Tag: art

Wriston Galleries’ newest exhibition features Lawrence senior art majors

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Judy Garland, 1922-1969, 2015, oil on board, by Lauren Stinski

Eight Lawrence University art majors will have their creative work featured in the annual Senior Major Exhibition opening Friday, May 22 in the Wriston Art Center galleries. The exhibition, which is free and open to the public, runs through July 5.

The exhibition, includes artist books, ceramics, painting, photography, sculpture and video, opens at 6 p.m. with a reception with the student artists.

The seniors whose work will be featured are:
Zain Ali, Ellicott City, Md.
Rachel Jo Arnow, Fox Point
Lucy Bouman, Maywood, Ill.
Theresa Iacullo, Chicago, Ill.
Htee T. Moo, St. Paul, Minn.
Lauren Stinski, Appleton
Rachel Wilke, Milwaukee
Caitlin Wittner, Lakewood, Colo.

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

Lawrence Welcomes Participants in the 2015 Fox Cities Book Festival

Lawrence University will host an artist, a poet, two photographers and an alumna author in conjunction with the 8th annual Fox Cities Book Festival April 20-26. All events are free and open to the public.

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Crystal Chan ’02

Crystal Chan, a 2002 Lawrence graduate, is one of this year’s festival’s featured authors. On the heels of her critically acclaimed 2014 debut novel “Bird,” Chan presents “Beyond Being ‘Unique’: a Mixed-Race Author in a Monoracial World” Thursday, April 23 at 6 p.m. in the Appleton Public Library.

Lawrence, one of the sponsors of the book festival, will host a meet-and-greet with Chan Friday, April 24 from noon to 1:30 p.m. in the Milwaukee-Downer room of the Seeley G. Mudd Library.

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Martin Brief’s “Amazon God.”

Beth Zinsli, director and curator of Lawrence’s Wriston Art Center Galleries, will lead a tour of Martin Brief’s art exhibition “Amazon God,” Wednesday, April 22 at 1 p.m. in the Wriston Art Center. The exhibit explores the difficulty of describing God using language. Brief, known for his focus on language, almost to the point of obsessiveness, creates artworks that dig deep into the meaning of words until he has reached the very limits of expression.

Brief was the recipient of a 2013 Howard Fellowship and a 2014 MacDowell Colony Fellowship. The “Amazon God” exhibition runs until May 3.

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Cynthia Marie Hoffman

Madison-based poet Cynthia Marie Hoffman reads selections from her 2014 book “Paper Doll Fetus,” Thursday, April 23 at 4:30 p.m. in the Wriston Art Center. The work, which explores pregnancy and childbirth, was praised by the Library Journal as “sometimes dark, sometimes tender, always surprisingly imaginative.”

Hoffman also is the author of “Sightseer,” which won the Lexi Rudnitsky First Book Prize in Poetry, and the chapbook “Her Human Costume.”

Photographers Travis Dewitz and Kevin Miyazaki discuss their recent projects in a talk on art photography Friday, April 24 at 5 p.m. in the Warch Campus Center Cinema.

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Travis Dewitz

Dewitz’s book “Blaze Orange: Whitetail Deer Hunting in Wisconsin” explores Wisconsin heritage through the sport of deer hunting. Jeff Davis, editor of Whitetails Unlimited Magazine, says Dewitz “presents the deer hunt in a way that is unvarnished and yet poetic, graceful and subtle.” Describing his work as “conceptual, emotive and expressive,” Dewitz has provided photography for publications ranging from National Geographic and Trains Magazine to Vogue Italia and Child Model Magazine.

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Kevin Miyazaka

Miyazaki’s 2014 book, “Perimeter: a Contemporary Portrait of Lake Michigan,” reflects on the importance of freshwater in the communities surrounding it. The work came from Miyazaki’s 1,800-mile drive around Lake Michigan. It was commissioned by Marquette University’s Haggerty Museum of Art.

His photography has appeared in Martha Stewart Living, Midwest Living and The New York Times Magazine, among others.

Bird-book_newsblogChan’s “Bird” tells the story of 12-year-old Jewel and her family’s struggle with loss, secrets, silence and racial identity. Chan drew on her own experience growing up mixed-race in Wisconsin, which she describes as both rich and daunting. “Bird” has been published in nine countries and was recently announced as a finalist in the Society of Midland Authors’ 2014 best books by Midwest authors, children’s fiction competition.

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Monica Rico

Monica Rico, associate professor of history at Lawrence, presents “British Aristocrats & the American Frontier” Monday, April 20 at 7 p.m. at Menasha’s Elisha D. Smith Public Library as part of the book festival.

Rico is the author of 2013’s “Nature’s Noblemen: Transatlantic Masculinities and the Nineteenth-century American West,” which examines how the 19th century American West was mythologized as the place for men to assert their masculinity. Rico explores how this mythology played out in a transatlantic context.

Also as part of the book festival, the Lawrence University Students Poets Invitational will be held Monday, April 20 at 7 p.m. at the Copper Rock Coffee Company. As part of the Wisconsin Fellowship Poets Series, the event will conclude with an open mic and the public is invited to participate.

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.

Lawrence Mourns the Passing of Professor Emeritus E. Dane Purdo

Professor Emeritus of Art E. Dane Purdo died Tuesday, August 19 in Neenah at the age of 88.

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Professor Emeritus of Art E. Dane Purdo joined the Lawrence faculty from Milwaukee-Downer College in 1964 and taught here until his retirement in 1991.

An accomplished silversmith — he designed Lawrence’s Faculty Marshal Mace carried at the head of academic processions as well as the Presidential Chain of Office and usher batons —Purdo was one of 21 members of the Milwaukee-Downer faculty who came to Lawrence in 1964 as part of the consolidation with the former all-women’s college. He began a 36-year teaching career in 1955 at Milwaukee-Downer as both studio artist and art historian. After the consolidation, he taught courses in metals and ceramics in Lawrence’s art department until his retirement in 1991.

A multi-faceted artist/teacher given to sartorial splendor, outside the classroom and art studio he also was well known for his skills on the dance floor and the ski slopes. His interests in music and theatre were manifest in Attic Theatre productions, the St. Mary Parish resurrection choir, as a member of the One Nighters play-reading group and as a volunteer at the Fox Cities PAC.

A native of Detroit, Mich., his artistic craftsmanship was admired for its carefully controlled contours, perfect balance between convex forms and concave outlines and mirror-smooth surfaces. He had a special ability to blend textures, modern balance and novel lines. His creations ranged from stunning jewelry to ecclesiastical chalices and have been exhibited widely throughout the United States and Europe. In describing his art, he once said is motto was “Simplicity is the essence of good taste.”

His work has been recognized with numerous honors and awards and much of it resides in public and private collections around the country, including the Detroit Institute of Art, Chicago Art Institute, the Bergstrom Mahler Museum, The Kimberly Clark Corporation, The Fox River Paper Company, the First Congregational Church and Memorial Presbyterian Church in Appleton.

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The Presidential Chain of Office, worn during formal institutional functions, was one of Prof. Purdo’s creations.

While a highly skilled craftsman, Purdo always saw his first role as teacher, remarking “in both (being a teacher and artist) you are working and creating as an individual.”

Purdo earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in art history from the University of Michigan and an M.F.A. degree in silversmithing and ceramics from Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Mich. A year after earning his M.F.A., while teaching at Milwaukee-Downer, he was awarded a U.S. Fulbright grant, which he used to pursue his interests in silversmithing at the Royal College of Art in London, becoming the first American to register his hallmark at Goldsmith Hall.

He was preceded in death by his loving wife, Irene Purdo, in 2007. He is survived by three children, son Michael (Cindy) Purdo, Roswell, Ga., daughters Mary (James) Peksa, Wausau, and  Melanie (Sam) Bomier, Neenah, four grandchildren and a sister Gertrude McGuire.

A private family service is planned. Lawrence will celebrate Purdo’s life with an on-campus memorial on a date to be determined.

In lieu of flowers, the family has asked donations in his memory be made to Lawrence University designated for the E. Dane Purdo Art Scholarship Award, 711 E. Boldt Way, Appleton, WI 54911.

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.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

Summer Seminar Focuses on Public Art

Taking a page from its popular Bjorklunden Summer Seminar Series offered in Door County, Lawrence University will sponsor a two-and-one-half-day seminar on public art July 19-21 on its Appleton campus.

“Public Art: Process and History” will feature three classes led by members of the Lawrence art and art history department. The classes will start at 8:30 a.m. each day in the Warch Campus Center.

Sculptor Rob Neilson, associate professor of art, opens the seminar with the class “Contemporary Public Art: Purpose, Process, Product and People.” The class will include a trip to the Appleton Art Center and a stop at a local downtown establishment for wine and conversation.

Elizabeth Carlson, assistant professor of art history, presents “Public Art in the 20th Century.” The class will include an afternoon field trip to the Paine Art Center and Gardens in Oshkosh.

Michael Orr, professor of art history, concludes the seminar with the half-day class “Public Art in Renaissance Florence.”

Participants can attend either as commuters or as residents, with housing provided in Lawrence’s Hiett Hall. A light breakfast and a lunch are provided each day. Seminar cost is $200, with an additional charge for housing if needed. The fee includes transportation and admission passes to the two art centers.

Class size is limited with a registration deadline of July 9. To register or for more information, contact Lori Vosters, 800-283-8320, ext. 7019 or lori.a.vosters@lawrence.edu.

Rob Neilson’s Los Angeles Public Art Commission Dedicated Nov. 14

Lawrence University sculptor Rob Neilson, who specializes in site-specific public art, will be among the guests of honor Saturday, Nov. 14 for the official dedication of his latest creation — 54 cast iron portraits adorning the new Pico-Aliso light rail station in Los Angeles, Calif.

Rob-Neilson-Train-Sculpture.jpg The dedication ceremonies for the $115,000 commission Neilson titled “About Place, About Face” culminates a project that was three years in the making. The more than four dozen metal portraits, some as big as four feet tall, feature faces of people who actually live in the rail station’s neighborhood.

“All of my work is site specific,” said Neilson, associate professor of art at Lawrence. “But I wanted to take this a step further and make the project not just about the location, but also about the surrounding neighborhood and the people who live there and use the facility.”

In conjunction with the Los Angeles Metro Transit Authority, Neilson used dozens of neighborhood volunteers who were willing to have their faces digitally scanned. The visual information, collected in a process that took just 17 seconds per face, was sent to a computer numerical controlled machine that milled it into dense foam from which molds were made and eventually cast with molten iron — at a toilet factory.

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Much of the work on his “About Place, About Face” project was created while Neilson served as an Artist-in-Residence in the Kohler Arts/Industry Program through the John Michael Kohler Arts Center in Sheboygan and the Kohler Company in Kohler. Known world-wide for its toilets, bathtubs and sinks, Kohler’s foundry became Neilson’s art studio.

Kohler employees would take breaks from making toilets and bath tubs to cast his larger-than-life faces, filling his mold with 100 pounds of molten iron.

“Historically public art monuments have been used to commemorate the accomplishments of ‘great’ and ‘powerful’ individuals,” said Neilson, a Detroit native who lived in Long Beach, Calif., for five years before joining the Lawrence art department in 2003. “The ‘About Place, About Face’ project is a monument to the rest of us, particularly the people in the neighborhood who use the Pico-Aliso rail station.

When awarded the commission, Neilson said he was given the charge of creating a piece of public art that involved the community and referenced the area and its people.

“I tried to create a work of art that speaks of the area’s past, present and future inhabitants,” said Neilson. “My goal was to have something that encouraged a sense of ownership and involvement within this community. I think these portraits accomplish that.”

The dedication of Neilson’s sculpture and the opening of the Pico-Aliso light rail station is part of an $898 million extension project of the Los Angeles Metro Gold Line.

Annual Senior Art Exhibition Opens May 22 at Lawrence University’s Wriston Galleries

APPLETON, WIS. – The work of 14 Lawrence University art majors will be featured in the annual Senior Art Exhibit in the Wriston Art Center galleries.

The exhibition, in the Leech, Hoffmaster and Kohler galleries, opens Friday, May 22 at 6 p.m. with a reception with the student artists and runs through August 2.

The exhibition includes works of ceramic, felted pieces, drawing, painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture and video.

The students whose work will be featured are Elena Amesbury, Kristen Boehm, Mara Hagopian, Jennifer Halbman, Andrew Kincaid, Sarah Page, Carrie Ann Rennolds, Sarah Rhoads, Madeline Shadduck, Rachel Talbot, Erin Campbell Watson, Heather Watson, April West and Yifan Zhu.

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