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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.

 

 

Double the Fun

At Grinnell, students are encouraged to find ways to pursue as many of their interests as they can. This can mean participating in clubs and athletics in addition to academics, but some students want to take their interests even further by declaring a double major.

A double major may seem overwhelming, but it’s actually very common for students to merge two seemingly unrelated interests into a major that fits their aspirations.

Becoming a better doctor

Micah Iticovici ’16 working at a table with books, papersMicah Iticovici ’16, a biological chemistry/economics double major, arrived on campus intending to be a philosophy major. However, he soon discovered an interest in biochemistry and the medical profession.

Then, during his Introduction to Economics course, he began to see an overlap between how economists study decision-making and how medical professionals and their patients interact.

“Patients are really not great decision-makers,” Iticovici says. “They make a lot of really small decisions without looking at the overall impacts of those choices.”

Using the principles he learned in economics, Iticovici has pursued independent research to try to gain a better understanding of how and why patients make decisions that aren’t in their best interests. By delving into behavioral economics with a medical spin, he hopes to be able to advise and relate to his future patients more effectively.

Combining economics with a medicine-oriented biochemistry major may be unexpected, but it has many practical applications. But a down-to-earth major like economics can add a lot to a major that is less logic-oriented as well.

The economics of art

Alex Neckopulos ’17 is a studio art/economics double major who was interested in art from a young age. Her talent was encouraged until high school, where she got very different feedback from her teachers. They viewed artistic pursuits as less valuable than math and sciences, and her interest in art faded.

Neckopulos regained her passion for art when she came to Grinnell, but she discovered that the analytical side she developed in high school was still calling. At first, the notion of combining her interests in art and economics seemed unrealistic. “Honestly I had no idea how they would work together! It felt like I was trying to stick a circle in a square hole,” Neckopulos says.

After taking a job as an assistant in the Faulconer Gallery, however, Neckopulos discovered that her knowledge of economic models and principles came in handy. “Working in a gallery, you have the art that you’re passionate about, but it’s also a business, and you have to know how to get people in the door and really manage your funds,” Neckopulos says.

She hopes to obtain an internship at a larger, public gallery in the future to see what it’s like to pursue those interests on a grander scale. “My advice to anyone who has multiple interests would be to seek out that job that you think might combine them, because there’s nothing more eye-opening than applying what you learn to real life,” says Neckopulos.

Look for the overlap

“Double majors are really doable,” Iticovici adds. “You can combine anything and there will be some kind of overlap, as long as you’re willing to look for it. And that makes everything you learn more fulfilling and interesting.”

For Grinnell students, the ability to delve deeply into more than one subject helps to transform their varied interests into new, more fulfilling career paths. So if you’re having trouble deciding what you want to do, fear not! You just might be able to do it all.

Grinnell Prize Honors Social Justice Innovators

The power of words and language to effect positive change in individuals and societies is the focus of the 2015 Grinnell Prize, the largest monetary award presented by a U.S. college recognizing achievements in social justice.

Grinnell College has selected two winners of the $100,000 Grinnell College Innovator for Social Justice Prize this year:

Each prizewinner will receive $50,000 as an individual and $50,000 for her organization.

Grinnell President Raynard S. Kington will present the prizes at an awards ceremony at 4 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 27, in Herrick Chapel, 1128 Park St., Grinnell. Ahenkorah and Vertkin will talk about their work during the ceremony, which is free and open to the public.

Deborah Ahenkorah, Golden Baobab

Ahenkorah, 28, founded Golden Baobab in 2008 in Accra, Ghana, to encourage the creation, production and distribution of high-quality, culturally relevant children's literature by Africans for Africans. The first arts and literary organization to win a Grinnell Prize, Golden Baobab nurtures emerging African writers and illustrators through annual awards (with cash prizes), as well as workshops to provide resources and develop talent. The organization has formed its own literary agency and publishing company. Ahenkorah was nominated for the Grinnell Prize by her sister, Eunice, a 2013 graduate of Grinnell College.

 

Maria Vertkin, Found in Translation

Vertkin, 29, started Found in Translation in 2011 in Boston to support and train homeless and low-income bilingual women to start careers as professional medical interpreters. The organization attacks the twin challenges of economic disadvantages faced by minority women, as well as racial, ethnic, and linguistic disparities in health care. From 20 to 30 women graduate from the program each year, earning a certificate in medical interpretation and receiving career placement services.

Grinnell Prize Week Offers New Events

The award winners also will participate in Grinnell Prize Week from Oct. 26-29. They will meet with students, faculty and staff to discuss their approaches to social justice, sources of inspiration and success in overcoming obstacles. This year, for the first time, the week includes an art exhibition and the Spark Tank Innovation Challenge.

Current Styles in African Illustration

Colorful open-air market scene Xanele Puren, South Africa, Reproduced with permission from the 2014 Golden Baobab Prize for African Illustrators

"Current Styles in African Illustration" will open Monday, Oct. 26, in Burling Gallery on the lower level of Burling Library.

It will highlight distinguished and contemporary children's illustration in Africa by showcasing submissions to the inaugural Golden Baobab Prize for African Illustrators, which honors current and distinctive African illustrators from throughout the continent.

An opening reception for Ahenkorah of Golden Baobab and the exhibition will take place from 5 to 6 p.m. Oct. 26 in Burling Gallery.

The exhibition, presented by the Faulconer Gallery in conjunction with the staff of Golden Baobab, will run through Dec. 18. The exhibition and reception are free and open to the public.

Gallery hours are 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. weekends.

The Spark Tank Innovation Challenge 2015

Spark Tank Challenge - logoThe Spark Tank Innovation Challenge has paired Grinnell College students with educators in the Grinnell-Newburg School District to form 17 teams seeking innovative ways to address challenges in the public schools. Each team has been working to address a challenge by devising a solution that is innovative, practical, and beneficial.

Some of the challenges, identified by local educators and the Grinnell Schools Task Force, include:

  • Developing non-traditional methods of holding students accountable for their actions;
  • Making lunchtime a positive experience; and
  • Increasing underrepresented populations in STEM fields.

Student teams selected as finalists will have three minutes to pitch their innovations to the judges in a live event. The event, inspired by the "Shark Tank" TV show, is free and open to the public and will start at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 28, in Roberts Theatre, Bucksbaum Center for the Arts.

The judges — 2015 prizewinners and two local educators — will select three winning teams that will share a total of $22,500 in prize money to carry out their innovative projects. Each team also will receive a $250 cash prize.

Nominations Due Nov. 9 for 2016 Grinnell Prize

The College is accepting nominations for the 2016 Grinnell Prize through Nov. 9. No affiliation with Grinnell College is required.

Established by Grinnell College in 2010, the Innovator for Social Justice Prize honors individuals demonstrating leadership in their fields and showing creativity, commitment and extraordinary accomplishment in bringing about positive social change.

Grinnell College presented the first prizes in 2011. Since then, 12 prizes with a total value of $1.2 million have been awarded, including the two for 2015.