The Gregory Allicar Museum of Art at Colorado State University has opened three new exhibitions for spring 2017. Many students, professors and Fort Collins community members came out to the opening reception last Thursday.
Museum Director and Chief Curator Linny Frickman addressed the crowd with an important message of acceptance and diversity.
“We are so proud of our new exhibitions and our permanent installations, which seek to honor a diversity of cultural expressions, examine problematic stereotypes and to promote an equity of western and non-western traditions,” Frickman said.
Frickman also addressed recent calls for art strikes across the country in light of the political climate.
“Many have noted that museums are places for civic and civil discourse, that we are open to all, that we honor diverse voices and opinions and that this is extremely important at this time,” Frickman said.
She invited everyone to continue enjoying the museum as they continue their important dialogue on these issues through art. The new exhibitions deal with those issues directly.
The “Survivance” exhibit presents native North American art from the past and the present. This exhibit is particularly special, as it was curated by undergraduate students in ART 317: Native North American Art. Last spring semester students in the class worked with pieces from the museum’s permanent collection as part of their final research papers.
“It wasn’t just the traditional academic research paper where they read a lot of sources and studied what anthropologists said, they also made a huge effort to reach out to contemporary indigenous knowledge bearers within the communities that the art forms are representing,” said ART 317 Professor Emily Moore.
Moore taught the class last spring semester and said she took great pleasure in working with her students on this project. Their exhibition is part of the permanent collection and can be viewed in the Native American Gallery of the museum.
The new “Drawing on Tradition” exhibit features a number of Baroque style works form 17th and 18th century Europe. The pieces display a wide range of drawing mediums from many countries in Europe. The works are part of the Hartford-Tanstad collection, which makes up much of the museum’s permanent collection.
“Tor Tanstad, your transformative gift has already changed the museum, but we are so pleased to highlight beautiful 17th and 18th century drawings from your collection,” Frickman said.
These pieces will be on display in the Works on Paper Gallery in the museum through April 21.
The third new exhibition is the “Identity/ Perspectives” exhibit. Frickman curated this exhibit with the help of CSU Professor Eleanor Moseman.
“She and I put together a series of concepts relating to the interaction between text and image, or text as image, and conceptions of how the body is used in contemporary art, and how space is activated in contemporary art, and how political or activist messages are conveyed through attention to either ethnic or racial identity,” Moseman said.
This exhibit is all about challenging ideas of what is normal. It was put together in a very nonlinear fashion. The works play off of each other throughout the gallery space, and none is meant to represent a high point in the collection.
“We thought of it as individual themes that are interconnected, and work by these artists that speaks across these different themes relating to contemporary experience of the self in society,” Moseman said.
The exhibit is made up entirely of work donated by Polly and Mark Addison. The Addisons are Colorado natives and long-time art collectors.
“They have been incrementally thinking about what to do with their collection and they wanted to give to collections where they know that students will be able to study the work and to have faculty be able to use this kind of artwork in teaching,” Moseman said.
The “Identity/Perspectives” exhibition will be in the Griffin Foundation Gallery of the museum through May 6.
Frickman was excited to add more contemporary art to the museum’s collection, much of which came from the Addison’s collection. She also expressed her gratitude for the professors who volunteer their time the help curate at the museum.
“The museum could not do what we do without the volunteer service of these professors from the Department of Art and Art History,” Frickman said.
The Gregory Allicar Museum of Art is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. It is located in the University Center for the Arts at 1400 Remington Street. More information can be found at artmuseum.colostate.edu or on CSUArtMuseum page on Facebook.