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Spring 2020 Exhibitions

 

TO WEAVE BLUE (POEMA AL TEJIDO)

 

Pichillia

On view: January 31 – March 13
Opening reception: 5-7 pm, January 31
Hellen Ascoli Tool as Place performance, January 28, 11:30 am, ACB Courtyard
In Conversation: Hellen Ascoli (artist) and Laura August (curator): January 30, 7 pm, ACB 310
Exhibition Walkthrough and Coffee with Curator Laura August (in Spanish and English): February 1, 1:30 pm, Fogelman Galleries
Artists Hellen Ascoli and Antonio Pichillá will also be present to speak about their work

All events and programs free and open to the public.

Ascoli

In the exhibition To Weave Blue (Poema al tejido), six contemporary artists and poets from Guatemala present work related to weaving. They consider the production of textiles as a site for knowledge, language transmission, and cultural tradition within Maya communities. Seen together, these artists' works in textile, video, poetry, performance, and installation encompass ways of understanding history, relationships, legacies of violence, and survival. The works also evoke non-Western models for art's place in everyday life, offering a narrative that exists independent of Western visual art's traditions.

Many exhibitions in the United States and abroad have presented historical work by Maya people and weavings from Maya communities within ethnographic frameworks. This reflects a U.S. view of the Maya as an extinct culture, rather than a vibrant contemporary culture with numerous communities across the Americas. In contrast, this is the first exhibition in the U.S. that presents Maya artists as contemporary producers of conceptual art. To offer an approach that resists a certain cultural and historical flattening, To Weave Blue is framed as a collaborative poem or a song written to honor weaving and its ways of describing the world: Poema al tejido is a Poem for the Weaving. The exhibition thus leaves open space between different ideas, allowing them to resonate with each other gently, rather than attempting to define contemporary Mayan practice.

As its title suggests, To Weave Blue also considers the color blue. Like 'weaving,' the word 'blue' has many meanings in the U.S., including sadness and melancholy. In Guatemala, a light sky blue is the national color. A deeper blue pigment, made from the mixture of indigo, clay, and the incense copal, has been used in Maya communities for more than a thousand years. The exhibition considers how a person's identity in a nation might be tied to sorrow and loss; from 1960 to 1996, an internal conflict raged in Guatemala, killing more than 200,000 people. Multiple acts of genocide were committed by the national military against Maya communities. In light of this, the many shades of blue in the exhibition might also suggest a relationship not only to profound grief but also cultural methods of survival. And in this context, weavings are signs of resistance, as much as they are objects of comfort and daily use.

The exhibition includes work by contemporary Maya artists Edgar Calel (Kaq'chikel Maya from Chixot – San Juan Comalapa), Manuel Chavajay (Tzu'tujil Maya from San Pedro La Laguna, Sololá), Negma Coy (Kaq'chikel Maya from Chixot – San Juan Comalapa), Sandra Monterroso (Qeq'chi' Maya based in Guatemala City), and Antonio Pichillá (Tzu'tujil Maya from San Pedro La Laguna, Sololá). The exhibition also includes work by Guatemalan weaver, educator, sculptor, and researcher Hellen Ascoli (Guatemala City / Madison, WI). To Weave Blue (Poema al tejido) is curated by Laura August, a U.S.-born writer and curator based in Guatemala City and Houston, TX.

Scrolling Images: Antonio Pichillá, Abuela (Grandmother), 2017. Threads, 51 x 33 1/2 x 2 in.
Image courtesy of the artist.
Manuel Chavajay, Ruk'ayeewaal, 2015. Still from video intervention, 3:35 min. Image courtesy of the artist.
Edgar Calel, At nu jukukempe / Te traigo arrastrando / I Drag You With Me, 2016. Still from video performance, 2:07 min. Image courtesy of the artist.

Above images: Antonio Pichillá, Un personaje llamado Martín (A character named Martín), 2018. Stone, wax, and handmade textile. 35 x 100 x 25 cm. Image courtesy of the artist.
Hellen Ascoli, Tool as Place, 2019. Archival photograph from weaving research. Image courtesy of the artist.

 

 

MFA THESIS EXHIBITION: TRAVIS WASHINGTON
BFA THESIS EXHIBITION PART I

March 27 – April 10
Opening reception: March 27, 5-7 pm

 

 

BFA THESIS EXHIBITION PART II

April 17 – May 1
Opening reception: April 12, 5-7 pm

 

 

GRAPHIC DESIGN SENIOR EXHIBITION

May 7, 6-8 pm

 

 

ELISE MCKENNA WILSON

May 15 – June 5
Opening reception: May 15, 5-7 pm

 

 

 

Wait And See: Graphic Design Senior Show

Wait and See Graphic Design Senior Show

December 12, 2019 
6:00 - 8:00 PM

A one-night only exhibition of works by graduating University of Memphis Graphic Design students: Kristin Baltimore, Danielle Barron, Royale Davis, Thomas Davis, Cullen Jackson, Kala McCrosky, Lisa Miller, Breanna Parker, Kathryn Perkins, Meredith Simmons, Thomas Steele, Joseph Waterbury, Samantha Welch, and Tiara Wilson.

 

 

ONE WORD: UNIVERSITY OF MEMPHIS BFA THESIS EXHIBITION

One Word BFA Thesis

November 15 - December 6, 2019
Opening Reception: November 15, 5-7 pm
Gallery Talks: November 19, 11:30 am
November 21, 11:30 am

One Word, Part II of the Fall 2019 BFA Thesis Exhibition, featuring the work of six graduating seniors of The University of Memphis Department of Art: Ashlyn Creagh-Martinez, Julie Darling, Emily Hogan, Colt Houston, Kayla Owens, and Kylon Wagner. The exhibition is a compilation of works in a variety of media including photography and sculpture. The presentation celebrates the completion of their undergraduate studies and the culmination of each student's artistic exploration and experiences.

The exhibition will be on view in The Martha and Robert Fogelman Galleries of Contemporary Art from November 15 - December 6, 2019. The students will discuss their work in gallery talks on November 19 at 11:30 am and November 21 at 11:30 am in the Fogelman Galleries. All events are free and open to the public.

 

 

Hold the Door: University of Memphis BFA Thesis Exhibition

Hold the Door: University of Memphis BFA Thesis Exhibition

October 25 – November 8
Opening Reception: Friday, October 25, 5-7 pm
Gallery Talk: October 29, 11:30 am

Join us for the opening reception of "Hold the Door," Part I of the Fall 2019 BFA Thesis Exhibition, features the work of four graduating seniors of The University of Memphis Department of Art: Ivy-Jade Edwards, Jeff Carter, Robert Fairchild IV, and Nicholas Svoboda. The exhibition is a compilation of works in a variety of media including painting and sculpture where color is paramount. The presentation celebrates the completion of their undergraduate studies and the culmination of each student's artistic exploration and experiences.

The exhibition will be on view in The Martha and Robert Fogelman Galleries of Contemporary Art from October 25th to November 8th. The students will discuss their work in a gallery talk on October 29th at 11:30 am. All events are free and open to the public.

 

MFA Thesis Exhibition: Christopher Davis
Chatter in the Skull

MFA Thesis Exhibition: Christopher Davis  Chatter in the Skull

October 25 – November 8
Opening Reception: Friday, October 25, 5-7 pm

Chatter in the Skull, the MFA Thesis Exhibition of Christopher Davis, is a phrase used by philosopher Alan Watts in reference to over-thinking and its relationship to reality: "'Chatter in the skull'...perpetual and compulsive repetition of words...of reckoning and calculating." As an artist, Davis finds himself in this "perpetual and compulsive repetition of words." Many of the words and phrases in his visual vocabulary are borrowed from the unique landscape of Southern Illinois. He has been repeating some of these forms and phrases for the better part of two decades—assembling fragments of beauty into monuments, fetishes, markers, and relics. He constructs objects from humble, easily recognizable materials. Like the landmarks that inspire him, these markers engage the viewer with the truths found in the formal relationships between objects and materials. He presents the viewer a window to contemplate the beauty that compels him to keep looking.

The works in Chatter in the Skull include assemblages that have been cast to create relief sculptures and small totems, as well as larger totems/markers assembled from steel, cast objects, and wood. Smaller cast wall pieces draw the viewer for a more intimate experience while larger vertical pieces stand over the viewer, competing for dominance of the space.

Christopher Davis was born in a double-wide trailer in Southern Illinois. He was raised as a member of a religious fellowship where he also attended school through the twelfth grade. These early regional, economic, and philosophical influences have given him a unique lens through which he filters the world around him. He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in sculpture from Southern Illinois University in 2004, a Master of Arts from Arkansas State University in 2012, and will graduate in December 2019 with a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Memphis.

Image: Christopher Davis, The Navigator, The Pilot, Her Favorite, 2018. Cast aluminum. 24 x 24 in.

 

 

GRAPHIC DESIGN SENIOR EXHIBITION

December 12, 6-8 pm