Tag Archive for Davison Art Center

Davison Art Center Acquires 23 Prints from American Artist Jasper Johns in Honor of Former Curator

Richard "Dick" Field and Miya Tokumitsu

Former Davison Art Center curator Richard “Dick” Field P’09 visited Wesleyan on Feb. 7 to view a series of screen prints recently donated to the DAC by artist Jasper Johns. Pictured, Field and DAC curator Miya Tokumitsu discuss one of Jasper Johns’ silkscreens titled Corpse and Mirror, 1976. (Photos by Olivia Drake)

Jasper Johns signed a copy of the book, Jasper Johns: Prints 1960-1970, which was written by Dick Field. The book is housed in the Davison Art Center’s library. 

More than 40 years have passed since Richard “Dick” Field P’09 laid eyes on a silkscreen titled Corpse and Mirror.

“I enjoy seeing this. It’s part of my past,” Field said during a stopover at the Davison Art Center on Feb. 7. “It’s like visiting an old friend.”

Corpse and Mirror, created by American artist Jasper Johns, is one of 23 prints donated to the Davison Art Center in December 2018 by the artist himself. Johns donated the images to Wesleyan in honor of Field, who served as the DAC’s curator from 1972 to 1979.

Johns, an 89-year-old artist, is known for his textured screenprints and paintings of flags, numbers, lightbulbs, and targets. He engaged with pop art, minimalism, conceptual art, and abstract expressionism movements.

“Personally, I am thrilled that Wesleyan has been designated by Jasper Johns to be a recipient of his work,” said Miya Tokumitsu, curator of the Davison Art Center. “Also, I am very happy that Dick’s legacy will be honored in this way. Although Dick has long since left Wesleyan, he continues to care deeply about the DAC.”

Field first encountered Johns’ work in 1964 when he purchased a piece titled Ale Cans.

Rudensky’s Post-Putin Era Photographs on Display at Davison Art Center

Photographs by Assistant Professor of Art Sasha Rudensky ’01 are on display in the Davison Art Center through Dec. 10. During a gallery talk, Rudensky explained how she rented an unsedated boa constrictor to make the photograph Snake Handlers, pictured in the center.

For more than a decade, Assistant Professor of Art Sasha Rudensky ’01 has repeatedly returned to Russia and the post-Soviet territories to photograph a lost generation that has come of age during the Vladimir Putin era.

On Sept. 13, Rudensky debuted a collection of these photographs at an exhibit titled “Acts and Illusions” at the Davison Art Center. The exhibition presents 24 photographs together with a video installation, revealing an unsettling view into contemporary life in the New East. Elijah Huge, associate professor of art, associate professor of environmental studies, collaborated with Rudensky on the video installation. Clare Rogan, curator of the Davison Art Center, coordinated the exhibition.

Studio arts major Rudensky was born in Russia and moved to the U.S. when she was 11 and returned as an artist in 2004. She’s also an assistant professor of Russian, East European and Eurasian studies and teaches Photography I and Digital Photography I this fall.

CTNow featured Rudensky’s exhibit in a recent article.

Photos of the “Acts and Illusions” reception and gallery talk are below: (Photos by Olivia Drake)

Free Drawing Workshops Offered at 5th Annual Big Draw

On April 16, the Friends of the Davison Art Center presented “The Big Draw: Middletown,” the fifth annual community celebration of drawing with workshops designed for all skill levels, from beginning drawers to accomplished artists. The event took place at four locations across the campus including the Davison Art Center; the Center for the Arts; Fayerweather Beckham Hall; and the Usdan University Center.

“The Big Draw” included eight workshops facilitated by faculty and students from Wesleyan’s Art Studio Program in the Department of Art and Art History. Activities included developing narrative through drawing, drawing with inked feet to music, drawing from elaborate still lives of taxidermy and skeletons, using giant Spirograph-style drawing tools, face painting and more. Drawing study of nude models was open to adults, and minors with parental permission.

This year, “The Big Draw: Middletown” also featured a special Koinobori Project workshop led by Japanese artist Taichiro Takamatsu, who founded the project in 2012, and has led workshops creating carp flags in Australia, Austria, Germany, Japan, Kenya, Sri Lanka and Uganda.

More than 375 local artists participated, up from 286 in 2015. Forty-nine Wesleyan faculty, alumni, students and community members volunteered to teach participants and help run the program.

“The Big Draw: Middletown” is organized and hosted by the Friends of the Davison Art Center, with grant support from the Middletown Commission on the Arts; and special funding for the Koinobori Project from the Community Foundation for Middlesex County in conjunction with the Center for the Arts “Feet to the Fire: Riverfront Encounter.”

Other sponsors included Blick Art Materials, Community Health Center, CT Yoga Center, Middletown Framing, It’s Only Natural Market, Kidcity Children’s Museum, Middletown Toyota, Mondo Pizza, Munkittrick Associates, Nobul Apparel, Tesoro Artisan Gift Boutique & Gallery, and Ursel’s Web.

WTNH Channel 8 featured the event as one of eight fun things to do in Connecticut on the morning news on Friday, April 15, with live broadcasts.

(Photos below by Rebecca Goldfarb Terry ’19). View additional photos on the Big Draw Facebook page.

eve_bigdraw_2016-0415122521

‘Photographing Ina’: Exhibition by Trager ’56 Opens at the Davison Art Center

Photographing Ina, an exhibition of work by Phil Trager ’56 and based on one of his two news books, opened at the Davison Art Center on March 24. It will run through May 22.

“Philip Trager: Photographing Ina,” an exhibition of work by Phil Trager ’56, Hon. ’08, P’81, GP’11, and based on his new book, opened at the Davison Art Center on March 24. It will run through May 22. Pictured are Ina and Philip Trager.

The exhibition, like the book, has two parts. The first is a series of immaculately composed black-and-white photographs taken in the 1980s, after 25 years of marriage. The second part, taken in the last decade after 50 years of marriage, reveals Trager's new color photography—an unexpected and tender meditation on the act of photographing, on perception, color, and light.

The exhibition, like the book, has two parts. The first is a series of immaculately composed black-and-white photographs taken in the 1980s, after 25 years of marriage. The second part, taken in the last decade after 50 years of marriage, reveals Trager’s new color photography—an unexpected and tender meditation on the act of photographing, on perception, color, and light.

13 Students Curate German Prints Exhibit at Davison Art Center

An exhibition titled “Passion and Power: German Prints in the Age of Dürer” is on display in the Davison Art Center through March 3. The show opened Feb. 4.

Curated by 13 Wesleyan University students as part of their museum studies seminar, the exhibition recognized more than 80 prints and rare books from the permanent collection of the Davison Art Center and the Wesleyan University Library. Clare Rogan, curator of the Davison Art Center, adjunct professor of art history and German studies, taught the seminar. 

Curated by 13 Wesleyan students as part of their museum studies seminar, the exhibition includes more than 80 prints and rare books from the permanent collection of the Davison Art Center and Wesleyan’s Special Collections and Archives. Pictured, Amanda Larsen ’18 discusses a pamphlet from 1521 written by Martin Luther.

Wesleyan students Flora Donovan ‘16, Rachel Earnhardt ‘17, Julia Goetze, Parker Green ‘16, Lara Hetzel ‘17, Melissa Joskow ‘18, Amanda Larsen ‘18, Daniel Lee ‘16, Sharifa Lookman ‘17, Anna Model ‘16, Page Nelson ‘17, Penny Snyder ‘16, and Madeline Woods ‘16 curated the exhibition as members of ARHA 360-Museum Studies, taught by Clare Rogan, curator of the Davison Art Center, adjunct professor of art history and German studies.

Wesleyan students Flora Donovan ‘16, Rachel Earnhardt ‘17, Julia Goetze, Parker Green ‘16, Lara Hetzel ‘17, Melissa Joskow ‘18, Amanda Larsen ‘18, Daniel Lee ‘16, Sharifa Lookman ‘17, Anna Model ‘16, Page Nelson ‘17, Penny Snyder ‘16, and Madeline Woods ‘16 curated the exhibition as members of ARHA 360-Museum Studies, taught by Clare Rogan, curator of the Davison Art Center and adjunct professor of art history (pictured at far right). Eight of the student curators are pictured.

Davison Art Center Awarded 2 Photos by Iranian Artist Neshat

Shirin Neshat's "Ghada" and "Sayed," from the Our House Is on Fire series, 2013. Images courtesy of Gladstone Gallery.

Shirin Neshat’s “Ghada” and “Sayed,” from the Our House Is on Fire series, 2013. Images courtesy of Gladstone Gallery.

The Davison Art Center has been awarded two photographs by the Iranian artist Shirin Neshat, as part of a gift from the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation to 33 leading colleges and universities around the world. The prints, titled “Ghada” and “Sayed,” are part of Neshat’s Our House is on Fire series, an exploration of Egypt after the Arab Spring, which was supported by the Foundation.

“Shirin Neshat is one of the most important photographers of our time, and these deeply moving portraits evoke our common humanity. Looking closely at the photographs, you can see a veil of calligraphy—the text in Persian for the poem A Cry, by Persian poet Mehdi Akhaven Sales,” said Clare Rogan, curator of the Davison Art Center. “These fascinating images prompt us to consider humility, complexity, and the interlocking role of the arts, letters, contemporary life, and politics—all topics perfect for teaching here at Wesleyan.”

In Our House Is on Fire, Neshat investigates the universal experiences of pain and mourning on both national and personal levels. Traveling to Egypt, the artist invited various people to sit before her camera and to share their stories of loss, culminating in her new portrait series. Photographing her subjects up-close and with notable directness, Neshat creates a poignant connection between subject and viewer. She then overlays the images with a nearly indecipherable veil of text, inscribing calligraphy across the folds of each face, thereby mirroring the way in which a national calamity has become embedded in the personal history of each individual.

Friends of Davison Art Center Holds Autumn Soirée Fundraiser

Soiree attendees voted to include Graciela Iturbide's silver gelatin print in the Davison Art Center's permanent collection.

Soiree attendees voted to include Graciela Iturbide’s silver gelatin print in the Davison Art Center’s permanent collection.

The Friends of the Davison Art Center organized an Autumn Soirée fundraiser on Oct. 22 at the President’s House. Attendees enjoyed a special evening of music and art hosted at the home of President Michael Roth and University Professor of Letters Kari Weil.

“Kari and I are lifetime members of the Friends of the Davison, and we were happy to express our support in this way,” President Roth said. “The Center benefits the Wesleyan community, of course, but also so many in the area who care for the arts.”

Professor of Music Neely Bruce performed an intimate piano concert. As part of the fundraiser, all ticket-holders had the opportunity to vote on one of three works to be added to the DAC’s distinguished collection. The winner was Graciela Iturbide’s photograph, Mujer Angel (Angel Woman, Sonora Desert), 1980.

Since its founding in 1962, the primary mission of the Friends of the Davison Art Center has been to fund acquisitions for the DAC collection. The FDAC consists of Wesleyan University faculty, staff, alumni, and students, Connecticut residents, and other friends of the arts devoted to the growth and public enjoyment of the DAC collection.

Photos of the soirée are below:

12107027_980732438651063_1206513988754502000_n

“Phantom Bodies” Photographs on Display at Davison Art Center

On Sept. 29, Artist Tanya Marcuse, at left, spoke about her exhibit, Phantom Bodies, on display at the Davison Art Center through Dec. 19. Pictured at right is DAC Curator Clare Rogan.

On Sept. 29, Artist Tanya Marcuse, at left, spoke about her exhibit, “Phantom Bodies,” on display at the Davison Art Center through Dec. 19. Pictured at right is DAC Curator Clare Rogan.

"Phantom Bodies" brings together unique photographs taken in two parts, Undergarments (2002-2004) and Wax Bodies (2006-2008). This exhibit sets out to explore the idea of the absence of the human body in various forms and how different cultures and time periods had different ways of presenting the human body.

“Phantom Bodies” brings together unique photographs taken in two parts, Undergarments (2002-2004) and Wax Bodies (2006-2008). This exhibit sets out to explore the idea of the absence of the human body in various forms and how different cultures and time periods had different ways of presenting the human body.

Big Draw Unleashes the Artists Within

On April 25, the Friends of the Davison Art Center presented The Big Draw: Middletown, a community celebration of drawing and workshops for all skill levels, from beginning drawers to accomplished artists, at locations across Wesleyan. Facilitated by Wesleyan art professors and students, and sponsored by the Middletown Commission on the Arts and nine local businesses, the fourth annual free event attracted more than 300 participants from almost 40 towns. (Photos by Mariah Reisner ’04 MA ’07 and Tessa Houstoun ’17)

The Big Draw

Face painting was one of many activities offered at The Big Draw.

New Digital Design Studio to Bridge Divide between Arts, Technology

Contractors are working to restore and transform the Davison Art Center's carriage house section into a Digital Design Studio. The space formerly housed the Art Library

Contractors are working to restore and transform the Davison Art Center’s carriage house section into a Digital Design Studio. The space formerly housed the Art Library.

Imagine a place where Wesleyan students with a panoply of interests – art, photography, architecture, graphic design, and theatrical design, to name but a few – can work together in a dedicated digital space. Where faculty and students can bridge the divide between traditional arts and humanities courses and the tremendous shifts taking place in the technological world.

The new lab will feature new computers, scanners and 3-D printers.

The new lab will feature new computers, scanners and 3-D printers. (Photos by Dat Vu ’15)

That place is no longer imaginary. A $150,000 grant from the George I. Alden Trust will support a Digital Design Studio in the repurposed carriage house section of the Davison Art Center. Beginning with about eight classes taught by three or four faculty members, the digital design program, slated to open in January 2015, will ultimately include intensive summer programming, reaching dozens more students by its second year.

“More than a simple grouping of high-end computers and software for arts classes, this will become a crossroads for faculty and students,” said Dean of Arts and Humanities Andrew Curran. “Together they will work across a variety of disciplines that are part of the massive digitization of design and humanities.”

The carriage house housed the Art Library until 2013, when the library’s holdings were consolidated at Olin. The grant will be used to repurpose and renovate the space and to purchase technology including scanners, 3-D printers and special software.

Wesleyan’s proposal for the Digital Design Studio envisions that eventually students will be able to solicit and accept projects from outside the university, gaining valuable career experience through non-academic digital design work.

#THISISWHY