Student Artists Showcased in New Voice Exhibit

Hollins University studio art majors Meera Chauhan ’19 and Ashley-Kate Meador ’18 are among ten emerging regional artists featured in the Sixth Annual New Voice Exhibit at the Floyd Center for the Arts in Floyd, Virginia.

The exhibition continues through March 31 and admission is free and open to the public.

Each year, the New Voice Exhibit highlights artists who are suggested by area college and university art instructors. Either current or former students, the artists may be just beginning their artistic journeys or changing their artistic paths is some major way. In addition to Hollins, this year’s artists come from Radford University and Virginia Tech as well as nominations by Floyd Center for the Arts Board and Gallery Committee members.

“What a fascinating show this is,” said Becky Lattuca, the center’s director of special programming. “Although we review the recommendations before inviting the artists to participate, we do not select the artwork. Instead, we ask each of them to surprise us with their choices. This approach allows the artists to highlight what they see as their most significant recent innovations, creating a uniquely diverse and thought-provoking representation of what these emerging artists have to say.”

Chauhan works in oil paint while Meador creates with textile.

The Floyd Center for the Arts is located at 220 Parkway Lane South in Floyd and is open Monday – Saturday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.


Artist-in-Residence is Powerful Visual Activist, LGBT Advocate

The 2017 winner of France’s top cultural honor will be teaching students, exhibiting her work, and leading a special symposium on the Hollins campus this spring.

South African photographer and activist Zanele Muholi will be Hollins’ 2018 Frances Niederer Artist-in-Residence during the university’s Spring Term, which begins January 31. The Artist-in-Residence program enables Hollins to bring a recognized artist to campus every year.  While in residence, they work in a campus studio and teach an art seminar open to all students. During their time at Hollins, the artist-in-residence is a vital part of the campus and greater Roanoke community.

Muholi has earned international acclaim for her efforts to document South Africa’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community. In 2017, her work has been shown in galleries and museums in New York, Cape Town, London, Amsterdam, and Berlin. She is perhaps best known for her ongoing series and self-described “lifetime project” Faces and Phases, which includes black-and-white photographs of lesbian and trans South Africans. The series began in 2006 and was the basis for a 2014 book that featured 258 images from the project’s first eight years.

A new book of 100 self-portraits, Zanele Muholi: Somnyama Ngonyama, Hail the Dark Lioness, is scheduled for publication in April 2018. In November 2017, she was actively involved in New York City’s Performa 17, “a leader in commissioning artists whose work has collectively shaped a new chapter in the multi-century legacy of visual artists working in live performance.”

Muholi has earned numerous awards, most recently and most notably France’s Chevalier in the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Knight in the Order of Arts and Letters) for 2017, which recognizes those who have “distinguished themselves in the domain of artistic or literary creation or for the contribution they have made to art and literature in France and the world.” Upon receiving the honor, Muholi stated, “We work hard to create content that scholars and the rest of the world are able to use to highlight the many challenges faced by the LGBT communities….[It] is important to make sure that we unite the LGBT community so that people know that we too exist as professionals and as creators of great content.” Other honors include the 2016 Infinity Award from New York’s International Center of Photography, which recognizes major contributions and emerging talent in the fields of photojournalism, art, fashion photography, and publishing.

Highlighting Muholi’s residency at Hollins will be an exhibition of her work in the Eleanor D. Wilson Museum, February 8 – April 22. The exhibition, which is free and open to the public, will open with a presentation by Muholi on Thursday, February 8, at 6 p.m.

Muholi will also headline a symposium, “Becoming Visible – A Celebration of LGBTQ+ Lives,” on Friday and Saturday, April 13 and 14, in the Richard Wetherill Visual Arts Center. In addition to programs with Muholi, Boy Erased author Garrard Conley, and local  LGBTQ+ activist Gregory Rosenthal, the symposium will include a screening of the documentary film Born This Way and an open microphone session where members of the audience can comment and share stories.

“Zanele focuses chiefly on the black South African LGBTQIA+ community,” said Sinazo Chiya of the Stevenson gallery in South Africa, “but the significance of her work reverberates outwards to celebrate queer and marginalised communities the world over, which is crucial in our turbulent and often divisive social climate.”

Muholi is represented by the Yancey Richardson Gallery in New York City.

 

 

 


Islamic Art Loan Immerses Students in Object-Based Learning

Professor of Art Kathleen Nolan’s Islamic Art class is engaging in hands-on research with rare artifacts from the Near East, thanks to a loan of decorative objects from a West Virginia museum to Hollins University’s Eleanor D. Wilson Museum.

The Wilson Museum borrowed objects from the Huntington Museum of Art’s extensive collection of Near Eastern art, including rugs, pouring vessels, a traveling scribe set, a dish, a manuscript page firman, and bath sandals that date as far back as the 11th and 12th centuries and originated in Iran, Syria, and Turkey.

Islamic Art Class 1

“I am a big advocate of object-based learning and wanted Hollins students to have the opportunity to work with objects from the Near East. But, we didn’t have any in our permanent collection,” explains Jenine Culligan, curator and director of the Wilson Museum. Prior to coming to Hollins, Culligan was chief curator for 15 years at the Huntington Museum of Art and in 2010 was instrumental in working with Joseph and Omayma Touma on cataloging 400 Near Eastern objects they had donated to the museum. Culligan made arrangements to borrow eight of the objects through mid-December.

“When I found out that Professor Nolan was teaching an Islamic Art class,” she continues, “I broached the idea of allowing the students in the class to do research on these objects.”

NoIslamic Art Class 2lan praises Culligan for her efforts to make the objects available to her class. “The students and I are thrilled to have these. There was great excitement in the vault of the Wilson Museum when we got to experience these objects first-hand.”

Soon after coordinating the research initiative with Nolan, Culligan was approached by Professor of Political Science Ed Lynch about displaying the objects as part of the Appalachia Model Arab League Conference that Hollins is hosting November 10 -12. They will be on view during the conference in the Richard Wetherill Visual Arts Center along with additional Near Eastern objects on loan from the Roanoke community.

“These collaborations between the Wilson Museum and the art history department and the museum and the political science department seemed meant to be,” Culligan says.

 

Photos: Led by Wilson Museum Curator and Director Jenine Culligan, students from Professor Kathleen Nolan’s Islamic Art class investigate some of the Near Eastern objects on loan to the museum.

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Alumna, Renowned Portrait Artist Is Featured in “Covert Autobiography”

The Eleanor D. Wilson Museum at Hollins University is featuring a solo exhibition of recent work by a member of the class of 1967 who is also an internationally recognized portrait painter and photographer.

Annette Polan: Covert Autobiography is on display in the Wilson and Ballator-Thompson Galleries through Sunday, September 17.

The exhibition features an unusual combination of media including sculpture, painting, drawing, mixed media, and videos.  It “incorporates images of nature to explore issues of gender and age in our culture as well as in [Polan’s] own life. It investigates aspects of a single, mature woman who although powerful and confident, can feel disenfranchised, invisible, or muffled.”

Polan studied at the Tyler School of Art, Corcoran College of Art and Design, and École du Louvre. A noted instructor of contemporary American portraiture, she painted the official portraits of Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, former West Virginia Governor Gaston Caperton, and other leaders of government and industry.

Polan chaired and founded Faces of the Fallen, an exhibition of 1,323 portraits by 230 American artists that honored American service members who died in Afghanistan and Iraq between October 10, 2001, and November 11, 2004. In recognition of her leadership on that project, she was awarded the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Outstanding Public Service Award.

The Wilson Museum is open Tuesday – Sunday, noon – 5 p.m., and Thursday, noon – 8 p.m. Admission is always free.


Wilson Museum Presents Senior Majors Exhibition

The Eleanor D. Wilson Museum at Hollins University is highlighting the work of seven studio art majors from the class of 2017 during the Senior Majors Exhibition, May 9 – May 21.

The exhibition is the final requirement for art students earning their bachelor’s degree and is the capstone experience of a yearlong senior project.

Studio art majors featured in the show include Natalie Marie Badawy, Suprima Bhele, Laura Carden, Samantha Dozal, Madi Hurley, Erin M. Leslie, and Maggie Perrin-Key. The exhibition will be on display in the Ballator-Thompson and Wilson Galleries.

The Wilson Museum will host an opening reception for the 2017 Senior Majors Exhibition on Tuesday, May 9, from 6 – 8 p.m. in the first floor lobby of the Richard Wetherill Visual Arts Center.

The Wilson Museum is open Tuesday – Sunday, noon to 5 p.m., and Thursdays, noon to 8 p.m.. Admission is always free.


International Photography Magazine Profiles Professor Robert Sulkin

The latest issue of Black + White Photography magazine features “The Experimental Professor,” an extensive look at the work of Professor of Art Robert Sulkin.

A member of the Hollins faculty since 1980, Sulkin is an award-winning photographer who has been featured in more than 100 solo and group shows, including exhibitions at the Chrysler Museum in Norfolk and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

“He defines his career as a teacher as one of the biggest current influences on his artwork,” the article states.

“The teaching and artwork are symbiotic, then feed on one another,” Sulkin tells Black + White Photography. “I get excited when students do things that are good and that makes me want to go to my studio.”


Students, Faculty Give Flight to “Roanoke Wings” Art Installation

Hollins University students led by Associate Professor of Art Jennifer Anderson have constructed a new public art installation in downtown Roanoke.

“Roanoke Wings” is located in Market Square and features three sets of wings, each with their own unique design that ties into the history, charm, and people of Roanoke. The installation is free and accessible to anyone walking through downtown. Visitors will be invited to take pictures standing behind each Roanoke Wing and share them on social media with the hashtag #roanokewings. They are also encouraged to look closely and experience all that can be seen within these unique pieces of art.

“This project has been a crucial part of a public art class that I am teaching this semester,” Anderson said. “It’s given students the unique opportunity to create something that can be shared with the greater Roanoke community. Our goal was for the project to be colorful, engaging, and educational. And of course, we can’t wait to see the images that appear online.”

“Roanoke Wings” will remain on display through January 6, 2017, and is the result of a collaboration between Hollins, Downtown Roanoke, Inc., and the Roanoke Arts Commission. The installation is the first in a series of planned public art projects in downtown Roanoke.


Hollins Welcomes Southeastern College Art Conference, Showcases Drawings by Alumnae Artists

Hollins University is joining Virginia Tech in hosting the 72nd annual meeting of the Southeastern College Art Conference (SECAC), October 19 – 22.

SECAC promotes the study and practice of the visual arts in higher education and includes individual and institutional members from across the United States. It is the second largest national organization of its kind.

Hollins’ Richard Wetherill Visual Arts Center is currently exhibiting two floors of art work in conjunction with SECAC’s annual Juried Exhibition and reception on Thursday evening, October 20. The second floor features an exhibition of relief prints from across the United States, while the third floor is displaying drawings by recent Hollins alumnae, including Katelyn Osborne, Catherine Gural, Nancy Van Noppen, JD Donnelly, Kyri Lorenz, Mary Kate Claytor, Hillary Kursh, MaKayla Songer, Meredith Stafford, Lindsay Overstreet Cronise, and Mercededs Eliassen Fleagle.

Both shows will be available for viewing through Thursday, October 27.

“We are indebted to President Nancy Oliver Gray for her generous support,” said Conference Director Kevin Concannon, director of the School of Visual Arts and professor of art history at Virginia Tech. Concannon also cited Associate Professor of Art Jennifer Anderson and Jenine Culligan, director of the Eleanor D. Wilson Museum, for their work in organizing this year’s event.


Hollins Junior Pursues Unique Career Aspirations with Summer Internship at The Met

Rory Keeley ’17 envisions her life’s work as combining her study of mathematics with a passion for art. Chasing that dream has helped open the door to a summer position with one of the largest and most highly regarded art museums in the world.

Keeley, who hails from Charlotte, North Carolina, will spend ten weeks this summer as the market research intern for New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art.

“My primary responsibilities will include data analysis and modeling that will turn audience-based data into actionable results for the museum,” she explained. “I will also be using my skills in statistical analysis to inform the museum’s future vision.

“This internship blends the fields of mathematics and art history and will allow me to gain invaluable experience for future career opportunities.”

Keeley’s upcoming internship at The Met builds upon her already impressive exposure to the museum world. She served as the curatorial office and human resources intern at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts, and also worked as the advancement intern at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA) in Richmond.

“Working in development at the VMFA was made possible by a Hollins alumna and one of my professors. I was able to acquire skills using math in a way that applies to the art world, but I wanted more experience. After some amazing guidance and encouragement from my advisors at Hollins, I applied to The Met.”

Keeley soon faced a happy dilemma: She also applied for a development internship at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York and wound up with offers from both The Met and The Guggenheim. Again, she called upon her advisors to help her consider her options and determine which museum would be a better fit. In the end, she and her advisors decided that The Met presented an internship department, program, and growth opportunities that coincided with her aspirations.

“I cannot thank Hollins enough for fostering my ambition to pursue such unique career goals and giving me the support to fulfill that ambition,” she said. “Without the opportunities and connections I have at Hollins, I would never have been able to make this internship at The Met a reality.”

In addition to double-majoring in mathematics and statistics and art history at Hollins, Keeley is an Honors Program student and is earning her Certificate in Leadership Studies.


Taubman’s Monster Art Rally Features Hollins Professor

Associate Professor of Art Jennifer Anderson is among the more than 30 local artists who will be making original works of art on-site during the Second Annual Monster Art Rally at Roanoke’s Taubman Museum of Art. The event takes place on Thursday, April 21, from 5 – 9 p.m.

The general public is invited to observe the artists’ creative processes and then participate in a “Luck-of-the-Draw” auction in which each piece goes to the bidder with the highest drawn card for the flat price of $50.

“Our aim is to persuade people in Southwest Virginia to think of themselves as art patrons,” said Stephanie Fallon ’08, M.F.A. ’12, adult education manager at the Taubman. “By holding an auction where the art goes not to the highest bidder but to the highest card drawn, we can keep an affordable price for each piece so that people who might ordinarily find an art auction too intimidating will feel encouraged to attend. Once bitten by the art-buying bug, we hope attendees will feel excited about connecting with and supporting local artists in our region.”

Anderson has been a member of the Hollins faculty since 2010 and was selected by the financial literacy website Nerd Scholar for its inaugural list of “40 Under 40: Professors Who Inspire.” Earlier this year, Hollins presented her with the Herta Freitag Faculty Legacy Award for her scholarly and creative accomplishments. Anderson’s art has been exhibited in venues across the United States as well as in Russia and South Korea, and was recently chosen for inclusion in the book Printmakers Today.

In addition to earning her M.F.A. from the University of Georgia, Anderson was an East Tennessee State University (ETSU) Honors College graduate. This month ETSU is welcoming her back to campus to serve as guest speaker at the university’s annual Academic Excellence Convocation.