Art History professor Sara Orel, whose speciality is ancient Egypt (she has her Ph.D. in Egyptian Archaeology), led a June 10th tour of the Sunken Cities exhibition at the St. Louis Art Museum for members of Truman State University’s Alumni Association. The show includes objects from underwater excavations of the lost cities of Thonis-Heracleion and Canopus, off the northern coast of Egypt in the Mediterranean sea. In addition there are several pieces on loan from the Greco-Roman Museum in Alexandria, Egypt, and the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. Thirty former (and current) Truman students and their friends and family got to see the objects which included beautiful jewelry and statues, including three colossal statues of granite set up in the lobby of the museum. Art History graduate Krista Garcia took several pictures and was willing to let us use them here.
We hope you are finally warming up from bitter cold winter break (in Kirksville New Year’s day saw a high of 4 and a low of -17 degrees!). As we are now one week into the spring semester of 2018, we begin the Art Blog by wrapping up some of Fall 2017’s news.
The first thing we want to do is to encourage you to investigate the new art installation to be found in front of the McKinney Health Center (between that building and the Kirk Building).
Professor Danielle Yakle (in the middle of the picture above, wearing a turquoise beret) wrote, in her proposal asking to install the sculpture in its current location:
Their (her Introduction to Visual Arts students) idea was to create an installation of enlarged human organs and systems. The various parts (a brain, heart, stomach, rib cage, etc.) will be assembled in the space much like an anatomical study. While being somewhat educational, the main concept is to recreate objects, which are normally soft and temporary, as something that is solid and long-lasting. The class was interested in the contrast between the ephemeral nature of the body compared to the hard and durable qualities of the concrete we are using for the sculpture. They hope to treat viewers to a surreal experience by positioning the interior of the body in an outdoor space.
These photographs (courtesy of Atticus Bailey) show the installation of the sculpture at the beginning of December. The pieces are made of concrete and many are attached to the ground with large metal spikes, which will help to keep them in place as they are climbed upon. Human body parts displayed include:
A brain – approximately 5’ long by 3’ high by 2.5’ wide
Two sets of ribs – 6’ by 4’ by 1’, connected with a bracket
A heart – 3’ by 3’ by 2.5’
A stomach – 5.5’ by 5’ by 2’
Two kidneys – 2.5’ by 1.5’ by 1.5’ each
Three lengths of large intestine – the largest is 7.5’ by 2.5’ by 2’
If you want to go by on a sunny day, the grassy space between Kirk and the Health Center seems to be a nice place to take in the view.
If you are in New Orleans this coming weekend, you should take the opportunity to hear Truman Professor Priya Kambli talk about her work at the Louisiana State Museum at The Old US Mint. She will be speaking as part of the PHOTONOLA 2017 event. Priya’s talk is on Sunday, December 10th, at 10 am, and it is free and open to the public. She also has a solo exhibition in New Orleans, at the Staple Goods Gallery from December 9th-January 7th.
Louisiana State Museum Old US Mint Staple Goods
400 Esplanade Avenue 1340 St. Roch Avenue
New Orleans, LA 70116 New Orleans, LA 70117
Hours: Tuesday – Sunday 10am – 4:30pm Hours: Sat + Sun, 12-5pm
From the PHOTONOLA 2017 website:
Priya Kambli’s artwork is intrinsically tied to her own family’s photographic legacy and her move at age 18, following the death of her parents, from India to the United States. Before she emigrated, she and her sister split their photographic inheritance in half. One portion remained in India, and the other was displaced along with Priya, in America. For the past decade, that archive of family photographs has been Priya’s primary source material in creating bodies of work which explore the migrant narrative and experience; albeit through a personal lens. Priya’s work has always touched upon universal themes, with the potential to start a dialogue about cultural differences and universal similarities. In the last year those private references and broad themes have taken on a new public significance that requires a creative response, by delving deeper into her own immigrant narrative, engaging with its personal but increasingly, if accidentally, political context.
In this free public presentation, Priya Kambli will discuss her bodies of work which explore the migrant narrative and experience as seen through a personal lens, beginning with her book Color Falls Down, and continuing through her latest project Buttons for Eyes.
Josh Hainy joined the Truman State University Art Department in August 2017. He received his Ph.D. in Art History from the University of Iowa with a specialization in 18th– and 19th-century European Art. Before the University of Iowa, Hainy attended the University of Oregon, where he got a Master’s degree in Classics. Drawing from his background in the classical languages, for his dissertation in Art History, he examined the ways in which British draughtsman and sculptor John Flaxman (1755-1826) depicted subject matter taken from ancient literature. Flaxman’s drawings of Homer’s Iliad received particular emphasis. These images—done in the contour style of the late 18th and early 19th centuries—became quite popular throughout Europe, but scholarly interest traditionally focused on Flaxman’s use of contour, not the ways in which he presented the narrative of the Iliad through a series of images.
In addition to presenting his research on Flaxman’s narratives at The Art Institute of Chicago Graduate Symposium, Dr. Hainy has presented other papers about Flaxman and his interactions with classical antiquity at the annual conferences of the American Society of Eighteenth-Century Studies and the Nineteenth Century Studies Association. He talked about the role of the human body in the lectures Flaxman delivered as the first Professor of Sculpture at the Royal Academy of Art at a symposium about art, anatomy, and medicine held at the Columbia Museum of Art. This paper will be part of an edited volume about art, anatomy, and medicine since c. 1800.
At Truman State this fall, Hainy is teaching “Introduction to the Visual Arts”, the survey of Western Art from the Renaissance to the present, and Renaissance Art in the fall. In the spring he will teach the second half of the western survey, as well as one course on Modern Art and a topics (Art 428) section on art from the 18th and early 19th centuries, titled “Rococo to Romanticism.”
We extend our enthusiastic welcome to Josh Hainy, a valued addition to the Art Department at Truman!
Over the Labor day weekend Design professors Rusty Nelson, Matt Derezinski, and Aaron Neeley took a trip to Detroit, Michigan to see the House Industries Exhibition at the Henry Ford Museum. Known throughout the world for its eclectic font collections and far-reaching creative exploits, House Industries has been a standard-bearer for American graphic design for 25 years. House has worked with a diverse list of collaborators including Jimmy Kimmel, Hermès, The New Yorker, John Mayer, Muji, the Estate of Charles and Ray Eames, and Heath Ceramics.
Join us Tuesday, August 29th at 5pm for the Fall 2017 New Work by Truman State Art Faculty show, featuring works from Professors Matt Derezinski, Lindsey Dunnagan, Aaron Neeley, Russell Nelson, and Wynne Wilbur. The show will be up through the 6th of October.
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 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.
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).
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.
Each year we ask students and faculty to send us pictures of themselves on their midterm break travels. Amanda Matteucci sent us this marvelous picture of herself at Graffiti Park in Austin, Texas: