RED, WHITE, and BLUE

2020 Faculty and Staff Exhibition

The world is experiencing some profound changes. The biological event that created the Covid 19 pandemic, paralleled with the cultural movement of Black Lives Matter, has forever altered our relationship with one another. These events have laid bare many unresolved social issues and, at the same time, offered opportunities to lay down new groundwork toward a positive movement forward.

With this thematic exhibition, I wanted to offer my colleagues an opportunity to reflect upon this particular moment through works of art. In this presidential election cycle, the colors RED, WHITE & BLUE hold very different meanings across our culture. Independent of content, color in itself carries a message that is personal to each individual that experiences it. Color theorist Josef Albers has observed, “If one says ‘red’ – the name of color – and there are fifty people listening, it can be expected that there will be fifty reds in their minds. And one can be sure that all these reds will be very different.”

Ken Reker

Professor, Sculpture, Foundations and Director of the Winfisky Gallery

Robert Thurlow

We Recycle Inequality

Digital Image, 2020

We Recycle Inequality speaks to the devastating cyclical nature of institutionalized inequality while referencing the easily identifiable pop signage of mandatory state recycling laws. 

Robert Thurlow

Visiting Lecturer, Photography

My blown cane and Murrini bowls were done solo at camp Chateaugay in upstate New York. They are made with Effetre Italian glass rods that are fused together before being shaped and blown. The Murrini flower design is pre-made by me solo in a prior work session.

John Volpaccio

Professor, Sculpture

John Volpaccio

Red, white, and blue cane and Murrini Bowl

Blown glass, 2020

Ken Reker

The World

Mixed media assemblage on paper, 19.75″ x 32″, 2020

Jason Asselin

Deformed

Mixed media on paper, 19″ x 20″, 2020

“Can't ask for more, so why unfulfilled
We take apart everything we build
Had it right here, now it's gone
On and on
Break”

Break by Fugazi (Written by Ian MacKaye)

Every day I buy disposable things. I participate in disposable culture. These things are often considered worthless. If our ancestors could see our disposable things, they would be amazed at what we consider trash. I am interested in elevating this trash. I attempt to highlight the visual presence of trash and the possible beauty of its seemingly useless state. My desire is to use this visual information to bring questions to viewers. I want the viewer to wonder why the context of a piece of trash is transformed when it becomes an Artwork. To wonder why we place value on presentation and the power of our perception. What is the intrinsic value of what is real or a facsimile?

Jason Asselin

Visiting Lecturer, Drawing

In my art history classes, I’ve adopted an improvisational exercise, developed by artist/activist Nancy Chunn, using that day’s newspaper as a prompt. 

Recent questions regarding the neutrality of the Supreme Court led me to this quote from “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens:

“This boy is Ignorance. This girl is Want. Beware them both, and all of their degree, but most of all beware this boy, for on his brow I see that written which is Doom, unless the writing be erased.” — Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol.

And what appears to be a reoccurring recent worldwide appetite for an authoritarian strongman leader, who will rescue us from the scary burden of thinking for ourselves, led me to this quote, attributed to Benito Mussolini:

“All men hunger for a taste of the boot.”

Gary Reynolds

Visiting Lecturer, Art History

Gary Reynolds

Quote Attributed to Benito Mussolini

Magic marker on newsprint, 12″ x 22″, 2020

Gary Reynolds

Quote from “A Christmas Carol” By Charles Dickens

Magic marker on newsprint, 12″ x 22″, 2020

Mark Malloy

Disaster Doodle

Mixed media on paper, 29″ x 41″, 2020

Kimberly Mimnaugh

Congratulations Senior

Color photograph, 2020

Benjamin Gross

Addie and Oscar

Serigraph, 12″ x 15″, 2020 (Edition of 5)

This serigraph was a commissioned piece that was given as a gift to the clients brother (niece pictured). The print was inspired by a photograph of Addie and her pet cat Oscar. The photograph was an “All American First Born Child + Pet as Part of the Family Snapshot” and gives off warm and “fuzzy” feelings. Variations of Red (pink), White and Blue are used in the screen print.

Benjamin Gross

Professor, Printmaking and Foundations

John Volpaccio

Blue Murrini Flower Bowl

Hand Blown Glass, 5″ x 7″, 2020

Kimberly Mimnaugh

Watching Over You

Color Photograph, 2020

“A Romantic Response to Crisis” stylistically references the utopian optimism found in the harmonious geometric forms of Modernism and at the same time juxtapose that balanced harmony with text that speaks to the dystopian conditions of modernity that are challenging the world today.

Robert Thurlow

Visiting Lecturer, Photography

Robert Thurlow

A Romantic Response to Crisis

Digital Image, 2020

Mark Malloy

Air

Mixed media on paper, 12″ x 22″, 2020

This work was in direct result of the pandemic. 

The drawings on brown paper were the product of endless phone calls and video conferences about professional struggles, and endless discussions of calamities public and private. I would always have a pen in hand as I worked in my makeshift office/studio that was once my garage. While occupied in these calls and conferences, I would draw, somewhat unconsciously–this drawing is the result.

The abstract piece was the result of working to prepare for my Non-Representational painting class. I found making this piece (along with 20 more like it) immensely freeing. Without representational content, I was able to access the swirling thoughts and feelings I had and make something of them that was, to me, far more accurate than any other medium of communication. 

Mark Malloy

Professor, Painting and Graphic Design

Ken Reker

The First Americans

Assemblage on paper, 34″ x 20.75″, 2020

John Volpacchio

Blue Murrini Flower Bowl

Hand blown glass, 5″ x 7″, 2020

Haig Demarjian

Diabolus Ex Machina

Digital Collage, 2020

The visual that I’ve assembled for this exhibition arose from the desperate confusion I experienced in attempting to somehow settle on a meaning for “Red, White, and Blue”.

My solution: after individually Googling each color I then (in acknowledgment of our nation’s union) selected the 50th result for each one.

In terms of composition, I made very few decisions, allowing the images to literally fall into place.

I found something poetic in this process of creating rules to govern an outcome that would assuredly be haphazard. There was something reminiscent of the conflict that ensues when various peoples and ideas vie for dominance. The unanswered question remains: is it chaos or harmony that will ultimately prevail? Although we daily witness indications of both possible outcomes, I’m reminded that the Universe commits itself to neither. Chance plays the largest role, whether spot-lit at center stage or hidden in unseen mechanisms, acting as deus ex machina. Or is it diabolus ex machina?

Climate crisis, high-end décor, and our planet’s azure ocean seen from space– considering the provenance of each image I feel like I learned something, although I’m not sure what.

Haig Demarjian

Professor, Drawing, Printmaking and Foundations

This abstract color theory serigraph is my most recent print (5th) in the “Primary / Secondary” series. The series explores how three primary colors (red, blue, and yellow) look printed individually and how they look when combined appropriately to create secondary mixtures (orange, purple and green). The previous prints were entitled “Secondary Crossing”, “Secondary Window”, “Secondary Target” and “Secondary Squares”. The screen printing process combined with color theory methodology is exciting because the three colors are printed with transparency to create six total colors. This most recent design utilizes the triangle as a focal component and is therefore literally titled “Secondary Triangles”.

Benjamin Gross

Professor, Printmaking and Foundations

Benjamin Gross

Secondary Triangles

Serigraph, 10″ x 10″, 2020 (Edition of 7)

Brian Alves

Digital Citizen (link to the site)

Interactive Website (Artisinal Code), 2020

Digital Citizen visualizes the engaged citizen. Transforming from flag to a field of tiny dots – each representing one of the millions of individuals that together compose a nation. Disjointed but united nevertheless, the slowly deconstructing/reconstructing flag demonstrates the power that one individual can have on their community – one click or action at a time. 

Brian Alves

Associate Professor, Graphic Design and Interactive Media