2023 Exhibitions

Mark A. Reynolds

A Marriage of Art and Math: Artwork Inspired by Dual Platonic Solids

January 26 – April 23, 2023

Mark A. Reynolds has worked with graphite, pen and ink, watercolor, pastel, and other drawing media for over sixty years, developing interpretations of principles found in Euclidean and philosophical geometry. This exhibition consists of drawings and watercolors recently donated to the Eleanor D. Wilson Museum by the artist. These are part of Reynolds’ decades-long “Phi Series” of artworks which involve geometry of the Golden Section. They utilize a discovery made by former Hollins associate professor Dr. Stephen Wassell that involves relationships found between two of the five Platonic Solids: the dodecahedron and the icosahedron. Reynolds explains, “Part of the joy I experienced when I began to make these works was in the fact that no one, to my knowledge, had ever realized (or at least documented) that these relationships were present, waiting to be found in the ancient and revered Five Platonic Solids.”

Dr. Wassell dives deeper into the interests and process related to the project in videos for viewing here.

This exhibition and its related programs were sponsored in part by the city of Roanoke through the Roanoke Arts Commission.

IMAGE: Mark A. Reynolds, The Phi Series: Study Defining Areas in the 1.1708. Pastels, colored pencils, and colored inks on cotton paper. Eleanor D. Wilson Museum at Hollins University, 2022.002.009.

Andrea Sulzer

Andrea Sulzer: here with you

2023 Frances Niederer Artist-in-Residence

February 9 – April 23, 2023

The pandemic allowed many of us, including artist Andrea Sulzer, to focus inward as our world grew smaller. It provided the opportunity to pursue an idea she had been thinking about for a while – that of personalizing her work with thoughts of home, place, and partner. In January 2022 the artist began working on a pastel that would subsequently turn into a series of drawings, twelve of which are on view in this exhibition. In each drawing there is the presence of a figure, enigmatic and indistinct at first glance. The figure is a semblance of the artist’s husband but not necessarily a likeness, possibly a stand-in for the artist – a way to detach, untangle a relationship, and explore how one relates to the world. Sulzer writes, “A desire to build a history with material, form, and ideas, alongside a determination to maintain an openness and freedom within this search, drives my work. It’s a constant pull between building a foundation and dismantling it, always trying to get closer to the underlying rhythm of and motivation for making things.” Sulzer began her career in biology and languages, earning BA, MA, and MS degrees. She went on to receive her MFA in Drawing from the Glasgow School of Art in 2004 and currently teaches at the University of Southern Maine.

The Frances Niederer Artist-in-Residence program allows Hollins University to bring a nationally recognized artist to campus every year. In residence during the spring semester, the Artist-in-Residence creates work in a campus studio and teaches a seminar open to all students.

IMAGE: Andrea Sulzer, listening to the earth hum (June 18), 2022. Pastel on paper. Courtesy of the artist.

Suzanne Schireson

Suzanne Schireson: Aftercare

March 9 – May 7, 2023

As an artist, what do you do when a pandemic turns the world upside down and the constraints of caregiving make time alone in your studio utterly impossible? Painter Suzanne Schireson writes, “A dream of solitary space is contradictory in this moment. As a mother in quarantine, I occupied more of my time with those I care for, making flashes of solitude particularly rare and inspiring… I find it is important to share a range of experiences and promote the multitude of ways that caretakers construct their lives.” Schireson uses high-keyed color in her paintings to depict women engaging in provisional studio structures during marginal hours of the day. Schireson is the recipient of a RISCA Fellowship and two Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Grants, and her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally.

In conjunction with the exhibition of her paintings, Schireson has helped guide the EDWM in a completely new endeavor: transforming gallery space into ad-hoc studio space for creators who have been otherwise occupied with additional caretaking responsibilities during the pandemic. This “Makeshift Makerspace” is available during regular museum hours to provide a place outside of the home for caretakers to focus on thinking about and making art, discussing pertinent issues (childrearing, caretaking, or art-related topics), and creating community.

This exhibit and its related programs were sponsored in part by the City of Roanoke through the Roanoke Arts Commission.

IMAGE: Suzanne Schireson, Skylight Desk, 2022. Oil on paper. Courtesy of the artist.

Hollins University senior studio art majors 2023

2023 Senior Majors Exhibition

May 4-28, 2023

This exhibition features the work of members of the Hollins University class of 2023 majoring in studio art: S. Frissell, K. Hebert, M. Kalayu, M. Laucella, E. Maass, B. Moody, and T. Wolfe. The exhibition is the final requirement for art students earning their Bachelor of Arts at Hollins, and is the capstone experience of their yearlong senior project.

IMAGE: Hollins University class of 2023 studio art majors

REUNION: Class of 1973

May 18-28, 2023

This exhibition presents artworks created by seven artists from the Hollins class of 1973: Virginia Hendrix Scruggs, M.L. Flynn, Carol Strause FitzSimonds, Martha Wilder Harrington, Georgine MacGarvey-Holman, Muriel Elliott Mimura, and Dale Pierce Taylor. The exhibit features work in a variety of media, including bookbinding, photography, painting, and printmaking.

Eiby Lobos

DANCE LAB: Eiby Lobos
Voices from the Highlands: Untold Stories of Heritage, Blood and Memory

June 15 – July 2, 2023

Each summer, the Eleanor D. Wilson Museum partners with the Hollins University M.F.A. Dance program to host selected student graduate dance thesis presentations in the Main Gallery, melding live dance, performance, and visual art. This summer, the museum presents the work of one graduating student. Eiby Lobos (ella/she) is a Latinx performer, choreographer, visual artist, instructor, and artivist originally from Los Angeles, California, with Indigenous Mayan roots from Guatemala. Voices of the Highlands: Untold Stories of Heritage, Blood and Memory strives to recover and reveal the history of settler colonialism and Indigenous resistance in Guatemala.

IMAGE: family photo courtesy of Eiby Lobos

Dara Hartman

Women Working with Clay

June 8 – August 13, 2023

In conjunction with the annual Women Working with Clay Symposium held each summer at Hollins University, the Eleanor D. Wilson Museum presents an exhibition of work by these well-known artists in the world of contemporary ceramics: program director Dara Hartman; presenters Louise Deroualle, Sanam Emami, Raheleh Filsoofi, Ursula Hargens, and Adero Willard; guest speaker Sana Musasama; and founding director Donna Polseno. Founded in 2011, this symposium was created to honor the great accomplishments of women ceramic artists today. It explores the connections of the long history of women in cultures all over the world as vessel makers, artists, and artisans.

IMAGE: Dara Hartman, Heirloom (detail), 2023. Porcelain, paracord, bone beads, metal hooks, and walnut. Courtesy of the artist.

Olivia Stephens

Olivia Stephens: Artie and the Wolf Moon

June 22 – September 3, 2023

Olivia Stephens is a graphic novelist, writer, and illustrator born and raised in Washington state. Her work focuses on themes of family and interpersonal relationships using supernatural elements incorporated into the real world as a vehicle for empowering her protagonist. Stephens earned her B.F.A. in Illustration from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2017, and has also self-published various comics online since she was a student. She has illustrated for a number of sites and publications, including the New York Times, the Guardian, and FIYAH Magazine of Black Speculative Fiction. Her debut graphic novel, Artie and the Wolf Moon, was published by Lerner Books in 2021. The all-ages story follows a young teen girl in Oregon who discovers her hidden werewolf heritage– and the painful family secrets that are tied to it. This exhibition presents original ink drawings and thumbnail pencil sketches juxtaposed with digital color prints, showing the processes involved in creating a graphic novel.

IMAGE: Olivia Stephens, full color image from page 20 of Artie and the Wolf Moon, 2021. Courtesy of the artist.

Maggie Perrin-Key

Maggie Perrin-Key: Foreseeable Past

July 13 – September 3, 2023

Maggie Perrin-Key is an artist and muralist based in Roanoke, VA. She earned her B.A. in studio art from Hollins University in 2017, and has shown her work regionally since then. This site-specific installation features 12 colorful and exuberant large-scale acrylic paintings with additional elements painted directly on the museum walls. Perrin-Key explains, “As vulnerable as it is to create artwork in my studio, I have found painting murals in public spaces to be exponentially more so. And I find so much joy in the experience of truly activating a space through shape, color, and form with my paint.”

Perrin-Key has been included in group exhibitions at Olin Hall Galleries at Roanoke College; Artspace Gallery in Richmond, Virginia; and Charlotte Russell Contemporary in Raleigh, North Carolina. Perrin-Key was also the recipient of the city of Roanoke’s 2022 Art in Place grant for public art installation.

A brief time-lapse video of Perrin-Key creating the site-specific mural for Foreseeable Past is available here.

This exhibition and its related programs are sponsored in part by the city of Roanoke through the Roanoke Arts Commission.

IMAGE: Maggie Perrin-Key, Pink and Green Porch, West Facing Window, 2021. Acrylic on canvas. Courtesy of Armistead Lemon and Calvin Stewart.

Gina Louthian-Stanley

Humanistic Geography: Uncovering a Sense of Place

August 24 – December 10, 2023

Gina Louthian-Stanley is a multimedia artist, writer, and workshop instructor born and living in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. Louthian-Stanley has worked primarily as a printmaker since the late 1970s. In 2006, she began experimenting with encaustic techniques in which she juxtaposes transparent and opaque layers coupled with unique textures. Louthian-Stanley’s works represent physical and emotional sensations which carry the viewer into a narrative inspired by the natural world. She writes, “I pursued my childhood dream of becoming an artist, continuing as a student to earn my BA in Studio Art from Hollins University and my Masters from Radford University. While I love learning, I also want to help others reach their goals to find their creative voice.”

This exhibition and its related programs are sponsored in part by the city of Roanoke through the Roanoke Arts Commission.

IMAGE: Gina Louthian-Stanley, A Touch of Earth. Encaustic. Courtesy of the artist.

installation views of work by Esterio Segura, Ernesto Garcia, and René Figueroa

CUBA: Beyond Mambo and Rock ‘n Roll

September 14 – December 10, 2023

In 1958, the United States imposed an arms embargo on Cuba during an armed conflict between rebels led by Fidel Castro and the regime of Fulgencio Batista. In 1962, President John F. Kennedy expanded that embargo to block all trade between the United States and Cuba, with some exceptions for food and medicine. In the face of ongoing conflicts and global restrictions, Cubans have continued to use their creativity, imagination, and ingenuity in daily life and artistic endeavors. This attitude and quest for freedom for themselves and their country is apparent in each of the artists’ work whether they examine politics, fantastical contraptions, philosophical concerns, or human rights.

CUBA: Beyond Mambo and Rock ’n Roll provides an opportunity to learn about Cuba through the eyes of artists whose work speaks to their nation’s history, culture, and sociopolitical climate. Dr. Joseph Scarpaci (professor emeritus, Virginia Tech, and Director of the Center for the Study of Cuban Culture and Economy) has organized this exhibition to present work by Cuban artists Esterio Segura Mora, Ernesto J. Garcia Nodarse, and Ernesto R. Figueroa. These artists investigate aspects of control, freedom, and satire through the mediums of drawings, paintings, and sculpture. Also on view is Arte Templo by artists Isabel María Arche Martínez and Ramón Modesto Díaz Martín. The installation explores the symbolism and traditions of Santería, an Afro-Cuban religion based in Catholicism, Spiritism, and the Yoruba beliefs of West Africa.

This exhibition and its related programs are sponsored in part by the city of Roanoke through the Roanoke Arts Commission.

IMAGE: installation views of work by Esterio Segura, Ernesto Garcia, and René Figueroa

2022 Exhibitions

Jessica Abel

Contemporary Prints
A Decade of New Acquisitions: 2010-2020

January 20 – April 24, 2022

When the Eleanor D. Wilson Museum was established in 2004, selected works of art from across the Hollins University campus officially became part of the museum’s permanent collection. Since then, the Eleanor D. Wilson Museum has relied primarily on gifts and donations to shape its current collection of just over 1500 works of art.

This exhibit focuses on contemporary artist prints acquired by the Eleanor D. Wilson Museum during the years 2010-2020, including lithographs, etching, screen prints, woodcuts, and monoprints. In 2011, the Andy Warhol Foundation donated seven screen prints by Warhol in addition to a collection of his original polaroid photographs. Regional art collector James W. Hyams gifted the museum 34 prints in 2020, 15 of which are on view, portraying a wide variety of styles and media. Other works on display draw from a purchase made from Segura Art Studio at Notre Dame University following a 2018 exhibit titled Images of Social Justice. The exhibition also includes gifts by individual donors.

By nature, recent acquisition exhibits tend to pull together disparate objects. Together, these works provide a broad view of printmaking from the last three decades of the twentieth century and into the twenty-first.

IMAGE: Jessica Abel, Girl’s Comics #5, 1998. Lithograph on paper, ed. of 25. Gift of James W. Hyams, 2020.004.001.

Amy Elkins

What Photography Is

January 27 – April 24, 2022

Guest curator and art photographer Kyra Schmidt envisions photography as a medium that can uncover truths. In her catalogue essay, Schmidt writes, “… the 10 artists in this exhibition open us up to truths that are personal, historical, and collective by looking at both analog and digital mediums in new and exciting ways. From cyanotype and gumoil portraiture to photographic reliefs and re-photographed collages, each artist has employed their material to consider how a photographic object can transform critical consciousness. By utilizing the power of photographic experience, these artists confront issues surrounding race and gender ideologies, ecological grief, and the passage of time.”

This exhibition was sponsored in part by the City of Roanoke through the Roanoke Arts Commission.

IMAGE: Amy Elkins, Anxious Pleasures: April 5, 2020, 2020. Cyanotype on cotton. Courtesy of the artist.

Rita Maas

Rita Maas: 2022 Frances Niederer Artist-in-Residence

February 3 – April 10, 2022

Grounded in photography, Rita Maas blends the disciplines of drawing and printmaking to playfully construct conceptually based imagery. Inspired by the early modernist artists who created photograms and chemograms, Maas examines the materials of the digital darkroom. Using reclaimed ink from empty inkjet printer cartridges, she embraces elements of chance and disrder working within predetermined systems. How we read, filter, and retain information are persistent themes of her practice, examining the spaces where slippage and illegibility occur.

Maas received her B.F.A. in Photographic Studies from the School of Visual Arts, New York. Soon after, she established a successful commercial studio, shooting award-winning campaigns for major advertising and editorial clients. She later earned her M.F.A. in Visual Arts at Lesley University College of Art and Design, Cambrdge, MA.

The Frances Niederer Artist-in-Residence program allows Hollins University to bring a nationally recognized artist to campus every year. In residence during the spring semester, the Artist-in-Residence creates work in a campus studio and teaches a seminar open to all students.

IMAGE: Rita Maas, from the series Today I Got Up, Weekly, 2020. Courtesy of the artist.

Sojourner Truth

For the Sake of Keeping: Memories Collected from the Hollins University Community

April 24 – May 10, 2022

Life presents us with a myriad of objects that we keep: nostalgic items from childhood, objects of family heritage, and symbols of identity. These collections surround us in daily life and are put to use or become decoration in the spaces we frequent. Recent internet sensations, such as minimalism and Marie Kondo, have made people step back and explore the deeper meaning and value of their material possessions, as well as the stories they tell to and for us. Collected from our own Hollins campus community by student curators in the class “Behind the Scenes at the Museum: Principles and Practice,” the objects in this exhibit explore the stories of what we choose to keep, and connect us with each other through their deeper meanings.

IMAGE: Sojourner Truth, on loan from a Hollins University community member

Women Working with Clay

Women Working with Clay

May 5 – June 15, 2022

In conjunction with the annual Women Working with Clay Symposium held each summer at Hollins University, the Eleanor D. Wilson Museum presents an exhibition of work by these well-known artists in the world of contemporary ceramics: program director Dara Hartman; presenters Margaret Bohls, Chotsani Elaine Dean, Lorna Meaden, and Linda Sormin; and founding director Donna Polseno. This symposium emphasizes the creative process from every level while looking at the particular aspects and points of view that may be unique to women working in clay.

IMAGE: Women Working with Clay logo

Hollins University senior studio art majors 2022

Senior Majors Exhibition

May 10-22, 2022

This exhibition features the work of members of the Hollins University class of 2022 majoring in studio art: Victoria Q. An’janique, Abigail Parker Hegwood, Samantha Jin, Ashley King, Sylvia Lane, Jahmesha McLemore, and Maddie Zanie. The exhibition is the final requirement for art students earning their Bachelor of Arts at Hollins, and is the capstone experience of their yearlong senior project.

IMAGE: 2022 senior art majors, Hollins University

REUNITING: Selections by Former Art Faculty

May 26 – June 12, 2022

Hollins is proud to offer an inspiring and immersive art program. Throughout its history, the department’s faculty have been nationally recognized but also remembered with respect and fondness by their students. This exhibition shares artwork from the permanent collection of the Eleanor D. Wilson Museum by selected former art lecturers and professors including John Ballator, Leigh Ann Beavers, John Canaday, Christine Carr, Nancy Dahlstrom, Alison Hall, Susan Jamison, Jan Knipe, Frances J. Niederer, Jennifer Printz, Bob Sulkin, Lewis Thompson, and Bill White.

DANCE LAB: MFA Dance Thesis Exhibitions

June 9-19 and June 23 – July 3, 2022

Each summer, the Eleanor D. Wilson Museum partners with the Hollins University M.F.A. Dance program to host selected student graduate dance thesis presentations in the Main Gallery, melding live dance, performance, and visual art. This summer, the museum will present the work of two graduating students.

Humlao Evans (June 9-19) works in movement studies, poetry, installation, video, and performance. With dreams of a more just future, they make work that contends with the political histories and inherited violence our bodies carry while honoring both ancestral and contemporary lineages.

Alice Svetic (June 23 – July 3) looks at the concept of ephemera–what is left after performances “end.” Svetic’s research situates their own past, present, and future choreographies as a site for the extraction of queer embodied experience.

Julie Niskanen Skolozynski

International Mezzotint Society Exchange Exhibition: Selected Work

June 23 – September 25, 2022 EXTENDED THROUGH OCTOBER 2

First introduced in 1642, mezzotint printing employs a copper plate and a tool (now known as a rocker) to create a close cluster of gouged dots or burrs. The painstaking, intricate technique allows for subtle gradations of tonal values – almost a halftone, and deep solid colors – especially a rich, velvety black. After a decline in popularity in the late nineteenth century as new printing technologies became available, artists rediscovered and embraced the mezzotint process in recent decades.

Through her involvement in six international mezzotint exchanges organized by the International Mezzotint Society, Fincastle-based artist and Hollins University professor emerita Nancy Dahlstrom has shared her artwork as well as obtained a collection of mezzotints from artists around the world. This exhibition includes selections from the exchanges in which Dahlstrom has participated.

IMAGE: Julie Niskanen Skolozynski, Reflections, 2020. Courtesy of the artist and Nancy Dahlstrom.

Grace Lin

Grace Lin: Moon Stories

July 1 – September 18, 2022

Grace Lin is a New York Times bestselling author and illustrator of children’s books. She has won the Newbery Honor, Caldecott Honor, and Theodor Geisel Honor as well as being a National Book Award finalist. As a small child and a voracious reader, Lin could not identify with any of the characters in the books she was reading. Her dream in life was to write and illustrate children’s books and in doing so she has also become an advocate for diversity. This exhibition will feature 36 of Lin’s illustrations from the following books: A Big Mooncake for Little Star; Where the Mountain Meets the Moon; Starry River of the Sky; When the Sea Turned to Silver; Thanking the Moon: Celebrating the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival; and Round is a Mooncake: A Book of Shapes.

IMAGE: Grace Lin, Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, 2009. Courtesy of the artist.

June Jordan

Creating Space: Seven Contemporary Women Artists

July 14 – September 18, 2022

This exhibit examines the recent work of a cohort of women artists living in the Shenandoah Valley: they are united by location, a lifelong pursuit of seeking through art, and an artist/teacher/mentor to learn beside. Ron Boehmer, Lynchburg-based artist, teacher, and co-founder of the Beverley Street Studio School (Staunton, VA) is the catalyst who brings these disparate artists together.

Each of these artists have juggled life as professionals, daughters, sisters, wives, mothers, grandmothers, teachers, and caregivers. Despite their many roles and responsibilities, they always created space in their lives to make art. Lindsay Freedman, Janly Jaggard, June Jordan, Joan Ranzini, Krista Townsend, and Christine Watts still convene regularly for a critique session to discuss their latest work and get feedback. Deliece Blanchard studied independently with Boehmer and recently moved from the Shenandoah Valley to Winston-Salem, NC.

Best known for their paintings, a few of these artists also create collages, vitreous enamels, or ceramics. They all experiment in the liminal space between realism and abstraction. Many of them also teach art in the region. All participate in solo and group exhibits regionally and across the country; their work can be found in public, corporate, and private collections in the United States and abroad.

IMAGE: June Jordan, Where We Are in Time, 2021. Courtesy of the artist.

A.D. Herzel

Seeds From the East:
The Korean Adoptee Portrait Project

September 29 – December 11, 2022

A.D. Herzel is an internationally recognized artist, educator, designer, and writer currently living in Blue Ridge, Virginia. She is also a Korean adoptee who explores her identity and creates community through her art. Herzel was adopted in 1970 by a religious family which adopted three Korean children and sponsored about 50 other children. This exhibit presents graphite portraits of Korean adoptees accompanied by silhouettes executed in gold ink and drawings of flowers, seeds, spirals, and other imagery specific to each portrait. Herzel offers her art as a way to help process grief and trauma, as well as to join the larger conversation about place and belonging in immigrant communities across the globe.

Herzel writes, “It has taken me 50 years to give light to the shadow of my adoption story. This current flowering moment, rooted and wrapped in the tendrils of history is seeded by the currents of global, religious and political history. My story though textured with facets, divots and spikes is just one story in the Korean diaspora and one of the many American immigrant stories worth examining.”

Find more of Herzel’s work on her website.

This exhibit and its associated programs were sponsored in part by the City of Roanoke through the Roanoke Arts Commission.

IMAGE: A.D. Herzel, Lily of the Valley, Home Again, Home Again, 2020. Courtesy of the artist.

Dean Carter

Figurative Work from the Permanent Collection

October 13, 2022 – January 8, 2023

The occupation of a body is one of the very few universal experiences, the portrayal of which often attempts to convey or subvert imagined ideals of society at any given time and place. (DE)CONSTRUCTING: Figurative Works from the Permanent Collection explores the gendered construction and deconstruction of the body and its representations. From figurative studies and intimate self-portraiture to fictional narratives, the exhibition offers a survey of multiple media and artistic strategies that span from abstract expressionism to contemporary photography. In dialogue, the artworks consider questions of possession in relation to scientific inquiry, societal constructs, pleasure and the act of looking. The way in which artists portray their subjects, themselves, and humanity more broadly can both uphold and redefine societal ideals of the body and its many forms.

(DE)CONSTRUCTING: Figurative Works from the Permanent Collection was curated by Eleanor D. Wilson Museum programs coordinator Kyra Schmidt and intern Madeleine Etheridge, Hollins University class of 2023.

IMAGE: Dean Carter, Two Figures, 1950. Ink and watercolor. Eleanor D. Wilson Museum at Hollins University, 2009.020.

Marcus Aurelius and the Physicians

Renewing Threads:
Tapestries and the Art of Textile Conservation

October 5, 2022 – February 26, 2023

In 1950, Hollins art department chair John Ballator purchased two Flemish Renaissance tapestries from a traveling exhibition presented at Hollins and organized by French & Co. From 1907-1959, French & Co. was known as the largest dealer in tapestries worldwide. For decades, these two tapestries graced the walls of Hollins’ Little Theatre and were deeply beloved by generations of students. In 2012, the tapestries were removed during the theatre’s renovation; while in storage, they received water damage which caused localized surface mold and staining on the tapestry surfaces and outer linings. In September 2020, the tapestries were sent to the not-for-profit Intermuseum Conservation Association (ICA) in Cleveland, Ohio. At ICA, textiles conservator Jane Hammond worked on both tapestries and undertook surface cleaning, mold remediation, lining replacement, stabilization of open seams and areas of pronounced weakness, removal of disfiguring mends (from pre-1950s conservation), reduction of stains, and photodocumentation of these procedures.

In Renewing Threads: Tapestries and the Art of Textile Conservation, the tapestries are on view for the first time in ten years, accompanied by photos of the conservation treatment at ICA. With information uncovered through the treatment process, Eleanor D. Wilson Museum director Jenine Culligan has started new research on the tapestries’ makers and provenance as we reintroduce these textiles to Hollins and beyond.

You can watch textile conservator Jane Hammond’s presentation on the conservation process on the Eleanor D. Wilson Museum’s YouTube channel.

This exhibit and its related programs were sponsored in part by the City of Roanoke through the Roanoke Arts Commission.

IMAGE: Marcus Aurelius and the Physicians, ca. 1660-1679. Courtesy of Hollins University and the Eleanor D. Wilson Museum.

2021 Exhibitions

Sarah Hayashi

The Time Between: Postcard Pandemic Project

February 2-28, 2021

This tumultuous period of social distancing, isolation, quarantine, cancellations, and closures has had an immense impact on the art community and society at large. We are seeing how these changes are shifting our daily lives. Artists throughout time have responded to their world with a visual understanding that speaks to our collective feelings and emotions. Art has the capacity to go deeper and touch us in ways that news reports and charts cannot. In a cultural time of anxiety and uncertainty, we want to offer you an outlet and a voice.

In the 2020 fall semester, the Eleanor D. Wilson Museum invited all Hollins students, faculty, and staff to explore the impact of COVID-19 by submitting a postcard-sized artwork that embodied reflections on 2020. This call welcomed all types of artistic media.

IMAGE: Sarah Hayashi, Hopefully…, 2020. Mixed media. Courtesy of the artist.

Eleanor Ray: 2021 Frances Niederer Artist-in-Residence

Eleanor Ray

February 11 – April 25, 2021 and available online

I like the idea that the small painting is kind of monumental rather than miniature—that it can contain a bigger space, like the imaginative space of a book.

This quote by the artist Eleanor Ray touches on the scale of her paintings, but also on the idea of placing oneself in an immersive setting created by another either through the use of words, or as in Ray’s case, through carefully composed or framed visual components, and leaving it to the reader or viewer to imagine being there.

Many of Ray’s paintings give us glimpses of places we know from the history of art, medieval to contemporary: the 14th century frescoes by Giotto in the Scrovegni Chapel, Padua, Italy; the 15th century frescoes by Fra Angelico in the convent of San Marco, Florence, Italy; Robert Smithson’s earth work titled Spiral Jetty in Utah’s Great Salt Lake; Donald Judd’s concrete and aluminum works in Marfa, Texas; and Agnes Martin’s artist-built house and studio in Galisteo, New Mexico. Ray also paints pure landscapes with their own immersive power. One gets the feeling visits to these sites were pilgrimages. Geometric structures help frame distant landscapes of big sky and faraway hills and accentuate interior and exterior spaces. In many of the works, there is a push/pull between architectural elements, strong shadows, warm light, and soft gradations of colors.

Eleanor Ray (b. 1987, Gainesville, FL) lives and works in New York. She received her undergraduate degree from Amherst and an MFA from the New York Studio School. She is represented by Nicelle Beauchene Gallery, NYC. Numerous awards and residencies include Ucross Foundation, Wyoming; Edward F. Albee Foundation, NY; New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship in Painting; and the American Academy of Arts and Letters Purchase Prize.

In 1997, Hollins University began an artist-in-residence program honoring Frances Niederer, a beloved art history professor who taught at Hollins for almost forty years (1942-1980). This program brings a nationally and internationally recognized artist to campus each spring. The artist creates work, teaches a seminar open to all students, and delivers a public lecture in conjunction with their solo exhibition in the Eleanor D. Wilson Museum.

IMAGE: Eleanor Ray, Athens Stairs, 2019. Oil on panel, 7.5 x 6.35″. Courtesy of Ian Gazes / Serge Krawiecki Gazes.

Elise Schweitzer

Elise Schweitzer: Painted Arches and Walled Gardens

February 18 – April 25, 2021 and available online

Elise Schweitzer crafts a labyrinth of rich color and liminal spaces through her Painted Arches and Walled Gardens. This current body of work was created during her recent sabbatical, Fall 2019 through Spring 2020. In January 2020 she co-taught a class of Hollins University students in Florence, Italy, with Genevieve Hendricks, an art and architectural historian. Schweitzer stayed on in Florence after the class, then spent time in Rome, including two weeks as a Visiting Artist at the American Academy. Class time in Florence was spent lecturing on and drawing Renaissance art, architecture, and sculpture. The class spent hours studying and drawing on location with compasses and triangles. After her teaching stint ended, Schweitzer continued to ruminate on the art and the concepts her class had seen and discussed.

Schweitzer is well known for her large-scale figurative action-filled oil paintings. These small, beautiful, jewel-like gouache paintings are conceptual departures. One could describe them as cerebral exercises filled with experimentation, sometimes humor, and focused on the play of light, shapes, and color. Schweitzer comments about this shift in style: “when I am composing a figurative painting I was always thinking about the direction of the light, the relationship of colors, the balance of opaque to translucent areas in the painting… I think part of making this work was cutting through the need to have a realistic reference and instead just painting the thing that I had always been excited about, without the motif.”

from the catalogue essay “Arches, Albers, Artichokes, and Hexagons”
by Jenine Culligan

This exhibition was sponsored in part by a Cabell Fellowship.

IMAGE: Elise Schweitzer, Walled Garden, 2020. Gouache on paper. Courtesy of the artist.

Women Working with Clay

Women Working with Clay: Ten Years of Telling the Story

March 11 – June 20, 2021 and available online

In celebration of the tenth anniversary of the annual Women Working with Clay Symposium, the Eleanor D. Wilson Museum at Hollins University has organized the exhibition Women Working with Clay: Ten Years of Telling the Story. Featuring 50 works by 50 women artists who have presented at the symposia, this exhibit celebrates the stories, memories, and accomplishments of women in the field of ceramics. Topics explored through this exhibition range from the retelling of folktales, fables, and myths to the far-reaching impact of the history of colonialism and slavery; each work celebrates the beauty and poignancy of the inclusion of handmade objects in daily life. Artist Donna Polseno, the organizer of the Women Working with Clay Symposium, writes: “The works… speak about deeply personal experiences in life, emanating from each artist’s story and differing approaches to the material of clay with historical or cultural references adding another layer.”

The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue with an essay by Mary Barringer; Symposium Director’s note by Donna Polseno; and foreword by Jenine Culligan, Director of the Eleanor D. Wilson Museum at Hollins University.

This exhibit and its related programs were sponsored in part by the City of Roanoke through the Roanoke Arts Commission, the Virginia Commission for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts, and Hollins University.

IMAGE: demo at the Women Working with Clay Symposium

Hollins University senior studio art majors 2021

2021 Senior Majors Exhibition

May 11-18, 2021 and available online

This exhibition features the work of members of the Hollins University class of 2021 majoring in studio art: Milo Bowles, Candice Housden, T Kate, Kate Lydon, and Shanna L. Wallingford; and December 2020 graduates Sarah Hayashi and Mary Alice Mouk. The exhibition is the final requirement for art students earning their Bachelor of Arts degree at Hollins, and is the capstone experience of their yearlong senior project.

IMAGE: courtesy of the 2021 Senior Art Majors

Matthias Neumann Basics #50

Basics #50 by Matthias Neumann

May 30, 2021 – June 27, 2024

located on the creek side of West Campus Drive (near the pond)

Brooklyn-based Matthias Neumann was trained as an architect in Stuttgart, Germany. Since 2015, he has been using common 2’ x 4’ lumber in an additive configuration to explore physical notions of form, space, and utility. This sculpture is part of the Roanoke Arts Commission’s sixth “Art in Roanoke” (AIR) temporary sculpture exhibit titled New Life: Reimagining Roanoke. Most of the sculptures will be on view in Elmwood Park, but the city is also placing sculptures in outlying neighborhoods – the Hollins campus being one of those. More of the artist’s Basic sculptures can be seen on his website.

This exhibit is sponsored by the City of Roanoke through the Roanoke Arts Commission.

Janet Fish

Recent Acquisitions: Nice to See You!

June 3 – August 1, 2021

On view is a selection of gifts from generous donors over the last five years. These include: contemporary prints from the collection of James W. Hyams; sketches and drawings by French modernist artist Jean Hélion selected from a large gift from the family of Jean Hélion; a painting by the museum’s namesake Eleanor “Siddy” Wilson, given by Dr. F.K. Millar; experimental works using found materials by Boston-based artist Jo Sandman; a large watercolor by the renowned Salem, Virginia-born artist Walter Biggs, donated by the family of a Hollins alumna; and many others.

IMAGE: Janet Fish, Lotus, 2005. Screenprint on paper, ed. of 50. Gift of James W. Hyams, 2020.004.010.

Yulandra Livingston

WORKERS: Photographs by Yulandra Livingston

June 3 – September 19, 2021 and available online

Photographer, Hollins alumna, and longtime Hollins staff member Yulandra Livingston ’14 created this body of work in 2013-14. In these sensitive, straightforward photographs portraying minority business owners in Roanoke, Virginia, Livingston grapples with the question: Does the American Dream still exist?

IMAGE: courtesy of the artist

Patterson Lawson

DIGNIFIED: Individuals with Alzheimer’s and Their Caregivers
Photographs by Patterson Lawson

July 15 – September 19, 2021

In 2019, Richmond-based photographer Patterson Lawson discovered an interest in documenting individuals and families whose lives were and are affected by Alzheimer’s disease, a progressive disorder that degrades memory and vital brain functions. Lawson found that, unlike other diseases where individuals and family members actively engage the medical community and devote time, energy, and attention to getting well, many assume a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s means the end of a meaningful life. He writes, “These portraits contradict such perceptions. While the losses are real, people with Alzheimer’s are not empty shells… The subjects’ direct gazes reveal their dignity.”

IMAGE: Patterson Lawson, Marian. Photograph. Courtesy of the artist.

Dorothy Gillespie

Dorothy Gillespie: Tabletop Sculptures

August 12 – October 3, 2021

Dorothy Gillespie (1920-2012) enjoyed an active, seven-decade career as an artist, educator, and influencer who challenged traditional female roles. A Roanoke, Virginia native, Gillespie attended the Maryland Institute College of Art (1940-43) before moving to New York City where she spent most of her life. Gillespie was a highly prolific artist who experimented with a variety of media including painting, sculpture, printmaking, happenings, installations, jewelry, and set design. In the 1970s, she played an important role in the women’s art movement and actively encouraged and promoted women artists throughout her career.

Gillespie is best known for her large-scale, colorfully painted metal sculptures; however, this exhibition focuses on her tabletop works. These diminutive pieces, on loan from the artist’s studio in Narrowsburg, New York, parallel many of the forms, color, and movement of her large-scale sculptures. They illustrate her process of painting, cutting, bending, and manipulating metal into a variety of forms and shapes. Richard Martin, former editor of ARTS Magazine, described Gillespie’s small tabletop sculptures as “sea creatures, dancers, polychromed and playful spiders, meteorites, chrysanthemums, and cartoon octopuses.”

IMAGE: Dorothy Gillespie, Starburst. Aluminum with enamel paint. Photo by Kyra Schmidt.

Zuzana Licko

DesignHer: Works by Contemporary Women Graphic Designers

September 30 – December 12, 2021

DesignHer is an exhibition of contemporary graphic design focusing on women practitioners. If spoken, the show’s title’s H is silent, representative of how the story of design and the story of women in design are the same. It also symbolizes that for much of design’s history, the contributions of women have been largely unheard. A primary theme within the show is how women have been at the forefront of defining and challenging the conceptions of design; also, how design exists, often simultaneously, as culture’s most public and private expression. Participants range from younger artists building a reputation through internationally-renowned leaders in the discipline. From individually crafted objects to mass media campaigns, DesignHer speaks about design writ large through the voices of women speaking design to our culture.

This exhibition was guest-curated by Kenneth FitzGerald and Melissa Warp. Funding was provided in part by the Virginia Commission for the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

IMAGE: Zuzana Licko, various print pieces (installation detail). Photo by Kyra Schmidt.

Melissa Warp

Melissa Warp: This Land is Our Land

October 7 – December 12, 2021

After earning her BFA from the University of Minnesota and her MA from Hollins University, Melissa Warp has constructed a career in design and illustration. Using layered design and interactive media, she explores contemporary land use and contrasts today’s outlook with past viewpoints. She explains, “My hope is that through interacting with the pieces in this show the user can directly alter some of the landscapes and see that these transitions being made have great impact.”

This exhibit and its related programs were sponsored in part by the Virginia Commission for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.

IMAGE: photograph by Melissa Warp

Donna Polseno, Rick Hensley

DUO: Donna Polseno and Richard Hensley

October 14 – December 12, 2021

Husband and wife artists Donna Polseno and Rick Hensley are a formidable duo in the clay world, well-known not only locally but also nationally and internationally. Polseno is known for her large scale, hand-built, archetypal, powerful yet fragile women figures, made out of Georgia brick clay. She also creates smaller-scaled vessels using a mid-range white clay, decorated using intricate soft matte glazes, wax resist, and incised lines. Hensley is a master on the wheel: he works in porcelain, creating elegantly-shaped vessels draped in soft, transparent glazes with delicate incised nature-based patterns. He is well-known in the clay world for his glaze recipes, especially for “Hensley opaque white” and a no-craze transparent glaze.

Since 1974, Polseno and Hensley have created ceramics and sculpture in their Floyd, VA studio. They travel the world as students of ceramics, as teachers, workshop presenters, and exhibit and symposium organizers. This exhibit at the EDWM will present recent works by this energetic couple who continue their lifelong need to make things out of clay. The exhibit is accompanied by a fully-illustrated catalogue – the first to showcase their work together in one catalogue.

This exhibit and its related programs were sponsored in part by the City of Roanoke through the Roanoke Arts Commission.

IMAGES: Donna Polseno, Green Birds and Flowers Plate; Richard Hensley, Ewer

2020 Exhibitions

Bob Sulkin

Robert Sulkin: Photographs 1973-2019

January 16 – March 29, 2020

This exhibition presents over 100 works selected from over 40 years (1973-2019) of photography-making by Robert Sulkin. His work has spanned the history of photography technology in the 20th and 21st centuries from glass lantern slides to Photoshop. A member of the Hollins University faculty from 1980-2019, Sulkin is an award-winning photographer whose work has been featured in more than 100 solo and group exhibitions including the Chrysler Museum in Norfolk, VA, and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, VA. Sulkin states: “In the broadest sense, my work deals with the futility of the individual attempting to cope in a technology driven world spinning out of control. As such, it is a personal response to a world that controls me more and more even as I understand its workings less and less.” This exhibit and its related programs were sponsored in part by the City of Roanoke through the Roanoke Arts Commission.

IMAGE: Robert Sulkin, King Mackerel Head, 2000. Archival pigment print. Courtesy of the artist.

Jeff Schmuki, Wendy DesChene

Wendy DesChene and Jeff Schmuki: Biophilia

January 30 – April 26, 2020 (Closed March 29, 2020 in response to COVID-19)

Wendy DesChene (Canada) and Jeff Schmuki (USA) operate under the guise of PlantBot Genetics Inc., a parody of Big Agricultural Firms who skillfully manipulate current food production and distribution systems. PlantBot Genetics, Inc. combines tactical media and public space to promote critical thinking and political action on environmental issues. DesChene and Schmuki began practicing as PlantBot Genetics in 2009. Each has prior experience and awards as solo artists prior to forming their collaboration and both were raised with strong connections to the land around them. PlantBot Genetics has exhibited and/or completed projects at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, The Pulitzer Foundation for Art in St Loius, the Goethe Institute of Cairo, Egypt, and Bach Modern in Austria. In 2010, a significant contribution to their body of work was produced at the American Academy in Rome as visiting artists. Recent exhibitions include Foodture at the Elaine L Jacob Gallery of Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, PlantBot Genetics: a Critical Contact Exhibition Series at the Cafritz Foundation Arts Center in Takoma Park, Maryland, and artist lectures and studio visits at Long Island University in Brookville, NY.

Jeff Schmuki is the 2020 Frances Niederer Artist-in-Residence. Established by an anonymous donor in 1997, the endowed Frances Niederer Artist-in-Residence program allows the University to bring a nationally recognized artist to campus each academic year. In residence during the spring semester, the visiting artist creates work in a campus studio and teaches an art seminar open to all students.

IMAGE: Wendy DesChene and Jeff Schmuki, PlantBots. Mixed media.

Hollins University senior studio art majors 2020

2020 Senior Majors Exhibition

only available online

This online exhibition features the work of members of the Hollins University class of 2020 majoring in studio art: Béa Mahjoub, Gabriella Kroger, Katherine Nuwayser, Kayla Keen, and Melissa Noles.

Visiting Assistant Professor of Art Claire Stankus notes, “Teaching the senior studio art majors, class of 2020, over a full academic year has been such a pleasure… They have continued to inspire me, especially this spring semester. They overcame working from their homes with limitations, experimented with new materials, balanced their studio work with their personal lives, and continued to stay in touch outside of Zoom class. I hope each of these seniors will reflect back on this time and be so proud of their perseverance. They are certainly ready for the next steps ahead.”

The exhibition is the final requirement for art students earning their Bachelor of Arts at Hollins, and is the capstone experience of their yearlong senior project.

IMAGE: designed by the Hollins University class of 2020 studio art majors

A Decade of Sun

Art Videos at the Museum

August 25 – November 20, 2020

The Eleanor D. Wilson Museum is transforming our Main Gallery into a space to contemplate art, meditate, relax, practice yoga, breathe, or simply be. We will screen Dear Opportunity by Lisa McCarty (August 25 – September 20), Patron Saint by Hollins alum Georden West (September 22 – October 18), and A Decade of Sun by NASA (October 20 – November 20). Guests can bring their own blankets or yoga mats, and the museum will have clean mats available.

IMAGE: still from A Decade of Sun, courtesy of NASA

EDWM wall drawing 2020

Together We Can Dream

August 25 – November 20, 2020

Visit our physically distanced interactive space to participate in a large collaborative drawing right on the museum’s walls. Take inspiration from the artists who have come before you or strike out on your own. Sanitized markers are provided by the museum.

IMAGE: installation image of interactive drawing

Tip Toland

Expanding Narratives:
Conversations with the Collection

August 31 – November 20, 2020 and available online

Faculty members from across academic divisions have collaborated with museum staff to select works from the collection that investigate key course concepts and provide extended access to the individual works of art. Participating departments include art history, biology, classics, English, gender and women studies, history, philosophy, psychology, sociology, and studio art.

IMAGE: Tip Toland, And Now Her Own, 2019. Stoneware clay and mixed media. Eleanor D. Wilson Museum at Hollins University, 2020.001.