Tag: photography

Professor Rob Neilson adds artistic flair to new Fox Cities Exhibition Center

When the city of Appleton threw a grand-opening party Jan. 11 for its new $31.9 million downtown exhibition center, Lawrence University art professor Rob Neilson’s talents were one of the building’s star attractions.

Rob Neilson with "You Are Here" sculpture
Rob Neilson stands under his sculpture “You Are Here,” which hangs from the ceiling.

Three projects of Neilson’s — “You Are Here,” “We Are Here” and “Community Caryatids,” a series of 10 I-beams representing each of the local municipalities contributing financially to the center — provide an artistic connection between the 30,000-square-foot facility, the people and communities who built it and the visitors it will serve.

Neilson proved he’s not only highly creative, he also can work fast. From the time he was first selected for the art commission from among three finalists to the completion of all three projects: 10 months.

“I’ve done projects that are three, four years, but this was very quick and a lot of work,” said Neilson, the Frederick R. Layton Professor of Art at Lawrence. “I was teaching at the same time.”

Two of the projects are designed to complement each other.  “You Are Here” is a 12-foot–by-13-foot sculpture project suspended from the ceiling of the ground-level floor. It features a cutout of the state of Wisconsin with a giant red pushpin inserted where the Fox Cities would be on the map. “We Are Here” is a series of 10 oversized portraits each comprised of 1,000 individual headshots shot last summer and fall of citizens from throughout the Fox Cities.

“The sculpture project was where I started. I was thinking about what is this exhibition center, what is our community trying to do?,” Neilson explained. “They’re trying to get people to the Fox Cities, get people to come and stay. It’s about travel, destination, the history of this place and how geography and landscape has shaped this community.

“So, I was really thinking about how to do a three-dimensional representation of all those ideas; the river, history, paper, travel, destination. That all just came together in a way that I’m used to working, thinking, developing ideas.”

Rob Neilson with portrait project "We Are Here"
Rob Neilson chats with guests in front of his “We Are Here” portrait project at the grand opening of the Fox Cities Exhibition Center.

Neilson was presented with a second opportunity to propose something for a space on the lower level and the photography portrait piece “was a natural.”

“Of course, if you’re doing ‘You Are Here,’ you have to do ‘We Are Here,’” said Neilson. “I had done the sculpture about the history, the paper industry, the river, travel and destination. The other thing that the Fox Cities does so well is community. It was natural going to one project from the other.”

As a sculptor, the portrait project was a giant step outside of Neilson’s experience with a rather steep learning curve.

“My photography skills up until this point were limited to what I needed to know to take a photo of the sculptures I make,” said Neilson with a laugh. “I had to figure out how I wanted to do this, the lighting, what was the right aperture. I needed these all to be consistent so it could become one big piece.”

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“The project really was me in the community, talking with people, meeting with people, people collaborating with us, telling us how happy they were. That was meaningful in a way I wasn’t prepared for and it was a great surprise.
— Rob Neilson
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Despite his self-admitted photographic limitations, the bigger challenge, he discovered, was a game plan for actually taking 10,000 individual head shots in a very compressed time frame.

“How do I get images, how do I get people engaged, the logistics of it all was the thing that was keeping me up nights,” said Neilson, who found himself taking pictures seven days a week, including many days that stretched to 12-plus hours.

Saturday morning downtown Appleton farmer’s market crowds provided Neilson with plenty of potential, if not sometimes leery, subjects.

“The first time we went out on Oct. 21, people didn’t quite understand what we were doing. Given the setting, people assumed we were there to sell something. I can’t tell you how many times we had to say, before they even got to ask, ‘100% free!’ That was the line.

“Once we started rolling, once people understood what we were doing, we didn’t have to sell the idea every single time. It bloomed rapidly,” added Neilson, who said every person who had their picture taken wound up in one of the final portraits.

While he doesn’t like to name favorites among his many public art works, Neilson said the photography project is one that will stay with him forever.

Rob Neilson next to pillars project
Rob Neilson on his “Community Caryatids” project: “This sounds ridiculous, but they look exactly like I designed them.”

“The project really was me in the community, talking with people, meeting with people, people collaborating with us, telling us how happy they were,” he said. “That was meaningful in a way I wasn’t prepared for and it was a great surprise.

“It’s profound when it’s something in the place I’ve been living for 15 years. It’s the only home my kids know. This is our hometown. This is where we live. I go through those photos and I know these are my neighbors, my friends, people I work with, people I’ve met, people I interacted with. I don’t know how many opportunities we get to experience that kind of thing in our lives. But I’m fortunate to have had that opportunity and I will never forget that.”

The center’s third project was the result of a bit of happenstance. While attending a meeting about ways Miron Construction, the building’s general contractor, could recognize the communities involved with its construction, Neilson was asked if he had any ideas.

“I just stood up and said what it was on top of my head. You need columns, you need pillars, something that is holding this place up, figuratively and literally.”

Crowd at Expo Center grand opening
Rob Neilson’s “We Are Here” photography project dominates the south wall of the main floor of the expo center.

The finished product is a series of 10, 10-foot tall I-beams, each with the name of one of the communities cut into the flange of the I-beam,

“It’s supposed to be figuratively holding this place up, the 10 communities,” Neilson explained. “This sounds ridiculous, but they look exactly like I designed them.”

Appleton is home to several other public art projects by Neilson, including engraved manhole covers depicting some aspect of compassion. He also has done projects in Los Angeles, Charlotte., N.C., and for the Long Beach Transit Authority. The Expo Center projects were capstone of very happily busy year for Neilson.

“It was a big year for me. I had more shows last year than I’d ever had. More exhibitions than I’d ever had in a single year my whole professional life. I did more talks on public art, had been in more newspapers, magazines and on television than I’d ever been by far in a single year. It was some of the hardest work I’ve done and it was great.”

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

Cuban photography highlights new Wriston Art Center exhibition

Internationally renowned Cuban artist Nelson Ramírez de Arellano delivers the opening talk for Lawrence University’s Wriston Art Center Galleries’ latest exhibition Friday, Jan 12 at 6 p.m.

A reception follows Ramírez’s remarks. Both are free and open to the public. The new exhibition runs through March 9.

The photographic image "El Viaje"
“El Viaje,” by Liudmila & Nelson, 2001, gelatin silver print, will be part of the exhibition “The Light in Cuban Eyes: Selections from the Madeleine P. Plonsker Collection of Contemporary Cuban Photography.”

The visit by Ramírez, the director of the Cuban national photography archive in Havana, is in conjunction with the exhibition “The Light in Cuban Eyes: Selections from the Madeleine P. Plonsker Collection of Contemporary Cuban Photography” in the Hoffmaster Gallery.

Shot in styles described as “ranging from fabulist to gritty,” the exhibition features photographs taken between 1992-2012, a difficult period in Cuba’s history following the loss of financial support from the former Soviet Union that continues today.

“The Cuban artists represented in the exhibition take the human body as their theme,” said Beth Zinsli, director and curator of the Wriston galleries. “They examine its capacity for movement and stillness, its use in ritualized gestures and private habits and its capacity for joy, desire, endurance and transformation.”

Photo entilted "Profile with haystack"
“Profile with Haystack (Whitelaw, Wisconsin)” by Julie Lindemann and John Shimon, 2010, tea-toned cyanotype with Kamar varnish, is among the images featured in the exhibition “Through the Lens: Recent Acquisitions in Photography.”

The Leech Gallery showcases new additions to Lawrence’s permanent collection in “Through the Lens: Recent Acquisitions in Photography.” The exhibition features two images by Lawrence studio art faculty John Shimon and the late Julie Lindemann. Other images in the exhibition came to Lawrence as part of The Museum Project, which places work by contemporary photographers into museum and gallery collections like the Wriston.

“Pulped Under Pressure,” which examines the art of handmade paper, will be featured in the Kohler Gallery. Incorporating a wide range of materials — junk mail, egg cartons, ripped denim jeans, bedsheets and even heirloom plants — this group of seven female artists use printmaking, letterpress, papercutting and installation to create art that combines contemporary issues with history and craft.

“The diversity of handmade paper forms included in this exhibition is really exciting,” said Zinsli. “These artists are expanding the boundaries of traditional papermaking practices while also examining pressing issues like human impact on the environment, each with a visually stunning presentation.”

Two of the artists involved in the exhibition, Reni Gower and Melissa Potter, will demonstrate papermaking techniques at Lawrence Feb. 1 and 2. They will also deliver a public talk about their work Feb. 1 at 4:30 p.m. in the Wriston galleries. The “Pulped Under Pressure” exhibition and community programs are generously supported by AZCO, Inc.

The Wriston Art Center is open Tuesday-Friday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday noon – 4 p.m.; closed Mondays. Free and open to the public. For more information, 832-6621.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

Attention all smilers: Professor Rob Neilson needs you for public art project at Fox Cities Exhibition Center

For anyone who has ever dreamed of being “immortalized,” now is your chance.

Rob Neilson
Rob Neilson

Rob Neilson, Frederick R. Layton Professor of Art at Lawrence University, is looking for nearly 10,000 people who would be willing to have their face — in the form of a headshot — included in the commissioned art project “We Are Here” that will be installed in the new Fox Cities Exhibition Center.

The finished project will be a series of 10 individual portraits. Covering an area 10-feet-by-7-feet, each individual “face” will be a mosaic made up of nearly 1,000 individual photographs of people from throughout the Fox Cities.

Neilson will be taking photos of anyone interested in being included in the project on the following days and locations:

• Downtown Appleton Farm Market – Nov. 11: 9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.artist rendering of We Are Here portrait project at Fox Cities Exhibition Center

• Appleton Public Library — Nov. 18: 9 a.m.-12 p.m.

• Fox Cities Performing Arts Center — Nov. 8: 5:30-7:30 p.m.; Nov. 9: 7- 8:30 p.m.

“After completing public art projects all over the country, I’m thrilled, and a just a bit overwhelmed, to be undertaking this enormous community-based art project here in my hometown,” said Neilson. “The opportunity to create a public art project in the Fox Cities that is not only for the public but also about the public has provided me the chance to engage face to face with people throughout our community and reminds us all that we are the public in public art.”

Mosaic portraitThe “We Are Here” project was commissioned by the city of Appleton and will be installed on the ground floor of the Fox Cities Exhibition Center. The grand opening celebration for the center is scheduled for Jan. 11, 2018.

For more information on the project, visit http://www.weareherefoxcities.com/ or http://www.facebook.com/WeAreHerePublicProject.

If any area group or business or event anywhere in the Fox Cities would like to schedule an opportunity to participate, contact the project at: WeAreHereFoxCities@gmail.com.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

Contemporary paintings, photography featured in new Wriston Art Center exhibition

In conjunction with his show “Aureole” in the Kohler Gallery, Patrick Earl Hammie delivers the opening talk for Lawrence University’s Wriston Art Center Galleries’ latest exhibition Friday, Sept. 29 at 6 p.m.

A reception follows Hammie’s remarks. Both are free and open to the public. The new exhibition runs through November 17.

Painting "Case" by James Earl Hammie
“Case” by James Earl Hammie

A native of New Haven, Conn., Hammie is known for his large-scale portrait and figurative paintings, through which he examines topics such as cultural identity, social equity and aspects of gender and race. With interests in the history of painting, he applies historic conventions in a contemporary context to create fresh ideals of bodies of color and women. “Aureole” is featured in the Kohler Gallery.

An associate professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Hammie has been recognized as an “Artist to Watch” by the International Review of African American Art. His work has been exhibited throughout the U.S. and abroad, and is included in several prominent collections including the J.P. Morgan Chase Art Collection, John Michael Kohler Art Center and the William Benton Museum of Art in Connecticut.

The Hoffmaster Gallery hosts “Our Trans Family,” an exhibition of photography and text reflecting the worth and dignity of transgender people. The project is a partnership between Cream City Foundation and “For Good” Photography, which worked with several organizations throughout Wisconsin to capture a broad range of transgender people in an effort to show them as they express themselves and with the support of their natural or chosen families of support.

Line drawing "Handstand (Acrobat)" by Erich Heckel
“Handstand (Acrobat),” Erich Heckel, 1916, from Lawrence’s La Vera Pohl Collection of German Expressionism.

Curated by 2017 graduate Kali Steinberg, “Mirth & Melancholy: The Circus in Modern Art” will be shown in the Leech Gallery. Works in the exhibition are drawn primarily from Lawrence’s La Vera Pohl Collection of German Expressionism and includes works by Marc Chagall, Otto Mueller and Erich Heckel. The featured prints and paintings reflect artists’ fascination with the circus, both the entertaining side and the sad, often revealing their own contradictory feelings about the rapidly changing world.

The Wriston Art Center is open Tuesday-Friday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday noon – 4 p.m.; closed Mondays. Free and open to the public.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

Lawrence seniors featured in new Wriston Art Center galleries exhibition

A photo entitled Final Form- Desolation for the senior art show
Final Form: Desolation by Malcolm Lunn-Craft.

The creative talents of 12 Lawrence University student art majors will be showcased in the annual Senior Major Exhibition opening Friday, May 26 in the Wriston Art Center galleries. The exhibition, which is free and open to the public, runs through July 2.

Media in the exhibition includes ceramics, digital art, installation art, painting and drawing, photography, printmaking, sculpture and virtual reality.

“This year’s senior studio art majors are really pushing the boundaries of visual art by incorporating sound, found digital elements, video game aesthetics and virtual reality into their pieces,” said Beth Zinsli, director and curator of the Wriston Art Center galleries. “For students working in more traditional media like photography, painting and printmaking, concerns ranging from the search for personal identity to the current moment of cultural anxiety permeate their presentations.”

Ink jet print of Noah Gunther's senior art show project "Mystery Ocean"
An inkjet print from Noah Gunther’s “Mystery Ocean” virtual reality program and installation.

The featured seniors in the exhibition include:
• Lexi Ames, White Bear Lake, Minn.
• Noah Gunther, Madison
• Michael Hubbard, Chicago, Ill.
• Willa Johnson, Ann Arbor, Mich.
• Malcolm Lunn-Craft, Brooklyn, N.Y.
• Cael Neary, Naperville, Ill.
• Nick Nootenboom, Portland, Ore.
• Molly Nye, Los Angeles, Calif.
• Alison Smith, San Leandro, Calif.
• Kelsey Stalker, Milton
• Nina Sultan, Bloomington, Ill.
• Ridley Tankersley, Phoenix, Ariz.

Wriston Art Center hours are Tuesday-Friday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Saturday-Sunday noon – 4 p.m. The galleries are closed Mondays. For more information, call 920-832-6621.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.”  Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

Wriston Art Center features Lawrence senior studio art majors

Senior-Art-Show_2016_newsblog2
Abigail Kosberg: “I am Dophie Doltz,” acrylic paint and thread on cotton fabric

Eight Lawrence University art majors will have their creative work featured in the annual senior major exhibition opening Friday, May 27 in the Wriston Art Center galleries.

The exhibition, which is free and open to the public, runs through July 3. A reception with the student artists at 6 p.m. opens the exhibition.

Works in the exhibition include photography, ceramics, sculpture, textiles, paintings, installation and performance art.

The seniors whose work will be featured are:
• Oumou Cisse, Washington D.C.
• Tess Gundersen, Santa Fe, N.M.
• Liam Hoy, Chicago, Ill.
• Abigail Kosberg, Wildwood, Ill.
• Brandin Kreuder, Burlington
• Isabella Schleisner, Greenville
• Laura Udelson, San Francisco, Calif.
• Austin Wellner, Green Bay

LU-Senior-Art-Show_newsblog1
Brandin Kreuder: “Paddled Box,” ceramic

The Wriston Art Center galleries are free and open to the public Tuesday-Friday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday noon – 4 p.m.; closed Mondays. For more information on the exhibition, 920-832-6890.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College” and Fiske’s Guide to Colleges 2016. Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

Photography exhibition examines Cuban revolution from the inside

Photographs taken by Lawrence University Professor of Spanish Gustavo Fares during a recent trip to Cuba will be exhibited in the Warch Campus Center from May 2-18.

Cuba-exhibition_newsblogThe exhibition, “Cuba: The Revolution from the Inside,” features 10 large-scale digital prints of photographs Fares took of display cases inside the Museo de la Revolución — the Museum of the Revolution —  in Havana, which served as Cuba’s presidential palace until 1959.

In light of President Obama’s recent historic visit to the island — the first by a U.S. president in 80 years — it is clear Cuba is on the verge of change.  The exhibition, divided into 10 themes, among them agrarian reform, Guantánamo and missile crisis, examines the ways the Cuban government presents the history of the 1959 revolution and the subsequent consequences for the Cuban people. It questions the tension between history and memory, our perspective from the present on the events of the past.

“In the United States we tend to be more familiar with the Cuban revolution as seen from the outside,” said Fares. “This exhibition wants to present a Cuban perspective of the revolution from the inside.

Gustavo-Fares_newsblog
Gustavo Fares

“I did not want to take away the visual features that characterizes a visit, a ‘being there,’ with the light, the people, the heat, the warm breeze coming through the museum’s open windows,” Fares added. “I believe one of the core values of photography is precisely to remind us that a body was there, present, to take the photograph. I tried to preserve the visual clues that remind us of that fact.”

Fares was part of a 34-member Lawrence-sponsored trip that spent eight days in Cuba in mid-March of this year.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College” and Fiske’s Guide to Colleges 2016. Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

Three Wisconsin photographers featured in latest Wriston Art Center exhibition

University of Wisconsin Professor of Visual Studies Jill Casid delivers the opening lecture for the latest exhibition at Lawrence University’s Wriston Art Center Galleries Thursday, March 31 at 6 p.m. with a reception to follow. Both events are free and open to the public.

Kissing-on-Mainstreet_newsblog
Jill H. Casid, “Sylvia Beach Way, Princeton, NJ 08542,” from “Kissing on Main Street,” 2015, original SX-70 Polaroid.

The exhibition, which runs through May 8, features the work of three Wisconsin photographers, including Casid. All three exhibitions highlight photography that engages with different conceptions of intimacy, interrogates the archive as a site of emotional resonance and reveals drastic changes in photographic technologies.

“Although they are three distinct exhibitions, they complement each other wonderfully,” said Beth Zinsli, director and curator of the Wriston Art Center galleries.

Casid’s “Kissing on Main Street” will be shown in the Kohler Gallery. Using a Polaroid camera, Casid captures acts of public intimacy and points her camera at the theoretical intersection of sex, imaging technology, vulnerable exposure and policing. She explores the vulnerability and temporality of public displays of affection through a medium that is itself instantaneous and easily shareable yet susceptible to damage and overexposure. An artist, theorist and historian, Casid founded and served as the first director of the Center for Visual Cultures at UW.

The Hoffmaster Gallery hosts “The Archive as a River: Paul Vanderbilt and Photography,” a celebration of the work of Vanderbilt (1905-1992), who sought new ways to understand the world through visual images as a visionary, archivist and photographer.

From 1942-1945, Vanderbilt worked with Roy Stryker at the Library of Congress, classifying more than 200,000 photographs of tenant farmers and farm workers for the Farm Security Administration. In 1954 he was hired by the Wisconsin Historical Society to curate and organize a treasure trove of images that became known as the Iconographic Collections. Inspired by Stryker’s approach of organizing materials around themed collections, Vanderbilt created a unique visual archive that is renowned for its depth, subtlety and flexibility.

Paul-Vanderbilt_newsblog
Paul Vanderbilt and his camera (detail), ca. 1963. Photographer unknown. Wisconsin Historical Society (WHI 87567).

Vanderbilt spent 18 years as the field photographer for the WHS, focusing his lens on rural Wisconsin landscapes, architecture and small-town life. His fine sense of composition created photography with narrative and meaning that went beyond mere documentation.

He pioneered new formats for presenting images from the Iconographic Collections and his idiosyncratic thematic panels and pairings combine thoughtfully selected historic images with his own photographs and poetic texts. “The Archive as a River” includes large-scale reproductions of his thematic panels and pairings, a selection of Vanderbilt’s own photographs of Wisconsin and an array of artifacts and papers that reveal his innovative approach to organizing images.

The Vanderbilt exhibition is organized by the James Watrous Gallery, Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters and the Wisconsin Historical Society, Division of Library-Archives and is sponsored in part by the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Lavitia_newsblog
Livija Patikne, “Untitled (flowers),” no date

The Leech Gallery presents “Certificates of Presence: The Photography of Livija Patikne.” A U.S. immigrant, the Latvian-born Patikne (1911-2001) took photos of herself throughout the 1950’s and 1960’s in different guises with intricate flower arrangements. Living in Milwaukee when she died, she left behind without explanation or instruction hundreds of these photographs that portray a quiet, private life of profound stillness, often tinged with loss. Struck by the powerful yet silent composition in these photographs, photographer James Brozek and Debra Brehmer assembled an exhibition of her work, which was first shown at Milwaukee’s Portrait Society Gallery.

Wriston Art Center hours are Tuesday-Friday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Saturday-Sunday noon – 4 p.m., closed Mondays. For more information, call 920-832-6621.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College” and Fiske’s Guide to Colleges 2016. Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

Lawrence mourns the death of art professor Julie Lindemann

Associate Professor of Art Julie Lindemann, an award-winning photographer, lost a courageous battle with cancer Tuesday, August 25. She was 57.

Julie-Lindemann_newblog2
Julie Lindemann, 1957-2015

Lindemann shared a tenure track appointment at Lawrence with John Shimon, her artist collaborator of more than 30 years. Their close collaboration led to works of remarkable originality and a memorable, distinctive style.

As contemporary artists who used old-fashioned photographic techniques, Lindemann and Shimon combined intellectual and creative energy to tell incredible human stories through their powerful portraits of ordinary people, especially native Wisconsinites, revealing the complexities of human nature.

Lindemann was deeply admired for her ability to see potential in all of her subjects, the sensitivity for which she dealt with them and for her masterful use of historic photographic processes. Incredibly generous with her time and ideas, she was a popular faculty member and students loved being taught by her and working with her.

Lindemann and Shimon joined the Lawrence art department in 2000 in a joint appointment as visiting instructors. Five years later they were appointed to a shared tenure track appointment. Their courses were always team-taught, demonstrating the effectiveness of collaborative teaching. Fully embracing the power of liberal arts education, Lindemann and Shimon were recognized with Lawrence’s faculty award for Excellence in Creative Activity at the college’s 2012 commencement.

Their photography has been featured in more than 90 solo and group exhibitions in venues ranging from the Art Institute of Chicago to the Museum of Photographic Arts in San Diego and are part of 15 permanent collections, including the Milwaukee Art Museum and the Wisconsin State Historical Society.

Their work was showcased in the 2014 major exhibition “We Go From Where We Know” at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center in Sheboygan and most recently, a retrospective covering 30 years of their work — “There’s A Place: Photographs by J. Shimon & J. Lindemann” — was featured at the Museum of Wisconsin Art in West Bend.

In December 2014, Mary Louise Schumacher, the art critic of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, honored Lindemann and Shimon as Wisconsin’s Artists of the Year.

In May, Lindemann and Shimon were recognized for their creative accomplishments with a Wisconsin Visual Art Achievement Award, which honors artists who have contributed to the wealth of creativity in Wisconsin.

A native of northeast Wisconsin, Lindemann grew up on a farm in the small Manitowoc County town of Osmond. She earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin and a master’s degree in social documentary photography from Illinois State University.

She began her professional career at the Milwaukee Art Museum and later enjoyed success as a freelance photographer, racking up an impressive list of clients that included the New York Times Magazine as well as Fortune, People and Men’s Health magazines, among others.

She and Shimon coauthored five books and catalogs of their work, the most successful of which was their artistic tribute to the aluminum Christmas tree chronicled in the book “Season’s Gleamings.” The book generated national attention when it was published in 2004, resulting in stories in the New York Times and USA Today and featured segments on CBS’ “Sunday Morning” and CNN.

A memorial service celebrating Lindemann’s life will be held on a date and place to be announced.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College” and Fiske’s Guide to Colleges 2016. Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

Professors Shimon, Lindemann honored with Wisconsin Visual Art Achievement Award

The creative accomplishments of Lawrence University faculty members, photographers and creative partners John Shimon and Julie Lindemann have been recognized with a Wisconsin Visual Art Achievement Award (WVAAA).

John and Julie Lindeman_newsblog
John Shimon and Julie Lindemann were among the 2015 recipients of a Wisconsin Visual Art Achievement Award.

Awarded annually since 2004, the WVAAAs were created to honor artists who have contributed to the wealth of creativity in Wisconsin and to educate the public about the region’s rich artistic history.

The award was presented Sunday, May 24 at the Museum of Wisconsin Art (MOWA) in West Bend, where a retrospective of Shimon and Lindemann’s work titled “There’s a Place: A Three Decade Survey of Photographs by J. Shimon and J. Lindemann, runs until June 7. They were two of 13 visual artists to receive the award this year.

Art historian Debra Brehmer, director of Milwaukee’s Portrait Society Gallery, accepted the award on Shimon’s and Lindemann’s behalf. She offered a David Letterman-like Top 10 list of things she learned from them in accepting their award.

The artistic duo has long been interested in blending contemporary and historic photographic techniques to tell meaningful stories about ordinary people in their native Wisconsin. By combining old and new photography techniques, Shimon and Lindemann have created a compelling, at times melancholy, body of work. Although rooted in Wisconsin, their images are neither regional nor documentary but deeply personal, reflecting slow, thoughtful meditations on relationships that reveal the human experience.

Associate Professors of Art, Shimon and Lindemann joined the Lawrence faculty in 2000. They were recognized with Lawrence’s Faculty Excellence in Creative Activity Award 2012 and were named 2014 Wisconsin “Artists of the Year” by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Their photographs are featured in numerous museums including MOWA, The Art Institute of Chicago, the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art and the Milwaukee Art Museum.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2015 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.