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Contrasting Sculpture Exhibitions at Faulconer Gallery

Grinnell College's Faulconer Gallery reopens Friday, July 1, with a pair of contrasting sculpture exhibitions, each drawn, in its own way, from life. Both exhibitions are free and open to the public. They will close September 11, 2016

Anders Krisár, Untitled, 2014–15

Anders Krisár, Untitled, 2014–15. Polyester resin and mixed media. Courtesy of the artist.

Anders Krisár features a Swedish artist who first exhibited his work as a photographer in the Faulconer Gallery’s 2005 exhibition, Scandinavian Photography 1: Sweden. Returning now as both a photographer and sculptor, he creates figurative pieces that are uncannily lifelike, cast primarily from members of his own family.

On the Bright Side ..., the first exhibition in Iowa of works by California artists Tim Berg and Rebekah Myers, explores the way consumerism and branding tug on individuals’ heartstrings. Their sculptures, smooth-surfaced and candy-colored, may provoke gallery visitors’ senses of conservation and kleptomania in equal measure.

Anders Krisár is inspired by the human tendency to describe emotional states in terms that are rooted in the physical, says Daniel Strong, associate director of Faulconer Gallery and curator of the exhibition. For example, he adds, “It is second-hand to say that someone or something has an ‘impact' on us, or that we are ‘beside ourselves’ in making a decision, or ‘torn in two’ by a particular dilemma or event in our lives.” The self-trained Krisár, whose family has been affected by bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, explores in his work a physical expression of this emotional language.

On the Bright Side … focuses on “shiny objects” — rare things that capture our attention for a moment or two longer than usual in today’s global cultural exchange routinely reduced to seconds-long sound bites and rapid-fire images. Berg and Myers recreate this phenomenon in their sculpture, casting everyday objects and animals in unexpected ways that underscore the power of re-presentation in stoking cultural consumers’ desire.

Polar bears and penguins are coveted at all points on the spectrum, both the moral and the rainbow-colored variety. (You’d like this polar bear in purple? You got it.) These animals are precious victims of melting ice caps but also stylized logos to promote everything from conservation activism to boutique ecotourism.

“Ultimately,” Strong concludes, “love is a tricky emotion. Love is to nurture and protect, but love is also to want. Gallery visitors are going to want these objects. Of course, we applaud the instinct to preserve while discouraging the desire to take.”

Faulconer Gallery is located in Grinnell College’s Bucksbaum Center for the Arts, 1108 Park St., Grinnell. Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week, and admission is free. The gallery will be closed on Monday, July 4, for Independence Day.

Faulconer Gallery Outreach in the Parks

This summer, Grinnell College’s Faulconer Gallery is offering free, hands-on art activities for children and families in various locations on weekday mornings.

The Faulconer Arts Outreach in the Parks will give children a choice of activities at each session held in city parks and on campus. Activities include ceramics, painting, drawing, collage, glitter-truck decorating, sculpture, and more.

No registration is required, and parents are welcome to participate with their children.

Each event will take place from 10:30 a.m. to noon.

The Faulconer Arts Outreach program runs from June 13 through July 22 with the following events:

  • June 13 — Arbor Lake Shelter House, 123 Pearl St.
  • June 15 — Bucksbaum Center for the Arts, north side, 1108 Park St.
  • June 20 — Merrill Park West Shelter, 915 11th Ave.
  • June 22 — Summer Street Park, 720 Summer St.
  • June 27 — Bailey Park, 1220 Prairie St.
  • June 29 — Ahren’s Park #1, Intersection of Eighth Avenue and Penrose Street
  • July 6 — Bucksbaum Center for the Arts, north side, 1108 Park St.
  • July 11 — Drake Community Library, 930 Park St.
  • July 13 — Bucksbaum Center for the Arts, north side, 1108 Park St.
  • July 18 — James Miller Park, Lake Nyanza, Intersection of East Street and Davis Avenue
  • July 20 — Bucksbaum Center for the Arts, north side, 1108 Park St.
  • July 22 — Poweshiek County Fair, Poweshiek County Fairgrounds, 425 East St. S.

Grinnell College does not assume responsibility for the care and safety of children who attend these events. The College makes this program open to the public with the understanding that a parent, legal guardian, or other designated caregiver remains responsible for the care and protection of children who attend.

For more information, contact outreach curator Tilly Woodward, 641-269-4663.

Grinnell welcomes and encourages the participation of people with disabilities. Accommodation requests may be made to Conference Operations and Events.

All Hands on Deck

The exhibition “All Hands on Deck,” opening Friday, May  13, 2016, will feature recent acquisitions to the Faulconer Gallery, Grinnell College Art Collection.

The exhibition takes its name from a series of seven powerful prints created by St. Louis-based artist Damon Davis in response to events in Ferguson, Missouri, and elsewhere.

The prints depict the raised hands of all kinds of individuals — old and young, black, white, and brown — inspiring others to rise up.

““It is crucial to comprehend that Damon Davis’s work is not merely inspired by the Ferguson uprising, but a part of it, and of its effect on the arc toward justice,” says Dan Strong, associate director of Faulconer Gallery.

“The hands in ‘All Hands on Deck,’ hard-edged against a stark background, appear from the perspective not of the oppressor, but of the demonstrator,” Strong added. “Photographed by Davis, scanned and commercially printed at Wildwood Press in St. Louis, these hands first proliferated as street art on the boarded-up storefronts of West Florissant in November 2014, to show solidarity with the people of Ferguson.”

The Faulconer Gallery acquired the prints for its permanent collection in honor of the late Vernon E. Faulconer ’61 graduate and life trustee of the College who was best known as founder of the Faulconer Gallery, along with his wife, Amy Hamamoto Faulconer ’59.

The “All Hands on Deck” exhibition also highlights other recent additions to the Grinnell College Art Collection:   

  • Seven large drawings made from the carbon of candle smoke by South African artist Diane Victor, who created the drawings while in residence at Grinnell in 2011
  • Prints from the “Chinese Library” series by Chinese artist Xie Xiaoze, who holds a named chair at Stanford University
  • The Lenny Seidenman Collection of late 19th-century French prints and posters, including 10 works by Henri Toulouse-Lautrec

The exhibition will run through Saturday, June 19, in Faulconer Gallery at the Bucksbaum Center for the Arts, 1108 Park St., Grinnell.

Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week, and admission is free. The Gallery will be closed on Memorial Day.

 Grinnell welcomes and encourages the participation of people with disabilities. Bucksbaum Center for the Arts has accessible parking in the lot behind the building north of Sixth Avenue. Accommodation requests may be made to Conference Operations and Events.

Student and Faculty Exhibitions at Faulconer Gallery

Student and faculty exhibitions at Faulconer Gallery open with a combined reception at 4 p.m. Friday, April 8.

The student BAX Exhibition will be on view through May 1, while the Studio Faculty Exhibition will continue through June 19.

Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week, and admission is free. The gallery will be closed for Memorial Day on May 30.

Bachelor of Arts Exhibition (BAX)

Caelum Froikin and Ezra Edgerton "Flipbook No. 1"

An electric flipbook created by seniors Caelum Froikin and Ezra Edgerton "Flipbook No. 1," 2016 Archival digital print, wood, power drill.

The Bachelor of Arts Exhibition features works in the creative arts by students at Grinnell College.

BAX is an exhibition of works by advanced third- and fourth-year art students. This year, the exhibition will feature works by 22 students in a variety of media including painting, photography, print, drawing, sculptures, textiles, interactive art, performance art, and installations.

Student-selected juror Jane Gilmor, professor emerita of art at Mount Mercy University in Cedar Rapids, will present awards at 4:15 p.m. during the opening reception. Gilmor is a nationally recognized artist from Iowa with work in the Faulconer Gallery, Grinnell College Art Collection.  Her project, “(Un)Seen Work,” was featured in the Faulconer Gallery exhibition “Culturing Community” in 2010.

Students on the art department's student educational policy committee organize the exhibition with support from the Faulconer staff. They manage all the exhibition details from the submission of proposals, to the selection of a juror, to the installation and awarding of prizes.

This year's organizers are  Hannah Condon ’16, Hannah Kelley’16, and Lauren Roush ’16.  

Studio Faculty Exhibition also opens April 8

BAX will be shown in conjunction with the Studio Faculty Exhibition, which will feature work by professors in the art department:

  • Jeremy Chen
  • Mary Coats
  • Andrew Kaufman
  • Matthew Kluber
  • Evan McLaughlin
  • Andrew Orloski
  • Lee Emma Running
  • Jill Davis Schrift

20 Minutes@11

The Studio Faculty Exhibition will feature six 20-minute talks by Grinnell faculty and staff starting at 11 a.m. in Faulconer Gallery.

Tuesday, April 19 — "Death and Drifting: Conversations Between a Poet and an Artist."
Hai-Dang Phan, assistant professor of English, and Jeremy Chen, assistant professor of art, will converse about poetry and art.
Wednesday, April 20 — "Friday I'm in Love."
Matthew Kluber, associate professor art, will investigate the intersection of painting and digital technology.
Friday, April 22 — "Culling the Herd."
Elizabeth Hill, Conard Environmental Research Area manager, and Lee Emma Running, associate professor of art, will discuss our relationship to the wild herd of whitetail deer in Iowa.
Tuesday, April 26 — "Rube Goldberg: Vintage Wine and Marathon Training."
Andrew Orloski, art technical assistant, will explore how complex, deeply philosophical notions can be found in simple, everyday objects and actions.
Tuesday, May 3 — "Series in Progress."
Andrew Kaufman, associate professor of art, will discuss the motivations and processes of his new series of artworks, which are based on forms of fracture.
Friday, May 6 — "Sunday Morning."
Evan McLaughlin, lecturer in art, will discuss how being raised in a religious household during the rise of video game culture inspired his fascination with creativity.

Putting a Face on the Gallery

Colorful paper and paint flowers suspended from ceiling For many Grinnellians, on campus and off, Tilly Woodward is the face of Faulconer Gallery. Although much of the effort for running a successful gallery is tucked behind the scenes, Woodward loves the fact that she gets to know students and art lovers of all ages.

"The work I do for the Faulconer Gallery is highly satisfying," she says. "I get to work with all ages of people, and through small interactions help them feel comfortable coming to the gallery and help them engage with art through looking, talking, and creating.

As curator of academic and community outreach, Woodward enjoys helping others learn about and create art. Whether she's "blowing glitter on a truck with children in the parks, helping neuro-diverse adults create self-portraits in clay, working with school children to create large group projects focused on the ideas of beauty and tribute, or working with college classes to help them discover meaning in an artwork through close observation," she says, "they are all the best parts of my jobs."

In her own life, she has made creative engagement a daily habit over decades. She says "that discipline has created skills in seeing, painting, and the ability to create meaning for myself and others through the inspection of small things that might be overlooked in life. It's the accumulation of small things that seems so important to me in life and in art — working again and again until your understanding becomes inherent, small brush strokes adding up to create a painting."

Woodward is an accomplished artist in her own right. Her paintings have been exhibited in hundreds of galleries, museums, and community settings both in America and overseas, and she's earned two National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships.

She's also recognized for her work with the community. She won the Iowa Museum Art Educator of the Year 2016 , an award from the Governor in 2006 for Excellence in Cultural Programming, and the Grinnell Prize staff fellowship to Ghana. The staff fellowship, which gave her the chance to work in book arts directly with Ghanan former child slaves, is "probably at the top" of her proudest achievements, Woodward says.

Visit the Faulconer Gallery for information about current and upcoming exhibitions and events.

Conceal and Reveal Study Break

Join Friends of Faulconer Gallery and the Gender, Women's, and Sexuality Studies Student Educational Policy Committee for a study break inspired by Beverly Semmes: FRP (or Feminist Responsibility Project).

Take inspiration from Semmes’s work, currently on display, to creatively re-invent images while considering the implications of editing and censoring.

The study break is 8–9 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 17, in Bucksbaum Center for the Arts Rotunda and Faulconer Gallery.

Various art materials will be available, along with fruit, treats, and chocolate fountains.

 

New Exhibitions Feature Feminist, Siberian Art

Beverly Semmes, RC 2014

Beverly Semmes, "RC" 2014. Velvet, 119 x 35 in. Faulconer Gallery, Grinnell College Art Collection.

Building on its last exhibition theme of asking questions, Grinnell College's Faulconer Gallery will be showing a variety of feminist works alongside a collection of historic Russian photographs.

These exhibitions provoke inquiry from artists and viewers alike, including questions such as "Are feminists supposed to support open depictions of sexuality?" and "What can photographs of rural Siberia teach us about Russian society and history?"

The simultaneous exhibitions, "Beverly Semmes: FRP" and "Siberia: In the Eyes of Russian Photographers," open Friday, Jan. 29, with a reception from 4 to 5 p.m. at Faulconer Gallery in the Bucksbaum Center for the Arts. The exhibitions and opening reception, which includes refreshments, are free and open to the public.

"Both exhibitions present critiques of contemporary assumptions about gender politics, landscape, history, and everyday life," said Lesley Wright, director of the Faulconer Gallery.

In her Feminist Responsibility Project (FRP), Semmes simultaneously conceals, reveals, and otherwise colorfully intervenes in pornographic scenes from vintage Hustler and Penthouse magazines. The exhibition also features Semmes’s striking work in other media: glass, ceramic, and video, as well as three of her signature dress pieces, including one acquired by the Faulconer Gallery in 2014. This exhibition is co-organized with the Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College.

"Siberia: In the Eyes of Russian Photographers" is a geographical portrait that has the potential to alter stereotypes about a famously remote region. The photographs, taken by Siberians, span more than 130 years, from the late 19th century to the present. The images include rural and urban scenes, landscapes, native peoples, agriculture, and industry, Russian frontier settlements, the Gulag, religion, and everyday life, and offer an insider’s view of unique and often isolated places.

The project is timely as Siberia's role grows on a world stage. The region's military, political, and economic possibilities have intrigued individuals and nations for centuries. They do so now with renewed vigor as Siberia's energy and mineral resources and strategic location draw global attention.

Leah Bendavid-Val curated the traveling exhibition, organized by Foundation for International Arts & Education (FIAE) and presented in honor of Greg Guroff, (1941-2012), who held a doctorate in history, founded FIAE, and also taught Russian history at Grinnell College from 1968 to 1977.

Programs and Events

The exhibitions, which continue through March 20, include a variety of free public programs and events, all in Faulconer Gallery unless otherwise noted. For the complete listing, visit Faulconer Gallery. Highlights include:

Gallery Talk: "The Political Construction of Siberia: Geography, Industry, and Identity in Post-Soviet Russia"
By Assistant Professor of Political Science Danielle Lussier.
Feb. 4, 4 p.m.
20 Minutes @ 11: "Doing it right? Feminist approaches to sex, censorship, and pornography"
By Assistant Professor of Gender, Women's, and Sexuality Studies, Leah Allen,
Feb. 16 at 11 a.m.
Special Event: "Russia and the West: Conflict, Diplomacy and the Future"
By retired U.S. Ambassador to Russia John Beyrle and Eric Green ’85, Director of Russian Affairs, U.S. Department of State.
Beyrle and Green will discuss Russia's evolving and complicated relations with the West during a dialogue moderated by Associate Professor of History Ed Cohn.
Feb. 24, 4 p.m.
Bad Feminists/Bad Critics: A Sex Wars Debate
Featuring Grinnell students from two sections of Allen's senior seminar in gender, women's and sexuality studies, who will explore pro- and anti-censorship feminism.
March 1, 4 p.m.
Slavic Coffeehouse and Maslenitsa Celebration
Hosted by the Russian Department with sweet and savory ethnic foods prepared by faculty and students available for purchase at a nominal cost in the Bucksbaum Center.
Attendees will celebrate Maslenitsa, which marks the end of winter and the beginning of Lent, by eating blini (Russian crepes) that represent the sun and burning a chuchelo (scarecrow), a symbol of winter.
Outside the Bucksbaum Center, March 5, 5:30-7 p.m.
Gallery Talk: Beverly Semmes on her Feminist Responsibility Project
A chance to hear from the artist herself about her career as a feminist artist.
March 8, 4 p.m.

Both exhibitions will be on view through March 20. Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week, and admission is free.

Grinnell welcomes and encourages the participation of people with disabilities. Bucksbaum Center for the Arts has accessible parking in the lot behind the building north of Sixth Avenue. You can request accommodations from the Faulconer Gallery or Conference Operations and Events.

Story Time Study Break

With a backdrop of children’s book illustrations from African artists (courtesy of Grinnell Prize winner Golden Baobab), come listen to children’s stories from around the world at 7 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 15, in Burling Gallery.

We will share a story or two, then have books available to read together in small groups.

Bring your friends from everywhere. We especially welcome Big Brothers and Big Sisters to bring their Littles, and International Students to bring their host siblings. 

Milk, cider, and cookies for all. 

Hosted by Friends of Faulconer Gallery.

 

 

Vernon Faulconer ’61 – Devoted Alumnus of Grinnell College

Vernon Faulconer '61Vernon Faulconer '61– oilman, philanthropist, and art collector – was born in 1939 in El Dorado, Kansas, and grew up on a dairy farm. Faulconer and his future wife, Amy Hamamoto ‘59, met while students at Grinnell; a perusal of yearbooks from the College Archives shows a young “Vern Faulconer” in  group photos with fellow residents of South Younker Hall.  Amy is pictured with the women of Loose Hall, and was active in the Student Iowa State Education Association and Orchesis.

The couple began their married life in Kansas. In 1970, the family moved to Tyler, Texas, where Faulconer soon started Vernon E. Faulconer, Inc., an oil- and gas-equipment leasing company that soon grew to a large production company, currently operating oil and gas wells in nine states.

Longtime friend Ron Gleason commented in a recent interview that Vernon Faulconer was “anything but a stereotypical oil- and gas-man,” describing him as very humble. Gleason now directs the Faulconer Scholar program, founded by Vernon Faulconer in 1990. To date, the scholarship program has allowed 750 African-American and Hispanic students in the Tyler community to attend Tyler Junior College. “He really believed that the key to opportunity was education. He saw that in his own life, and in the lives of the people around him” (Williams).

Vernon Faulconer joined the Grinnell College Board of Trustees in 1984, serving for many years and on numerous committees. He was actively involved in the development and building of the Bucksbaum Center for the Arts, and in 1999, the art gallery was named in honor of Vernon and Amy Faulconer.  The Faulconers have been involved ever since with building the facility’s collection and program in close partnership with its director.

Start by Asking Questions: Contemporary Art from the Faulconer and Rachofsky Collections, Dallas, an eagerly-anticipated Faulconer Gallery exhibition, runs from September 18 to December 13. Vernon Faulconer’s legacy of enriching lives through art and education continues with this exhibition of forty-six works from The Warehouse, the contemporary art collection Vernon and Amy built with Howard and Cindy Rachofsky in Dallas, Texas. Represented artists include Janine Antoni, Eric Fischl, Mark Grotjahn, William Kentridge, Sigmar Polke, Yinka Shonibare, Kara Walker, and other artists of the 20th and 21st centuries.

Works Consulted:

Cyclone. Grinnell: Grinnell College, 1958. Print.

Cyclone. Grinnell: Grinnell College, 1959. Print.

“In Memoriam: Vernon Edward Faulconer ’61.” Grinnell College Website. Grinnell College, 2015. Web.

9 Sept. 2015.

Williams, Coretta. “Tyler Oilman, Philanthropist Faulconer Dies.” Tyler Paper (10 Aug. 2015). Web.

9 Sept. 2015.

 

Start by Asking Questions

Asking questions is fundamental to the collecting and understanding of art, particularly contemporary art. That's why the Faulconer Gallery titled its fall opening exhibition "Start by Asking Questions: Contemporary Art from the Faulconer and Rachofsky Collections, Dallas."

With works by Janine Antoni, Eric Fischl, Mark Grotjahn, William Kentridge, Sigmar Polke, Yinka Shonibare, Kara Walker and others, "Start by Asking Questions" excites the mind and the senses with many provocative questions, says Lesley Wright, curator of the exhibition and director of the Faulconer Gallery.

"Some of the questions we expect our visitors to ask are:

  • How do I approach this object that doesn't fit my expectation of what art looks like?
  • What do I do with difficult feelings raised by the subject of this piece?
  • Why are these two or four objects in the same space?
  • Where do I even start?

Through our programming, our tours, and our educational materials, we hope people will ask these questions (and more) and begin to shape some answers."

The exhibition, which opens Friday, Sept. 18, brings 46 works to Grinnell College from two couples who are considered among the most adventurous collectors in the contemporary art world.

Vernon E. (’61) and Amy Hamamoto (’59) Faulconer have long supported the Faulconer Gallery, and their friends Howard and Cindy Rachofsky were named one of the top 200 art collectors in the summer issue of Artnews magazine.

Their art fills their homes and The Warehouse, a private collection space in Dallas, Texas, committed to exhibiting 20th- and 21st-century art, and to educating a diverse audience of students, teachers, and arts enthusiasts by encouraging them to deepen their engagement by asking questions of the art.

Although Vernon Faulconer, a life trustee of Grinnell College, died unexpectedly in Dallas on Aug. 7, his family decided to go ahead with the exhibition.

Amy Hamamoto Faulconer and Howard Rachofsky will attend the opening reception from 5–6:30 p.m. Sept. 18 at the Faulconer Gallery.

Preceding the reception from 4 to 5 p.m. will be a discussion titled "Collecting Art with Vernon: A Remembrance." Rachofsky and Wright will talk about Vernon Faulconer as an art patron and explore the world of art collecting and the role of private contemporary art spaces.

The "Collecting Art with Vernon" event and the opening reception are free and open to the public, as is the exhibition, which runs through Dec. 13. The Faulconer Gallery, closed for installation, reopens Sept. 18. Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily except for Thanksgiving, when the gallery is closed.

Programs and Events

The exhibition includes a variety of public programs and events, including musical performances. Faulconer Gallery has a complete list of events. Highlights include:

Gallery Talk, Sept. 21, 8 p.m.

(originally scheduled for 4 p.m.)

Artist John Gerrard will talk about his research into petroleum, the Dust Bowl and nitrogen in conjunction with his art created between 2007 and 2014. His piece, "Grow Finish Unit," is featured in "Start by Asking Questions." 

Gerrard works with virtual reality, creating astonishingly real but entirely and meticulously time-based images, fabricated by the artist and his studio based on documentation of the agri-industrial landscapes of the American Great Plains. Co-sponsored by Artists@Grinnell.

Writers @Grinnell, Oct. 8, 8 p.m.

"If the Music is Too Loud You are Too Old — A Conversation with Grinnell College graduate Edward Hirsch about Poetry, Parenting, Disability and Grief." Hirsch (’75), whose poem "Gabriel," a long elegy for his son, was published in The New Yorker magazine and featured on NPR, is president of the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, and author of eight books of poems and five books of prose. Co-sponsored by Writers@Grinnell

Roundtable: A Conversation on "Emancipation Approximation," Nov. 17, 4 p.m.

Kara Walker's "Emancipation Approximation" (27 prints) explores the disconnect between the ideals of the Emancipation Proclamation (1863) and the people it was meant to serve, with ongoing implications in our current society.

Walker's art provides the catalyst for a conversation about political and social change. Panelists include:

  • Shanna Benjamin, associate professor of English;
  • Lakesia Johnson, associate dean, chief diversity officer and associate professor of gender, women's and sexuality studies;
  • Sarah Purcell, professor of history; and
  • Leslie Turner, assistant dean of students and director of intercultural affairs.

Gallery Talk: The Public/Private Museum, Nov. 24, 4 p.m.

Gilbert Vicario, former senior curator at the Des Moines Art Center, will explore how collecting by public institutions and private individuals has changed the way we experience contemporary art.

Community Day, Dec. 5, 1:30-3 p.m.

Community members of all ages are invited to visit the Faulconer Gallery for a fun afternoon of art and hands-on activities, plus a tour of "Start by Asking Questions." Funding provided by Shane and Lauren Jacobson.