Thursday, April 19, 2018

Publication Turns Abstracted Idea into Concrete Realization


The Clinton Hill publication
In addition to organizing many exhibitions, workshops and events, the Georgia Museum of Art also annually publishes a number of exhibition catalogues and other publications. The most recent of these publications is unique not only in its content, but its construction. The catalogue, “Clinton Hill,” was written by museum director Dr. William U. Eiland and surveys the life and career of Clinton Hill, a multitalented artist who was a Renaissance man of the abstract.

The structure of the physical book contains a number of unique elements that catch the eye of any who pass it. The front cover includes a die cut, allowing parts of the interior pages to be seen. The front and back covers are glued on in separate pieces, leaving the spine visible. The title of the book is printed on the folded edges of the signatures, with binders’ thread exposed over it. The book is also printed on two different types of paper: a high-recycled-content stock in a birch color, printed with a single Pantone color (including vintage photographs of Hill at work), and a silk-coated white art stock for the color plates. Hill’s work in collage and with handmade paper inspired its design, by Almanac of St. Louis.



In the foreword of the publication, Eiland describes Hill’s art as “works of intense vision, of radical experimentation, of lyrical loveliness . . . unknowable things of the unbridled imagination, of the human spirit, of the abstracted idea, and of its concrete realization.”

With an artist whose work inspires such passion, it is fitting that the publication is an out of the ordinary project suitable for the man who lived and worked “without apology or circumspection.”

Copies of “Clinton Hill” are available for purchase at the Museum Shop, on Amazon or on our website for $40.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Awakening the Divine at the Georgia Museum of Art

Some of the mandalas created by participants at "Awakening the Divine"

There it is again.

Beep! Beep! Beep! How does the relentless ring of an alarm always seem to invade the best of dreams? Morning people spring out of bed prepared for the day, while others need a miracle to make it out of the house on time. The Georgia Museum of Art recently offered a workshop for all kinds of people to wake up —in the spiritual sense. “Awakening the Divine,” a mindfulness workshop, was also scheduled for the convenient evening hour of 6 p.m. For many, the experience was a much more welcome wake-up call than their daily alarm.

The workshop began with a short history of mandalas. Many different cultures have created circular designs throughout history. Humans were likely first inspired to draw circles from looking at the sun and moon. This workshop drew inspiration from Images of Awakening: Buddhist Sculpture from Afghanistan and Pakistan,” an exhibition that highlights the Buddhist artistic heritage of ancient Gandhara. Many other religions around the world have also found significance in mandalas. From Tibetan monks to Navajo Indians, the ritualistic production of these designs is often intended to produce healing.[1]

Psychologists today have discovered the many positive effects of creating mandalas. The instructor of the workshop, licensed physiologist Debra P. Avis, included a few in her presentation. This practice may prevent writers block or aid in decision-making. Mandalas symbolize the self in Jungian psychology.[2] By creating a mandala, an individual works to find a place in the world. In conjunction with mindfulness, a well-studied practice with many benefits, the process teaches one to focus on the task at hand. At the end of the workshop, visitors left with completed, unique mandalas — as unique as their individual dreams and aspirations, which they may now pursue with renewed focus.

Gone are the days when art museums were only spaces to observe a painting on the wall (though the museum does offer ample time and space for this activity with Slow Art Day on the calendar for April 14). Additionally, curators of education create experiences that call upon visitors to interact with art in new ways. In recent years, the Georgia Museum of Art has increasingly offered opportunities for visitors to participate in art making. Workshops in acrylics and tapestry weaving employ local artists and give members of the Athens community an opportunity to benefit from the resources on campus. Whether it is making mandalas, paintings or tapestries, visitors can find what makes their days a bit brighter at the museum.

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McKenzie Peterson
Intern, Department of Communications




[1] Krippner, S. (1997). The Role Played by Mandalas in Navajo and Tibetan Rituals. Anthropology of Consciousness, 8(1), 22-31. doi:10.1525/ac.1997.8.1.22
[2] Psychology of the Mandala. (2018, April 11) http://creatingmandalas.com/psychology-of-the-mandala


Thursday, April 05, 2018

MFA Candidate Spotlight: Ally Christmas

Ally Christmas, Metadreaming, 2018

The Georgia Museum of Art will soon host the annual Master of Fine Arts Degree Candidates exit show. The exhibition will display the creative works of 16 students slated to graduate from the Lamar Dodd School of the Art in May. This week, we continue to spotlight a few of these unique artists with information on Ally Christmas.

Christmas hails from the suburbs of Washington, D.C., where her artistic journey began during high school. She went on to study analog photography during her undergraduate years at the University of Virginia. After graduation, Christmas spent the following year working on her own pieces and mentoring other students.

She found herself intrigued by the University of Georgia’s interdisciplinary master of fine arts program and soon took the plunge into the American South. “The southern culture here is just so much more welcoming,” she says of her experience in Athens, a place she has come to be inspired by and love.

Christmas’ choices of medium and style have continued to evolve in this open environment. Analog photography has given way to video and digital imagery, which she is excited to present at the MFA exit show. Christmas’ contributions to the show will be a central video piece accompanied by digitally created imagery. Through these works, she conveys “the return of the ‘real’ through the glitches or errors in a work of art.”

Christmas hopes viewers will find themselves in the digital sphere through her work. The layers crossed to enter this mindset, she says, will cause the audience to consider what connects them to the world within the screen.

Whether these layers are of the self, multiple selves or both is a question Christmas has explored throughout her MFA. Her video and digital imagery pieces will lead the audience deep within her question and, perhaps, to its answer. The question may be personal, but it will easily inspire the viewer to wander a similar path.

To see Christmas’ work, along with that of all the other MFA candidates, you can visit the exit show, on view April 7 – May 20, 2018.

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Savannah Guenthner
Intern, Department of Communications

Thursday, March 29, 2018

MFA Candidate Spotlight: Kaleena Stasiak


Kaleena Stasiak, eternal return, 2018

The Georgia Museum of Art will soon host the annual Master of Fine Arts Degree Candidates exit show. The exhibition will display the creative works of 16 students slated to graduate from the Lamar Dodd School of the Art in May. This week, we continue to spotlight a few of these unique artists with information on Kaleena Stasiak.

Kaleena Stasiak grew up near Niagara Falls before moving to Toronto, where she received her bachelor’s degree in printmaking from the Ontario College of Art and Design. She then found herself drawn to the interdisciplinary nature of the master of fine arts program at the University of Georgia. She continued her studies in printmaking and book arts, but has recently ventured into more three-dimensional works made of ceramics, wood and foam. Her works in the upcoming MFA Degree Candidates exit show will mainly feature the latter two categories.

Through her work, Stasiak responds to the history of the South and how that history is represented today. Southern architecture and domestic objects tell the story of “us,” a fact readily seen in her art. From hand turning spindles to carving foam, Stasiak’s works evidence a beautiful and intriguing foray into Southern material culture. Her own adventure, a perpetual learning experience, takes viewers into the world of the South, turning truths the audience might take for granted on their heads.

Stasiak is “curious about exploring . . . how tourism is marketed in the South,” and, as she recognizes her own tendency to romanticise the South, she “also wants to subvert then call into question things that are glossed over.”

As she plays with key architectural and material tropes, she leads the viewer to appreciate and simultaneously question southern romanticism. Viewers will certainly leave her portion of the exit show considering familiar local buildings and heirloom furniture in a new light.

To see Stasiak’s work, along with that of all the other MFA candidates, you can visit the exit show, on view April 7 – May 20, 2018.

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Savannah Guenthner
Intern, Department of Communications

Thursday, March 22, 2018

MFA Candidate Spotlight: Deepanjan Mukhopadhyay


Deepanjan Mukhopadhyay, Code Switching, 2017

The Georgia Museum of Art will soon host the annual Master of Fine Arts Degree Candidates exit show. The exhibition will display the creative works of 16 students slated to graduate from the Lamar Dodd School of the Art in May. Over the next three weeks, we will spotlight a few of these unique artists with information on their artistic journeys and processes.

UGA master of fine arts degree candidate Deepanjan Mukhopadhyay calls Calcutta (now Kolkata), India, home. Mukhopadhyay received his undergraduate degree in photography at Louisiana Tech. He continues to create art in the visual realm but has expanded beyond a single medium.

Today, he sees “forms as a result of concepts,” concepts he portrays in his installation work. The one photographic image within his installation at the MFA exit show is simply another material. More often, his “gestures are . . . in terms of readymades or assisted readymades.” Many of his materials are products you could buy, such as an LCD monitor or light fixture. He makes these standard objects new via their placement.

The context of the objects’ placement, and of Mukhopadhyay himself as he creates, define his work. In past installations, he took on heady topics such as post-colonialism. His inspiration for this show includes labor—specifically his labor as an artist—within institutional spaces.

“Maybe,” he suggests, “the white walls around me are what influenced me to make the work.” The inherent structure of his context influences his works but does not detract from the joy he finds in creating. “I find it funny, and I find joy in making these pieces,” says Mukhopadhyay, which is part of what he wishes to evoke in his audience.

Mukhopadhyay creates his installations with certain perspectives and intentions, but he hopes the audience will take it from there. When you walk through his installations, allow yourself to notice the sensations and think about the space as a shared, interactive experience.

To see Mukhopadhyay's work, along with that of all the other MFA candidates, you can visit the exit show, on view April 7 – May 20, 2018.

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Savannah Guenthner
Intern, Department of Communications