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Galleries Tie 2015-16 Programming to Campus-Wide Discussions

Quick Facts

 Catch a special one-day only exhibit, "Impaired Perceptions by Brian Charles Steel," Sept. 16 in the Lewandowski Student Gallery.

Man + Land + Water

Part of Cozy by

Kristin Smith Skees

ROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA—A limited engagement exhibit in honor of National Disability Employment Awareness Month, events focusing on water conservation and scarcity, and a series exploring human relationships highlight the 2015-16 season at Winthrop University Galleries.

Galleries Director Karen Derksen said programming this year ties into overall themes the campus as a whole will be exploring this academic year, creating a larger conversation across the university.

See Through Another’s Eyes

October marks National Disability Employment Awareness Month, an awareness campaign to educate people about disability employment issues and celebrate the contributions of workers with disabilities. Galleries has teamed up with Winthrop’s Office of Disability Services for “Impaired Perceptions by Brian Charles Steel,” opening for one day only Sept. 16 in the Lewandowski Student Gallery.

Born with congenital fiber-type disproportion, Steel’s exhibit showcases black-and-white portraits of himself and other physically impaired people, all to spark discussion on perception and socially constructed identity. Steel will give an artist talk at 5 p.m. Sept. 16 in Dina’s Place. A reception is scheduled afterward at 6 p.m. in the gallery.

“Water, Water Everywhere, and Not a Drop to Drink”

Winthrop will host its first Water in the World conference Nov. 6-7. The conference will feature topics such as the privatization of water, climate change, water conservation and more.

Galleries will start the conversation early when “Man + Land + Water” and “LAST FISH ON EARTH: Our Happy Re-Granulated Future” open Sept. 21 in the Rutledge and Elizabeth Dunlap Patrick galleries.

“Man + Land + Water”
features a great variety of artists and designers and their works spanning video, drawing, printmaking, industrial and interactive media from all over the world. A video from Denmark tells the story of an anime character who causes rainfall every time she sings. The character is banned from her village after a particularly heavy rainfall destroys the crops. Another group will have filtration products on display, while yet another contribution brings awareness to the controversial issue of “fracking,” the process of drilling into the earth before aiming a high-pressure water mix at the rock to release the gas inside of it.

The Elizabeth Dunlap Patrick Gallery will be transformed into a plastic beach when Jarod Charzewski and Colleen Ludwig bring “LAST FISH ON EARTH” to campus. The water quality of the worlds’ oceans are at a tipping point, with plastic pollution degrading the environment and threatening its species. A literal “rising tide of plastic water” complete with infographics will give visitors a glimpse into what the oceans’ future could be without change.

Other programming includes a film screening of the documentary “Watermark” followed by a Q&A at 7 p.m. Nov. 4 in Dina’s Place. Sponsored by the galleries and the DiGiorgio Student Union, “Watermark” showcases how water shapes people’s lives and how we affect it as well.

Charzewski and Ludwig will give an artist talk at 7 p.m. Sept. 21 in 119 Rutledge Building.

An opening reception for both exhibitions is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Sept. 25. The two exhibits are open through Nov. 13.

It’s All About Relationships

The second half of galleries’ programming ties into an overall campus conversation on relationships, both healthy and unhealthy.

Opening Dec. 7 in Rutledge Gallery is “Cozy” by Kristin Smith Skees. Skees literally takes her subjects into her hands. She custom-knits “cozies,” or covers, for her subjects and then takes photos of her subjects in the cozies, completely concealing their faces. The ambiguity allows her audience to decide their own ideas of identity, self and how relationships walk the line between loving and overbearing like a tight sweater.

Opening Jan. 20 in Elizabeth Dunlap Patrick Gallery is “Voices” by Cat Del Buono, a powerful exhibit that draws attention to domestic violence. Domestic violence survivors will tell their stories on 20 different video monitors. Del Buono hopes her audience will see the people and hear their stories rather than see them as just a domestic violence statistic.

“It’s uncensored, profound and hugely impactful,” Derksen said of the exhibit.

Going along with “Voices” will be an educational panel on domestic violence at 7 p.m. Jan. 21 in Dina’s Place.

An opening reception for both is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Jan. 22. The exhibits are open through March 11, 2016.

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 Follow the Galleries online on Facebook or Twitter.

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