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Exhibition of Nature Photographs

Owl perched on brown vegetation in a snowy field“Nature photography is my passion,” says Ken Saunders II, who retired from a long career with the College’s facilities management department in 2015.

“Looking at his photographs, one is compelled to add that nature photography is also his forte,” says Jon Andelson, professor of anthropology and director of the Center for Prairie Studies. “Ken’s striking photographs show us nature at its most beautiful. His favorite subjects are individual animals and plants, captured in their natural habitat at rest or in motion, with close-up or telephoto lens.”

Saunders took all of the photographs in this exhibit, titled “Portraits of Nature in Iowa,” within 40 miles of Grinnell. The exhibit will open Aug. 25 and run through Oct 15 in Burling Gallery on the lower level of Burling Library, 1111 Sixth Ave., Grinnell.

It may surprise some viewers that this diversity of wildlife can be found so close to our community, Andelson adds.  

It seems likely that Saunders would agree with Henry David Thoreau’s statement, “What’s the need of visiting far-off mountains and bogs if a half-hour’s walk will carry me into such wildness and novelty?” — though in fact he also photographs in other parts of the country, especially in the mountain west.

Saunders recalls getting his first camera — a Kodak 104 Instamatic, which retailed for $15.95 – when he was about 7 years old. Many years later he advanced to a 35mm film single-lens reflex camera, a Pentax, and then in 2003 began experimenting with digital photography.  He got his first digital single-lens reflex camera in 2006, a Nikon D200, and has been working in this vein ever since.

The Center for Prairie Studies and the Faulconer Gallery are co-sponsoring the exhibit of Saunders’ photography. An opening reception will take place at Burling Gallery) at 4 p.m. Friday, Sept. 2. Refreshments will be served.

Gallery hours are 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

 

 

 

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.

Last Make/Shift Exhibition for Spring 2016

Grinnell College studio art students will present their art and give short artist talks at free, public events throughout May in the Make/Shift Space at 928 Main St., Grinnell.

The exhibition "Formulations," which includes new artwork from Grinnell College studio art classes, will open at 5 p.m. Wednesday, May 11, in the Make/Shift Space. It will feature works in various mediums, including collages, 3D printing objects, drawings, sculptures, and more:

  • Color Construction by Introduction to the Studio students and new work by Print Media students, taught by Matthew Kluber, associate professor of art
  • Collages from Mixing Forms, taught by Andrew Kaufman, associate professor of art
  • 3D Printing Objects from Introduction to Sculpture, taught by Jeremy Chen, assistant professor of art
  • Drawings from Introduction to Drawing, taught by Chen

Also on May 11 — the opening day of "Formulations " — the Make/Shift Space will host "140 Seconds," featuring 13 fast-paced artist talks, starting at 7 p.m. Grinnell College students enrolled in a site-specific studio art seminar taught by Associate Professor of Art Lee Emma Running will each give a 140-second artist talk accompanied by six images of their choice.

The last Make/Shift Space exhibition of the semester, "Beautiful Sunset," will open from 4 to 6 p.m. on Thursday, May 19. The exhibition will feature artwork by graduating seniors. The range of work includes painting, drawing, print media, sculpture, installation, video, and performance. Most of these works will be on display through Tuesday, May 24.

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.

Make/Shift Space to be in Masonic Temple

Grinnell College has leased the vacant main floor of the Masonic Temple at 928 Main St. in downtown Grinnell, for March, April, and May. During this time, art faculty members will teach several classes. Students will develop a variety of works and installations, then showcase them during pop-up shows.

The first pop-up show at Make/Shift Space will feature works by students in an advanced seminar on Site Specificity and in Intro to Sculpture. Set for Thursday, March 17, the event, which is free and open to the public, will run from 5 to 7 p.m.

The lease with the Masonic Lodge, which occupies the upper floor of the 99-year-old brick building, provides about 5,000 square feet. The new space will give students the opportunity to spread out and create installations and other large works that will not fit in the Art and Art History Department's current facilities in the Bucksbaum Center for the Arts.

"The Make/Shift Space offers students a valuable opportunity to have their work away from a formal academic setting and out in front of the public," said Matthew Kluber, associate professor of art and chair of the department. "It changes they way they see the relationship of their work and ideas to the wider world — they begin to see themselves as artists."

Additional pop-up exhibitions featuring works from an introductory course, a collage course, and other studio classes as well as free workshops for community members of a variety of ages will be scheduled throughout the rest of the spring semester. Possible workshops and demonstrations include 3D printing, "Re-Mix: Collage as Cultural Practice," screenings of videos made by art students, talks by student artists, and drop-in-and-draw sessions.  

"It's exciting to gain such a large space downtown, where we will have high visibility on Main Street," said Jeremy Chen, assistant professor of art. "We are happy to be activating a quiet space that has been vacant for more than two years, and we want to involve local residents in this new venture.

"For example," Chen added, "we want passersby to stop and look into the large, storefront windows to watch students creating works of art. Having a public audience will inspire our students and elevate their projects."

All studio faculty and staff of the Art and Art History Department have been invited to make use of the Masonic Temple. In addition to Chen and Kluber, faculty and staff members initially working there will be Andrew Kaufman, associate professor of art; Lee Running, associate professor of art;  and Andrew Orloski, studio art technician.

About four years ago Chen's sculpture class conducted pop-up shows at two downtown locations, 925 Broad St. and the basement of 800 Fourth Ave. The space was donated by Bill Rozendaal of Rozendaal Rentals and Bruce Blankenfeld of Westside Diner, and arranged through local real estate agent Matt Karjalahti. "It was a wonderful experience for the students," Chen recalled. "We had more than 100 people attend the show. We are eager to expand on that success in our new and larger venue in the Masonic Temple."

John Kalkbrenner, assistant vice president for auxiliary services and economic development at Grinnell College, negotiated the lease for the Masonic Temple space. Although no plan beyond the three-month rental has been made for a more permanent College space downtown, he said, "We are treating this as an experiment. The studio art faculty will be tracking usage and other factors that will help us determine whether this pilot program is successful."

Grinnell College welcomes and encourages the participation of people with disabilities. Make/Shift activities open to the public all happen on the first floor of the Masonic Temple Building. Visitors are encouraged to use downtown street parking. Accommodation requests may be made to Grinnell College Conference Operations 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.

 

Long String Instrument Installation

Celebrated artist and musician Ellen Fullman is in residence at Grinnell College Nov. 4 -14, building, rehearsing, holding workshops and performing her Long String Instrument installation.

For nearly 30 years, Fullman has been exploring the acoustics of large resonant spaces with her Long String Instrument. The installation, at least 53 feet long, is comprised of approximately 100 precisely tuned wires strung across a room. Its strings are tuned very low so that when played, the Long String Instrument sounds similar to an organ.

Fullman's performance, which is free and open to the public, will start at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 13, in Main Hall Quad Dining Hall. Although admission is free, tickets are required. They will be available beginning Tuesday, Nov. 10, at the Box Office in Bucksbaum Center for the Arts.

Fullman has received numerous awards, commissions and residencies including:

  • A 2015 Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grants to Artists award,
  • Two Center for Cultural Innovation Grants (2008 and 2013),
  • A Japan/U.S. Friendship Commission/National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship for Japan (2007), and
  • A DAAD Artists-in-Berlin residency (2000)

Throughout her career, Fullman has recorded extensively with the Long String Instrument and has collaborated with numerous artists. The Wire selected two of her releases, "Ort" and "Fluctuations," among the top 50 recordings of 2004 and 2008.

Sponsoring the installation and related events are Artists@Grinnell, the Center for the Humanities, Department of Music, and Public Events Series.

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

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.

A Closer Look at the Iowa Prairie

"A Closer Look at the Iowa Prairie: Photographs by Justin Hayworth" is on view at Grinnell College through Sunday, Oct. 11, in Burling Gallery on the lower level of Burling Library.

Prairie dominated the Iowa landscape when the first white settlers arrived in 1833. Now, less than 0.1 percent of the original Iowa prairie remains.

Hayworth's macro photographs invite viewers to take a closer look at the beauty of prairie plants, celebrate the intricate aesthetics of prairie life, and teach about the unintended consequences of development. Macro photography is the art of producing photographs of small objects larger than life size.

Hayworth holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from Kansas State University and worked as a photojournalist at the Duluth News Tribune and the Des Moines Register before joining Grinnell College as photographer/videographer in 2012.

Gallery Talk

Hayworth and Jon Andelson, director of the College's Center for Prairie Studies, will give a gallery talk at 4 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 2. They will discuss the loss of the Iowa prairie, the importance of close observation and the aesthetics of prairie life, celebrated through macro photography. A reception will follow.

Nature Photography Session

On Friday, Sept. 4, Hayworth will lead an exploration of the Grinnell campus for those who want to bring cameras and learn how to photograph nature up close.

The session will take place from 4 to 6 p.m. and start in Burling Gallery. The rain date will be Friday, Sept. 11.

Individuals with all levels of photography experience are welcome. Each person should bring a camera of any sort, including digital single-lens reflex, point and shoot or cell phone. Grinnell College students, faculty and staff may check out cameras from the Audio-Visual Center.

The gallery talk, photography session and exhibition, which are free and open to the public, are sponsored by Grinnell College's Center for Prairie Studies and the Faulconer Gallery.

Hours and Accessibility

Grinnell welcomes and encourages the participation of people with disabilities. Accommodation requests may be made to Conference Operations, 641-269-3235.

Burling Gallery is open 10 a.m. through 10 p.m. daily. For more information about  the exhibition and related programs visit Faulconer Gallery.