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January 24, 2014 — The University of Wyoming Art Museum will celebrate the opening of its spring exhibitions during a free public reception Friday, Jan. 31, from 6-8 p.m.
Exhibitions that are opening are: “39th Annual Juried University of Wyoming Student Exhibition”; “UW Art Department Faculty Exhibition”; “Bently Spang: On Fire”; “Ghastly Swamps and Ghost Towns: American Gothic Landscapes from the Art Museum Collection”; and four small exhibitions in the Pat Guthrie Special Exhibitions Teaching Gallery. An awards ceremony recognizing accomplishments in the 39th Annual Juried University of Wyoming Student Exhibition will begin at 6:30 p.m.
A highlight of Art Museum programming every year, the juried student exhibition features work from UW students in a variety of media, including small metals, ceramics, painting, drawing, photography and graphic design. The exhibition is open to any currently enrolled UW student. Nina Johnson-Milewski, owner of Gallery Diet in Miami, was the juror.
The UW Art Department Faculty Exhibition showcases the creative work of the UW Art Department faculty. Participating faculty members are Kristen Bartel, Diana Baumbach, Ashley Hope Carlisle, Peter Fine, Leah Hardy, Margaret Haydon, David Jones, Patrick Kikut, Ricki Klages, Mark Ritchie, Bailey Russel, Doug Russell and Shelby Shadwell. Individually, Department of Art faculty members exhibit their work in national and international venues; the UW Art Department Faculty Exhibition is an opportunity to view their work collectively.
“Bently Spang: On Fire” is part of an ongoing series of works by artist Bently Spang (Northern Cheyenne, b. 1960) that tells the story of the 2012 Ash Creek wildfire that devastated his family’s ranch located on ancestral homeland of the Northern Cheyenne reservation in Montana. Spang seeks out the story of the fire from the perspective of the trees he grew up with on his family’s land. He facilitates their voice through a series of video-documented, performative rubbings on paper of the now-charred trees. Spang is on campus for the spring semester as the Eminent Artist in Residence in the American Indian Studies Program.
“Ghastly Swamps and Ghost Towns: American Gothic Landscapes from the Art Museum Collection” showcases the Art Museum’s collection of landscapes that exemplify a Gothic style or mood. While many often think of the swamps and bayous of the American South as being particularly Gothic in nature, this exhibit conveys the variety of American places that can and have been depicted in a Gothic style, including several examples from the American West.
Continuing the success of the pilot program begun last year, the Art Museum will continue the Pat Guthrie Special Exhibitions Teaching Gallery for the 2014 spring semester. Works of art selected with faculty from History, Art History, Anthropology and the Honors Program for specific courses are installed and available to students throughout the semester for use during the museum’s public hours. The five courses using the teaching gallery this semester are: Art 3002, Mesoamerican Art and Architecture; History 4480/5480, Modern U.S. History: 1929-1960; History 1221, U.S. from 1865; Honors 2151, Modern Japanese Society and Culture; and Anthropology 4020/5005, Anthropology of Childhood.
Through its “Museum as Classroom” approach, the UW Art Museum places art at the center of learning for all ages. The museum is located in the Centennial Complex at 2111 Willett Drive in Laramie. Hours are Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday hours are extended to 9 p.m. February through April and September through November. Admission is free.
Mark Ritchie’s “Spring Path: Migrant with Natives, 2013,” is among works in the UW Art Department Faculty Exhibition. (Mark Ritchie)