WMU News

KIA and Sangren exhibits feature WMU print collection

Sept. 2, 2003

KALAMAZOO -- As part of this fall's centennial celebration at Western Michigan University, the WMU School of Art is presenting two concurrent exhibitions of the best works from the school's print collection.

"Progressive Proof: Celebrating 40 Years of Print Collecting at Western Michigan University," opens Friday, Sept. 5, with a total of 74 exceptional prints and drawings, 52 of which will be on exhibit in the galleries at the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, 314 South Park St. The remaining 22 prints and drawings will be exhibited in Gallery II of Sangren Hall on the WMU campus. Both shows are free and continue through Oct. 12.

A reception for the shows will be held at the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts on Thursday, Sept. 18, from 5 to 7 p.m. Sponsored by the School of Art, the reception is free and open to the public.

The School of Art print collection began with purchases in the 1960s made from national invitational and juried exhibitions held at WMU. "Booster" by Robert Rauschenberg, which will be on exhibit at the KIA show, and "Portraits of the Artists" by Andy Warhol, which will be part of the Sangren Hall exhibit, were the first two purchases for the collection.

For the past four decades, the School of Art has maintained its commitment to collecting prints by nationally recognized artists for classroom instruction and to serve as inspiration for aspiring students of art.

Only a fraction of the total collection will be on exhibit. Works were selected for the KIA and Sangren Hall shows based on overall quality and to provide a stunning variety of styles and techniques. Most of the prints have not been shown before in public exhibitions.

Curtis Rhodes, professor of art and coordinator of printmaking, has provided much of the leadership in building and maintaining the collection. He has chosen the prints for annual purchases and sponsored numerous visiting artists in the university's printmaking studios. During residencies, visiting artists draw their images on litho stones, and afterward, Rhodes prints the editions assisted by advanced printmaking students. In recent years, some of the editions have been printed by Mike Sims, a WMU graduate, master printer and owner of Lawrence Lithography.

During the past decade, the collection has expanded to include a few drawings by outstanding artists who have exhibited and visited the school. The drawings will be exhibited in Sangren Hall, and include two large pastels by Native American artist Rick Bartow and a wash and ink by Lorna Marsh. Among the artists represented by prints in the exhibits are Vito Acconci, Joseph Beuys, Robert Cottingham, Susan Davidoff, Tony Fitzpatrick, Richard Hunt, Judith Jaidinger, Luis Jimenez, Jasper Johns, Ellsworth Kelly, Karen Kunc, Grandma Layton, Sol LeWitt, Jane Marshall, Roberto Matta, Bruce Nauman, Ed Paschke, Beverly Pepper, Robert Stackhouse, Juane Quick-to-See Smith, Rochelle Toner, and Paul Wunderlick.

Gallery viewing hours at the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts are Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Thursday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. The KIA gallery is closed Mondays. Gallery II in Sangren Hall is open weekdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Both galleries are readily accessible for persons with handicaps.

For additional information, contact the Art Exhibitions Office at 269 387-2455.

Media contact: Thom Myers, 269 387-8400, thom.myers@wmich.edu

WMU News
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