Faculty Show Exhibition Highlights Work of 10 Studio Artists

Assistant Professor of Art Leslie Snipes is one of 10 faculty participating in The Faculty Show in the Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery through May 27.
Posted 05/02/07
Through a three-dimensional art piece made of carpet spools and mobile platforms, Jeffrey Schiff, professor of art, explores movement and stability, and the desire to exert control and temptation to escape.

Schiff and nine of his colleagues are showing their work at The Faculty Show, an exhibition that showcases the work of studio art faculty in Wesleyan’s Art and Art History Department. The first of its kind in more than a decade, the exhibition includes the work of Schiff, professors of art David Schorr, J. Seeley and Tula Telfair; assistant professors of art Elijah Huge and Leslie Snipes; Luther Gregg Sullivan Fellow John Slepian, pictured at right; Professor Emeritus of Art John Frazer; Visiting Assistant Professor of Art Kate TenEyck; and Visiting Artist in Art and East Asian Studies, Keiji Shinohara.

Curated by Nina Felshin, The Faculty Show will be on view through May 27 in The Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery.

The artists in The Faculty Show represent a broad spectrum of stylistic and conceptual concerns and are at various stages of their teaching and artistic careers. The length of their time at Wesleyan also varies enormously. The now retired but still part-time teaching John Frazer, for example, began in 1959 whereas Elijah Huge who teaches architecture taught his first course last semester.

Schiff, pictured at left, a sculptor and installation artist, says his piece is a prototype for a work envisioned to be much larger, in which several spools dispense carpeting onto mobile planes to produce a fragmented floor of shifting patterns. The numerous parts of the floor can roll about, changing the configuration of the floor and the juxtapositions of its colors and patterns.

“My work explores order and disorder, and offers speculations about the complex ways in which the things of the world cohere, conglomerate, fragment, proliferate, and disperse,” he says.

Shinohara, pictured at right, a visiting artist in art and East Asian Studies and master woodblock printer, is showing work inspired by observing attempts to preserve ancient wall paintings.

“Sometimes the areas that chip away are restored in an attempt to maintain the original vitality of the painting,” he says. “Yet there is a certain beauty to wall paintings that honestly reflect the passage of time, which is what I wanted to capture in these pieces.”

In addition to the show, “Outside the Frame: Teaching Art in a World of Porous Boundaries,” a seminar related to the exhibition, is scheduled for 3 p.m. May 26 in Zilkha Gallery. Panelists include Sidney Russell ’07, Schorr and TenEyck, pictured at right.

“As in other academic disciplines, the boundaries of art have expanded and, increasingly, art is not sharply defined by medium as it once was,” explains Felshin, who will moderate the seminar. “We will ask and explore, ‘How has the evolution of art itself influenced the teaching of art in an undergraduate program such as Wesleyan’s? How does a professor’s own work influence his or her teaching? How do they prepare their students for life in the art world?”

Gallery Hours are noon to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday; and noon to 8 p.m. Friday. The event is free. For more information, call the Box Office at 860-685-3355 or visit www.wesleyan.edu/cfa.

For artist biographies and to see images of the show, visit: http://www.wesleyan.edu/art/facultyexhibition07/.

By Adam Kubota, press and marketing director. Photos by Olivia Drake, The Wesleyan Connection editor