Welcome to Truman (and Welcome Back!)

This week saw the first year students move in, and start their classes.  Sunday is the day of return for sophomores, juniors, and seniors. Classes start on Monday, but several faculty are incorporating the total eclipse into their assignments* and many classes will not actually meet until Wednesday.  Whenever your classes start, Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday, we are happy you are going to be here.

*While Kirksville doesn’t get more than 98% coverage of the sun by the moon, just 60 miles to the south you can experience totality.

Professor Lindsey Dunnagan’s Collaborative Art Project

Painting professor Lindsey Dunnagan invites people to participate in her new artwork at Paul Artspace Residency in Saint Louis, on August 6th.  She writes:

Carrying resentment, anger, or regret can negatively affect mental health and the body.  International Forgiveness Day (August 6th, 2017) provides an opportunity to shed these feelings.  In this interactive project, visitors are invited to Paul Artspace in Saint Louis where they can transfer unwanted negative emotions to “stones” through writing.

These stones are interconnected sculptural forms made of concrete that are absorbent and heavy.  Once participants write or draw on the concrete forms they may cover parts or their entire message with a black polish.  Then visitors can leave their stones in the forest.

Because the concrete is heavy, it serves as a metaphor of emotional weight.  Leaving the stones behind is physical act of literally letting go and a symbolic way of healing.

After the event, stones will be collected for a sculptural altar in a gallery where the project can continue. In the gallery, new visitors may write on new stones while sifting through the ones others have left. My hope is that this project can help people feel less alone and provide some peace for people who are dealing with difficult issues.

The details:

When: August 6th, 12 – 6pm

Where: Paul Artspace 14516 Sinks Rd, Florissant, MO 63034

For more details, including a map to the location, take a look at her website.

Goodbye to Dr. Julia DeLancey

Dr. DeLancey with current students and alumni at her goodbye reception.

We are saddened to say goodbye to Art Historian Dr. Julia DeLancey, who will be moving to Virginia for a new academic position.  She has been at Truman for more than twenty years, and although we will miss her, we wish her luck in her new position.  A reception was held in the University Gallery on July 20th, in honor of her and her husband, Dr. Peter Kelly, and several students and alumni were able to say goodbye in person.

Art Faculty Attend Institute in Asheville, NC

Art faculty Julia DeLancey, Aaron Fine, Aaron Neeley, and Sara Orel, along with Amanda Langendoerfer, who is the Head of Special Collections and University Museums at Truman, attended a Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges Summer Institute on Liberal Learning in Asheville from June 8-10, 2017.  This year the annual institute focused on art programs.  Titled “Adaptations: Working in Art Departments at Public Liberal Arts Colleges,” the program brought together faculty from 18 universities to share ideas and discuss such topics as encouraging undergraduate research in Art, teaching Art History without having major museum collections nearby, and partnering with community arts organizations.

Photograph of participants in the COPLAC Summer Institute, courtesy of Emma Anderson.

Truman Faculty (all in the front row): Aaron Neeley, Julia DeLancey (2nd and 3rd from the left, respectively), Sara Orel (8th from left), Amanda Langendoerfer (5th from right), and Aaron Fine (2nd from right).

At the Institute Truman faculty also had the opportunity to congratulate the incoming Executive Director of COPLAC, our former colleague Cole Woodcox, who has retired from Truman to take the position. (He is the first person on the right in the back row of the photo above).

Photography Professor Priya Kambli exhibits in Jaipur, India

Professor Priya Kambli’s photographs were displayed at the JaipurPhoto show in late February/early March.  JaipurPhoto is an international open-air travel photography festival held every February in the Pink City.

For the 2017 edition, JaipurPhoto’s Artistic Director, Lola Mac Dougall, invited Federica Chiocchetti, Founding Director of the photo-literary platform Photocaptionist, to be the Guest Curator and respond to the theme of wanderlust. As a Westerner, who works on the relationship between photography and fictions, images and words, and who had to ‘imagine’ and ‘study’ Jaipur and India from far away, Chiocchetti felt inclined to search for photographic works that subtly connected the notions of travel with ideas of the imaginary and the unexpected.

Professor Kambli’s work on display in Jaipur.  These are from her series “Kitchen Gods,” which takes inspiration from her own family’s photographs from India.

As the festival writeup proclaimed: “In this unique family pantheon, Kambli labours to afford her ancestors the same treatment as given to kitchen deities. The act of transforming simple snapshots into gods that watch over the nourishment of the family makes this series–although aesthetically rooted in India- a universal story.”

Priya Kambli is back in the classroom in the fall of 2017, after taking a sabbatical to work on her art full time.  Congratulations on the show, and welcome back!

 

News from Printmaking (student travel and Prof. Bigger’s summer adventures)

 In April, during the last full month of the (academic) year, art students Jennifer Reagan, Nick Phan, Claire Nipper, Morgan Price, Morgan White, Greta Dellinger, Cassie Koelling, and Madi Pearson all went on a trip with Professor Laura Bigger, our printmaking instructor.

The trip took them all to the Minneapolis Institute of the Arts and its Print Study Room, Cave Paper, The Minnesota Center for Book Arts, The Walker Art Center, Midway Center for Contemporary Art, two graduate programs (at the University of Minnesota and the Minneapolis College of Art and Design), Leg Up Press, and the Highpoint Center for Printmaking.
They also made requisite stops to eat doughnuts and yummy food.
Professor Bigger herself writes that this summer she will be heading to Documenta and Berlin to research a study abroad trip for the Art Department. She will also mount an exhibition at The Holland Project in Reno, Nevada, and the Silverwood Park Gallery in St. Anthony, Minnesota. We hope to have pictures from those adventures in the fall.

New Public Art on Campus

Danielle Yakle’s Introduction to the Visual Arts class was at it again this spring.  As you walk around campus over the summer, see how many benches you can find that were not there at the beginning of April.*

These benches were completely fabricated by Professor Yakle’s class, with her assistance, and they are sturdy enough to last through midwestern weather.  The body of the benches is metal, and they are almost completely covered with concrete with the decoration added at the end of the process. Each bench is differently-shaped and covered with glass tiles of different colors.  They are placed around the central part of campus.  It is time for a treasure hunt!

*There are six benches.

Painting professor Lindsey Dunnagan on one of the benches newly installed on campus.

What Are Students Doing This Summer?

Students are doing exciting things over the summer.  Here are just a few of them.  Check back over the summer for pictures and updates from students and faculty, who are traveling all over the U.S. and around the world, and having adventures as they go.

Lisa Simms writes: “I will be the assistant supervisor in the summer program called the C.A.R.E. art gallery where I will be helping young high school artists hone their craft and work on different art mediums and techniques each week!”  This gallery is in Columbia, just down the road from Truman.

Another student has gone a bit further for her professional experience this summer:

Corin Hoke will be interning at the Benjamin Franklin House in London from June 17-August 15. She does not have an official title but will be helping lead tours, completing a special project of her choice, and possibly editing a book of the home’s architecture and writing articles.

 

 

Congratulations Dr. Heidi Cook!

Assistant Professor of Art Heidi Cook completed her Ph.D. this year in the history of art and architecture at the University of Pittsburgh with advisor Barbara McCloskey. Her dissertation was titled “Picturing Peasants: Maksimilijan Vanka’s Folkloric Paintings and the ‘Croatian Question’ from Habsburg Empire to Croatian Nation-State.” Using the work of Croatian-American artist Vanka as a linking thread, her project explored how the production, circulation, and reception of objects and images related to Croatian folk culture played an active role in imagining a spectrum of competing national and imperial identities in early twentieth-century Yugoslavia. She received an American Councils Title VIII Fellowship, Foreign Language and Area Studies Academic-year Fellowships, and a Mellon Predoctoral Fellowship from the University of Pittsburgh among other grants to fund her research and writing. Her research will continue to focus on visual constructions of nationalisms and other competing political identities in the modern art, architecture, design, and cultural history of Central and Eastern Europe.

Dr. Cook and Dr. McCloskey at the University of Pittsburgh Commencement.

Congratulations to Art Graduates (and all other grads as well!)

Truman split their commencement into three parts this year because of construction and track improvements.  So the BA and BFA students were honored at a 9 am ceremony on May 13th, which also featured an address by Dr. Cole Woodcox of the English Department, who has also taught Art History for several years. Congratulations to all graduates!  We will miss you as you go on to your exciting futures.  Please keep in touch and let us know what you are doing.

Photo courtesy of Tim Barcus