Most days find me at my desk at the Faulconer Gallery at Grinnell College. Currently I am preparing to travel to China as part of a long-standing faculty exchange between Grinnell and Nanjing University. Faculty from Nanjing come to Grinnell to conduct research and to instruct our students in Chinese language. Faculty from Grinnell travel to Nanjing to conduct research and to teach in their areas of specialty. The exchange is over 20 years old and has forged strong ties between Grinnell and one of the great universities of China.
In the U.S., we often hear about the scale of projects and economic growth in China, but from a distance and with only our own scale of reference, it's difficult to grasp. Even here in central Nanjing, with new skyscrapers and shopping malls under construction in seemingly every block, the feeling is similar to that of redeveloping areas in Chicago, or New York, or L.A. It's impressive, but woven into the fabric of the energy of a city at perhaps a hyper-level from what we have come to expect.
Posted by: Lesley Wright
State Rep. Scott Raecker, a Grinnell alumnus, has introduced a bill in the Iowa Legislature to sell a painting, Jackson Pollock's "Mural," owned by the University of Iowa Museum of Art in order to create a fund to pay for scholarships for art students. For more on the original story see:
This week has been a flurry of activity at the Faulconer Gallery. Our summer exhibition came down on Monday, and the first of them shipped out Tuesday. By Friday, all four of the new exhibitions were on their way to completion. The walls had been repositioned and prepped. Artists were hard at work on creating site specific installations. Art was retrieved from storage and readied for hanging.
In the past week, we've had the chance to visit two places where the focus is on preserving and maintaining the ancient tradition of Chinese woodblock printing. Since at least the Tang dynasty (almost 2000 years ago), the Chinese have used woodblocks to print documents, books, posters and images--a much more efficient process than hand-drawn calligraphy for producing multiple copies. While the creation of the woodblocks themselves is just as laborious, the block can then be preserved and used for centuries if properly stored.