For release: February 5, 2008
For press information, contact Simone Notter Wilson
The Art Museum of the University of Memphis (AMUM) and New York based artist Anne
Beffel invite you to experience Sitting Still: Contemplation and Creation, Anne Beffel and Students from the University
of Memphis and Syracuse University.
An opening reception for the exhibition will be held in the lobby of the Art Museum
on Saturday, February 23, from 4 to 6 p.m. The exhibition will run through April 12.
Sitting Still allows the audience to discover different perspectives through the simple act of
sitting still and observing videos of daily scenes, ranging from those that inspire
awe to those that compel viewers to participate and intervene. It uses fast-paced
new media communication forms such as video and Web sites, with an emphasis on slowing
Door and curtain segments. Door segment is by Kate Bidwell, Memphis, TN. Curtain segment
is by Anne Beffel, New York, NY.
“The great thing about these videos is that they can be shared with others," Beffel
said. “My hope is that one person at a time we will build a more contemplative, connected
culture – a peaceful alternative to conflict. This is a contemporary version of pen
pals, using technology to share scenes from our lives."
Beffel works to reverse the common chaos of everyday life into a method that “will
inspire people to stop, look, listen, and chronicle their worlds as they unfold".
She drew inspiration from a variety of sources, including her interest in the Dalai
Lama and Rosa Parks. Although both individuals came from very different environments
and positions in life, they drew strength and courage from stillness, which has affected
the world in profound ways.
“This February marks the 48th anniversary of the sit-ins of Ronald Martin, Robert
Patterson, and Mark Martin at F.W. Woolworth's luncheon counter in Greensboro, N.C.,
and of the Nashville sit-ins that lasted through May 1960," Beffel said. “Those were
all non-violent and contemplative attempts to overcome differences, in this case to
end racial segregation."
Architecture students demonstrate the design and stability of their cardboard stools,
created for the exhibition. The exhibition is a collaboration among artist Anne Beffel
and University of Memphis art foundation, sculpture and architecture students.
About Anne Beffel
Anne Beffel is associate professor of art at Syracuse University. She received her
B.F.A. degree from the University of Michigan's School of Art and her M.F.A. degree
from the University of Iowa. She participated in the Studio Program at the Whitney
Museum of American Art in New York City and taught at St. John's University in Collegeville,
She has had several exhibitions, including public arts residencies at the World Financial
Center and at the New York Downtown Hospital in Lower Manhattan. She has received
grants from the Gunk Foundation and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and recently
co-founded the Interdisciplinary Research Group at Syracuse University.