Madeira Seaman’s solo show “A Group of Completely Ordinary Objects” opens today, May 3rd, in the Mudd Gallery. For the show Seaman created surreal and wonderful sculptures using reworked old toys. When you enter the gallery, or as Seaman calls it “the Playroom”, you are immediately welcomed by a message written by the artist in crayon inviting you to play with all of the toys you see. Seaman writes that they used toys as their sculptural medium because they saw them as a way to explore human behaviors and relationships.
We are incredibly excited to have the idiosyncratic work of Madeira Seaman on display in the Mudd. There will be a reception for the show on May 14th before the show closes on the 16th. Be sure to spend some time playing with Seaman’s toys before then.
A Stone of Hope, an exhibit which opened in the Mudd Gallery this past Wednesday, explores Black life in the Fox Cities from the 1700s up until the present day. The exhibit, organized by the History Museum at the Castle, has traveled throughout the Fox Cities over the last two years and is making it’s return to the Seeley G. Mudd library.
The exhibit tells a multifaceted story of the lives of Black Fox City residents. Before the 20th century, there was a growing black population many of whom were veterans of the the Civil War, business owners, and community leaders. In fact Lawrence admitted several residents of the Fox Cities as early as 1856. However with this growth of the Black population and social standing also came a rise in racially motivated harassment, discrimination, and violence. By 1920 most Black residents had left the Fox Cities. This continued throughout the twentieth century as Appleton was an unofficial “sundown town” well into the 1960s.
A Stone of Hope confronts Appleton and Lawrence’s long history of white supremacy, but in doing so also honors the many activists that have worked tirelessly to challenge these structures – in the area and throughout the country. The title of the exhibit is taken from a speech given by Martin Luther King Jr. at UW Fox Valley in 1967 in which he challenges the white community to work towards inclusion saying the Fox Cities could emerge from a “mountain of hate” as a “stone of hope” in the Civil Rights Movement. While King imagined the Fox Cities as a haven from racism there is still no doubt a great deal of work to be done to achieve this. The exhibit ends looking towards the many Fox City residents who continue to strive towards this goal.
A Stone of Hope, which was made possible in part by the work of the Mudd’s very own Erin Dix and Antoinette Powell, will be on view in the Mudd Gallery until April 20, after which it will be moved to the Conservatory. Be sure to spend some time with this information and impactful exhibit before it closes.
Wonder and Resonance is a student-curated exhibit on view in the Mudd Gallery until Monday, March 12th. Using selections from Lawrence’s Anthropology and Archaeology collection, Manuel Ferreira crafted a show which explores the cultural meanings behind various artifacts. Ferreira encourages the viewer to experience the wonder and resonance of these cultural objects writing, “Wonder is the power of an object to grab the attention of a viewer, to convey a sense of enchantment and charisma. Resonance is the power of an object to go beyond itself, to convey the complex and dynamic cultural, historical, and personal forces that created it.”
Unlike a traditional museum exhibition, which would likely separate artifacts by time period, culture, and geography, Ferreira includes objects which cross all these boundaries. Walking through you’ll see an Aztec death whistle which dates back to the 12th century a few feet from Chinese ivory. The rich and diverse selection of the exhibit encourages the viewer to consider the consistent power objects have throughout cultures and time.
More than just present the viewer with a beautiful variety of objects, Ferreira pushes us to consider what goes into building a collection asking among other things: how did Lawrence come in possession of these objects? Why are they displayed the way they are and how does that affect my experience? The result is an affecting and intimate experience with objects you otherwise are unlikely to have.
We at the Mudd are incredibly excited to house this exhibit and hope you all have a chance to see it before it closes Monday, March 12.
Here at The Mudd we love books – we acquire them, we organize them, we help students engage with them everyday – but it’s rare that we get the chance to truly reflect on how books have shaped and been shaped by the course of history. However, we are lucky enough to host an exhibit created entirely by Lawrence students as apart of Prof. Garth Bond’s class “History of the Book”. Under the guidance of Professor Bond and librarian Jill Thomas, several Lawrence student’s engaged critically with selections from our special collection to examine how the role of books have changed throughout time and suggest perhaps how we have changed with them.
Topics range from Catherine Stowe and Harriet Beecher Stowes’ 1869 guide The American Woman’s Home: or Principles of Domestic Science to Artist Books to an analysis of 15th century Christian books. The exhibit, featuring the work of students Sara Armstrong, Allison Brooks-Conrad, Rufino C. Cacho, Anna Cohen, Yarely Covarrubias, and Hanwenheng (Billy) Liu will be up until January 15th. This exhibit is a special opportunity to view some pieces from our special collections in person outside of the Milwaukee Downer room, so be sure to stop by the Mudd before then. For those of you who want to spend some more time with these pieces, selections are digitized in the database Artstor under Selections from Special Collections, Seeley G, Mudd Library. Photographs of the exhibit are available in the History of the Books album.
These precious books alongside the work of our students provide great insight into the lasting impact books have not only in our own lives but also in the lives of those who lived long before us and surely those who will live long after we’re gone.
Upon entering Dead of Winter: New Holga Photographs I felt immediately overwhelmed by the existential loneliness that inhabited these images. The show, featuring the work Prof. John Shimon’s eleven photography students, includes an eclectic body of work yet still presents a stark and surreal picture of the winter we know too well here at Lawrence.
In preparation for this show Shimon asked his students to consider the Ingmar Bergman film, Winter’sLight for both aesthetic and emotional inspiration. The film, which takes place in the isolated Swedish countryside in the middle of winter, explores the psychology of questioning one’s faith in God. The film conveys an emotional and environmental isolation that can certainly be felt in the student’s work. With few exceptions, the images are devoid of people and instead focus on the way that the cold winter landscape obscures and abstracts itself. This is perhaps seen best in the work of junior studio art major Molly Froman, who’s pair of images “Fire” and “& Ice” show a stove in a middle of a snow bank and shopping cart lying in a pool of ice respectively. Froman’s images are filled with a feeling of strange frenzy and dark humor that encapsulates the angst and beauty of Winter. The work of each student presents a sharp and distinct experience that makes for an exciting and thought provoking show.
The show is closing soon so be sure to stop by the Mudd Gallery on the third floor to experience it before it closes.
Everyone at the Mudd is very excited for the upcoming convocation by Andrew Solomon, a writer, lecturer, and activist. Solomon’s work explores everything from psychology to LGBTQIA+ rights. In addition to being a Professor of Clinical Psychology at Columbia University Medical Center and the President of PEN American Center, he is also an accomplished author. Solomon has written several books including, The Noonday Demon : An Atlasof Depression which received the 2001 National Book Award. His most recent book, Far From the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity, for which his convocation address is named, explores issues associated with parenting exceptional children and ultimately concludes that its diversity that unites us all.
It’s hard to imagine what homelessness looks like in Appleton from within the Lawrence bubble. During Spring term of last year, Sankofa CODA hosted a conversation that focused on the issue of Housing Inequality. The discussion looked at the social and historical conditions that threaten people’s access to shelter – especially for people of color and members of the LGBTQ community. Thanks to a partnership between Lawrence and the History Museum at the Castle, we are lucky enough to have an excerpt of the exhibition “(In)visible” on view in the Mudd Library to continue this conversation. The exhibition, located on the library’s second floor, is sponsored by the Fox Cities Housing Coalition as a part of their initiative Project RUSH (Research to Understand and Solve Homelessness). “(In)visible” refers to how those struggling to find stable housing in the Fox Valley often feel. This exhibition sought to amplify the voices and experiences of members of Appleton’s homeless community by providing them cameras to capture moments of their lives. Many of these photographs as well as written accounts by the photographers are on view as well as statistics about this population gathered by Project RUSH in 2015.
The result is a moving insight into the daily lives of Appleton’s homeless population. Be sure to stop by the exhibition before it is taken down on Sunday October 16th and to get involved in Project RUSH or other organizations dedicated fighting housing insecurity in the Fox Valley. Lawrence students should check out volunteer opportunities through the campus Volunteer Center.
It’s an exciting time for art at Lawrence, this past Friday two student run shows had their openings. First there was the Junior Art Walk featuring the work of Alison Smith, Noah Gunther, Molly Nye, Ridley Tankersley, Lexi Ames and Michael Hubbard. Our very own Mudd Gallery housed the work of Gunther and Nye until the show’s closing. The studio art junior show will soon open in the Mudd Gallery.
Just off campus The Rabbit Gallery, a student run non-profit pop up space, opened after months of fundraising and organizing by the student board. The theme of this year’s show is “Reconstructing/Deconstructing Identity” giving space for many different artists’ voices and forms of expression including, drawings, paintings, prints, photographs, video works, and sculpture. If you missed the opening you still have the chance to check out this beautiful show, which will be up at 215 E. College Ave. until finals week begins, opened Wednesday to Friday 4:30 pm to 7, Saturday 10 am to 7 pm, and Sunday 10 am to 4 pm.
Another highly anticipated show happening on Lawrence’s campus is the Senior Show, exhibiting the capstone projects of graduating studio art majors, opens in the Wriston Gallery on May 27th. Support the hard work of our students and faculty and go see these shows before it’s too late!
It’s now easier than ever to get help from the Mudd Reference Librarians with the introduction of the Ask a Librarian text and chat service. The Mudd Librarians are now available to answer all of your research questions through our online chat service or via text at 920-663-2275 during reference hours. This service makes the vast knowledge of our librarians more available to students than ever. Don’t hesitate to ask any question related to your writing and research- from the proper way to cite a source in MLA to help finding resources within the library. As always, librarians are available to answer any questions at the Reference desk or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Additionally if you need more extensive assistance with a larger resource project you can schedule a research appointment here.
Update: The reference chat and texting services will be unavailable over the summer, but will resume at the start of the school year.
It’s primary season in the presidential election which means its time to exercise your constitutional right to vote. The Wisconsin primary is on April 5th.
For first time voters, the deadline to register is March 16th, or you can register to vote in person at your polling place on election day. Registration is quick, easy and can be done online or in the Warch Campus center at voting registration tables on the third floor.
If you’re from out of state but planning on voting in Wisconsin there are a few things to know; first in order to vote you have to show you’ve lived in Wisconsin for 28 consecutive days, second Wisconsin now requires a valid photo ID to vote, click here for more information on what constitutes a valid ID.
If you’re in need of an ID stop by the ID office located behind the information desk in Warch where valid voting ID cards are being provided for students at no cost.
If in need of any additional information or assistance in the voting process email Greg Griffin, Warch Campus Center director, or Nancy Truesdell, vice president for student affairs, who are coordinating student voting efforts at Lawrence.