative expositions to digital abstraction and game-playing interaction. JCSM’s survey provides a compelling look at the state of the medium today, where age-old intentions find new purpose in new applications.

This exhibition has been made possible by grants from the Alabama State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Rob Carter

Rob Carter uses stop motion animation to render fictional yet conceivable transformations of the landscape through mankind’s propensity for building. His video “Foobel (An Alternate History)” traces the imagined evolution of a simple outdoor soccer pitch through time into ever larger and more bombastic iterations of stadium architecture. A later work, “Metropolis” depicts a similar metamorphosis of rural, 18th-century Charlotte, North Carolina into a futuristic urban conglomeration of skyscrapers and sports arenas. Created by video-recording printed images on paper, cut and folded progressively into elaborate compositions, Carter’s videos comment on the politics of hubris and humanity’s relationship with the natural world.

 

 

Courtesy of Catharine Clark Gallery, San Francisco, CA

This video contains an excerpt from Metropolis, 2008.

Take home a little bit of “Hiroshige” from the Shop!

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Walk into the Museum Shop, and take some of the art history home with you! Several items compliment the exhibition, Along the Eastern Road: Hiroshige’s Fifty-Three Stations of the Tokaido. 

 

You’ll find a wide selection of hand crafted and out of the ordinary items for you, your friends, and the home. By becoming a museum member, you are eligible for select discounts. Gift certificates and complimentary gift wrapping are available.

The Museum Shop is open during the museum’s regular business hours: Tuesday through Saturday from 10 am to 4:30 pm, with extended hours Thursdays until 8 pm and Sundays from 1 pm to 4 pm.

Call 334.844.1484 for more information.

Oh Snap! Get Your Photo Booth Pics from JCSM’s “Tailgate”

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Our JCSM photo booth captured the fun of the Museum Homecoming Tailgate on Friday, Oct. 2, 2015. Guests showed their team spirit and belief in the transformative power of art.

As you tour and experience Out of the Box: An Juried Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition through October 2016be sure to take lots of pictures and share using #ThisIsSculpture.

For those of you who attended our event, download your picture as a memento from the museum’s Flickr account. Scroll to your picture, click the image, and select the download arrow from the image bank menu on the bottom righthand of the page.

Museum Homecoming Tailgate (10.02.15) Museum Homecoming Tailgate 2016

A conversation with Todd McGrain, sculptor of “The Lost Bird Project”

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During a special visit to JCSM, sculptor Todd McGrain installed his piece, “The Lost Bird Project, ” met with Auburn students, and gave a lecture for the community. “The Lost Bird Project” is on view at JCSM through March 20, 2016.

Watch as he installs the sculpture on the museum grounds and discusses his inspiration behind the piece.

Conserved Murals to Exhibit for First Time in Museum Setting

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John_Augustus_Walker-Wall_PhotoJule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art, Auburn University will exhibit John Augustus Walker’s “Historical Panorama of Alabama Agriculture” from May 17, 2014 to September 21, 2014. The exhibition is timed with the 100th anniversary of the Alabama Cooperative Extension System and marks the first time the entire series of ten paintings will be exhibited in a museum setting. Curated alongside “Panorama” and running concurrently are other WPA-era art from the museum’s permanent collection in “Picturing an Era: Art from the Great Depression to the Second World War.” Prominent artists represented include Marsden Hartley and Grant Wood, alongside regional artists such as Frank Applebee, Edward Everett Burr, and Nell Choate Shute.

On May 22, 2014 at 5:00 p.m., Bruce Dupree, art director with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, will present a gallery talk entitled “The Historical Panorama of Alabama Agriculture, John Augustus Walker, and the 1939 Alabama State Fair.” The jazz band Cullars Improvisational Rotation will perform following the talk from 6:00 to 8:00 pm with extended gallery hours and tapas with cocktail service in the Museum Café from 5:00 to 8:00 pm. Admission is free courtesy of JCSM Business Partners.

Dupree said that in the 1930s, the Extension Service was a major player on the state’s agricultural and political stage. “As in years past, in 1938 fair organizers contacted the Extension Service and Alabama Polytechnic Institute to have a large exhibit at the upcoming Alabama State Fair,” he said. “Once a theme was decided, Extension leaders sought an artist through the regional Works Progress Administration, or WPA.” Dupree said that Mobile mural artist John Augustus Walker, who also worked as a Mardi Gras float and costume designer, graphic designer, and full-time railroad clerk, was selected and worked closely with the Extension on mural content.

Walker’s ten-panel “Panorama” looks back to the area’s Native American first farmers and culminates with modern advances in farm technology and its benefits. “Much like a stage set, the murals were designed to only last for a short period of time, about two weeks,” said Dupree. “The next year would likely bring a new design.” By the early 1940s, the murals were lost and forgotten. “Americans’ thoughts were turning from domestic issues to world headlines, such as the war in Europe. With advancing technology, the message of the murals became outdated.”

The murals were rediscovered in the early 1980s in the Duncan Hall attic. “The murals were in bad shape when found,” said Dupree. “Recent conservation treatment has stabilized the paintings’ fragile areas and cleaned years of accumulated dust and dirt, thus ensuring a long life for these ‘temporary’ works of art,” remarked Dennis Harper, museum curator of collections and exhibitions. In 2010, the murals were transferred into the permanent collection of Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art.

In one of the panels, Walker used the header “Farm Progress is Great.” Dupree said Alabama agriculture has changed much since 1939. “Poultry, forestry and aquaculture are leading industries, creating tens of thousands of much needed jobs in many rural counties. He cited other positive changes such as disease and drought resistant crops, agri-tourism, and long-range weather forecasting among the many advances. But much of what farmers grow, he said, is the same. “As in the 1930s, it still takes planting a seed, nurturing what we grow, and stewardship of the land and water. And, a good rain now and then doesn’t hurt either.”

Photography Collection Exhibited for Instruction, Outreach

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Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art, Auburn University will present Shared Vision: The Sondra Gilman and Celso Gonzalez-Falla Collection of Photography, an exhibition featuring 150 images from the last 100 years of photography. The exhibition opens on Friday, January 24, 2014 and runs through April 27, 2014. Outreach programs for campus and community, including films, researcher and artist talks, and a photography exhibition of Auburn students, are scheduled during the spring semester to coincide with what many art historians consider a preeminent fine art photography collection. Art News ranks Gilman and Gonzalez-Falla among the world’s top 10 photo collectors.

Uelsmann_Jerry_Untitled_web“This exhibition has a little bit of every kind of work that informed 20th century photographic practice,” said artist and co-curator Paul Karabinis. “The collectors are also quite interested in contemporary practice and supporting new talent in the medium.” Karabinis will spend time with Auburn students during his January visit and give a public talk on Wednesday, January 22, 2014 at 4:00 p.m. at the museum. “It’s always beneficial to introduce students to original works and not rely upon teaching the history of a medium through reproduction alone.” Karabinis said that nearly all the photographs in the exhibition were vintage prints; meaning, the print was made at or around the time the negative or image file was created and printed by, or under the direction, of the artist. “With vintage work, you get a glimpse of the individual printing style of each photographer. You also encounter the effects of time and handling, that patina of age, that makes us realize that works of art are not just images, but artifacts of a particular time and place.”

Organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville, the exhibition was co-curated by Karabinis and Ben Thompson. Karabinis described how they overcame what appeared to be an initial challenge—the fact that the pair of collectors did not collect a specific style or type of photography.

“Celso Gonzalez-Falla called it a haunting quality that remains in his mind’s eye after seeing a photograph,” he said. “Sondra Gilman referenced the feeling as a poetic edge that draws her to certain works and leaves her with an unsettling feeling. They are charmed by that state of thought and wonder that begins with the simple visual facts and moves towards symbol and metaphor. This is the common thread that united the work.”

Chuck Hemard, an associate professor in the Department of Art at Auburn, said that the Sondra Gillman and Celso Gonzalez-Falla Collection was really a college photography teacher’s dream collection, not only because of the work presented but because the exhibition is coming to Auburn versus a major art center hours away. “The collection represents an impressive variety and range of approaches to how photography can convey and express potent meanings,” he said. “To be an effective teacher, I feel an obligation to engage students with examples that represent a wide range of possibilities of what fine art photography is and can be. I love that its core seems to be resonate images by important artists. This is the part that students of art photography mustexperience, concepts that if I’m being honest, are most difficult to teach.” Hemard’s students will exhibit their photography at the museum in March.

In addition to guest lecturing, Karabinis will attend the opening reception and member preview on Thursday, January 23, 2014. Those interested in joining Auburn’s art museum and attending should click ‘join’ below or call Cindy Cox, membership officer at 334-844-3005. A schedule of benefits and values is available on the museum’s web site or by request from the museum office.
Above: Jerry N. Uelsmann (American, b. 1934), Untitled, 1996, gelatin-silver print, © Jerry N. Uelsmann

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