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09/15/2014

Galleries Continues Integration Conversation in New Exhibits

Quick Facts

 The season begins Sept. 29 with Michaela Pilar Brown and Question Bridge: Black Males opening in the Rutledge and Elizabeth Dunlap Patrick galleries.
 All Galleries events are free, open to the public and approved cultural events.

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'Cut You' by Michaela Pilar Brown
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Work by Stacey Davidson
ROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA — Two new Winthrop University Galleries exhibits this fall will tie in with the university’s commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the school’s integration.

Galleries Director Karen Derksen said: "The exhibition ‘Question Bridge: Black Males’ and the work by Michaela Pilar Brown provides an exciting opportunity for the Winthrop campus and surrounding community to continue an important conversation about what still faces today’s society in terms of racial and gender equality issues 50 years after the first African-American student entered Winthrop.”

Sept. 29-Nov. 14

Opening Sept. 29 in the Rutledge Gallery are photography and sculpture pieces from artist Michaela Pilar Brown. Born in Maine, raised in Denver, Colorado, and currently living in Columbia, South Carolina, Brown’s exhibit focuses on cultural hierarchies related to beauty—including the stereotypical ideas of feminine beauty—and how race, gender and history play into those hierarchies. Some of her newest work also focuses on the idea of home as both a physical place and an intangible place for memories.

Her work has been called “provocative” in the past. One of her pieces, “Speak No,” depicts an African-American woman with small soldiers on her head in place of her curls; her mouth appears to be stitched closed.

Brown studied sculpture and art history at Howard University and spent fall 2011 as the Harvey B. Gantt Artist in Residence at the McColl Center for Visual Art in Charlotte. She is the 2014 recipient of the Artists’ Ventures Initiative from the South Carolina Arts Commission.

She will give an artist talk on Monday, Oct. 27, at 8 p.m. in 119 Rutledge Building. The content of the exhibition is for mature audiences.

Also opening Sept. 29 in the Elizabeth Dunlap Patrick Gallery is “Question Bridge: Black Males” (QB:BM). Question Bridge: Black Males is an innovative transmedia art project that seeks to represent and redefine black male identity in America. Through a video mediated question and answer exchange, diverse members of this “demographic” bridge economic, political, geographic and generational divisions.

Artists Chris Johnson, Hank Willis Thomas, Kamal Sinclair and Bayeté Ross Smith traveled the country, collecting more than 1,500 question and answer videos from over 150 men. They molded this rich content into an insightful, provocative and entertaining video installation – a portal into an inner realm of black male consciousness. It has been exhibited at over 30 museums, festivals and institutions worldwide. Winthrop will be one of six institutions participating in the project nationwide this fall.

In conjunction with the exhibition, Winthrop students and the community will have an opportunity to connect with a wider global audience engaging the Question Bridge project’s new interactive platforms via website or app.

Campus partners are also sponsoring a community engagement event called the “Blueprint Roundtable,” inspired by a question of a younger participant to the older participants in QB:BM: “Why didn’t you all leave us a blueprint?” The roundtable event will take place Tuesday, Oct. 7, at 7 p.m. in Dina’s Place at the DiGiorgio Campus Center. The inter-generational discussion will bring together a panel of local African-American men including Timothy Hopkins ’83, ’85, ’00, Kambrell Garvin ’13, student Saani Perry, student Joshua Dantzler, Rudy Currence, Ron Nelson Jr., Randy Worthy, Assistant Professor of Economics Willis LewisandAdjunct Faculty Morenga Hunt. Currence, a musician, will perform at the beginning of the event.

An opening reception for both is scheduled for Friday, Oct., 3 at 6:30 p.m. The reception will feature a spoken word performance from Q (Quentin Talley ’03).

Dec. 8, 2014-March 13, 2015


Winthrop artists take center stage in the Dec. 8-March 14, 2015 exhibits.

The first, in the Rutledge Gallery, is “Small is the New Big” from Assistant Professor of Painting Stacey Davidson. Davidson spent the summer of 2014 at the McColl Center as the center’s artist-in-residence. Her work explores our concerns for the shared human condition: delusions, weaknesses, beauty, vulnerability, and more. By using poseable dolls as actors for her work, Davidson creates reflective narratives through paint, canvas, paper and the moving image.

Also opening is “NEO | NEO – A Retrospective of the Late Winthrop Faculty David Freeman.” Freeman was a professor of fine arts at Winthrop for nearly 40 years. He officially retired in March 2008 and passed away in 2013.

Today’s revived interest in the abstract lies in the escape from the realities of technology, and a renewed fascination in material, color, and texture. The late professor’s abstract large paintings envelop modern day thought through his escape from everyday consciousness for an emotional experience inspired by music.

An opening reception is scheduled for Friday, Jan. 23, at 6:30 p.m.

All Galleries events are free cultural events and open to the public. Other gallery events are in the Lewandowski Student Gallery, unless otherwise noted:

• Sept. 16-Oct. 13: Mixed Media Drawing III
• Oct. 21-Nov. 17: Where Drawing and Painting Meet
• Dec. 2-19: Senior Art Education Exhibition

• Jan. 20-Feb. 2, 2015: Interior Design Rendering and Drawing Exhibition
• Feb. 10-23, 2015: Illustration Exhibition
• March 3-23, 2015: Intercollegiate Juried Exhibition Jewelry/Metals
• March 31-April 13, 2015: Sculpture
• April 13-June 26, 2015: 27th Annual Undergraduate Juried Exhibition; Rutledge Gallery. (Opening reception is Friday, April 17, at 6:30 p.m.).
• April 13-May 8, 2015: MFA Thesis Exhibition, Elizabeth Dunlap Patrick Gallery. (Opening reception is Friday, April 17, at 6:30 p.m.).
• April 21-May 8, 2014: B.F.A. Senior Exhibition
• May 18-Aug. 28, 2015: M.F. A. Works in Progress
Winthrop University Galleries hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday. It is closed on weekends and university holidays. All artist talks, exhibitions and receptions are free and open to the public.


For more information, call the Galleries at 803/323-2493 or e-mail Karen Derksen, Galleries director, at derksenk@winthrop.edu. Follow the Galleries online on Facebook or Twitter.

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