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Brenda LaBier's "Nest" is among the works on display at the Alumni Art Show 2014 at the University Art Museum.
Alumni Art Show 2014 reflects diverse creative styles
September 18, 2014Tweet
Kathryn M. Niles ’93 used compressed charcoal and charcoal powder on paper to make Strata VII. Matthew Zupnick ’83 constructed Cup and Ball out of bronze and steel. And Karen Kaapcke ’86 created Destiny using oil on linen. All three artists have unique styles and work with vastly different media, but they have one big thing in common: they’re all graduates of Binghamton University.
Niles, Zupnick, Kaapcke and 21 other alumni will have their work featured in the University Art Museum’s fall exhibit, “Alumni Art Show 2014,” which kicks off with an opening reception from 5-7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 18, in room 213 of the Fine Arts Building. The exhibition features artists from five decades working in a variety of media: drawing, painting, sculpture, digital prints and installation.
“It’s nice to be able to show students, and people in the University and larger community, that Binghamton has produced some really impressive graduates,” said Art Museum Director Diane Butler. “We’re happy to show their work.”
The museum hosts an alumni exhibition about every five years, but this year marks the first time that the fall exhibition was juried. The museum received more than 50 submissions from alumni, but Butler, an expert in Renaissance and Baroque art, didn’t want to make the decision alone. She reached out to contemporary art experts Natalia Mijatovic, chair and associate professor of the Art Department, and Kevin Hatch, assistant professor of art history, to join the jury.
“My expertise is really with Renaissance and Baroque artists, so to have people who are more aware of where the art world has been going for the last 10 or 20 years is really helpful to me,” Butler said.
Two very alive artists, Anthony Brunelli ’92 and John Brunelli ’97, will give a gallery talk at 5 p.m. when they will discuss how their path from graduation to running a successful art gallery in downtown Binghamton.
“While the Binghamton audience has become exposed to contemporary art downtown for First Friday, we’re really proud to show our fine arts graduates who are making a living doing their work and really producing interesting pieces,” Butler said.
Interesting art can pose a special challenge for Butler. Take, for instance, Seeds by Kevin Knigge Dartt ’11, a piece consisting of nine modular balls made out of diamond-shaped pieces of untreated plywood, held together with a webbing of bungee cords.
“It’s always easiest to show work in your own museum that’s already been matted and framed,” Butler said. “When you have a range of objects like this that vary so much in style and approach, it means that it’s a challenge for the curator to install the artwork in a way that allows each piece to have its own space and not conflict with pieces beside it — and that can be a challenge.”
In addition to the main exhibition, two small exhibitions curated by Binghamton University students will open downstairs in the Nancy J. Powell Gallery on Oct. 16. “‘Some of These People’: Marking the Other in Soviet Russia” features Soviet posters on loan from the Binghamton University Libraries Special Collections and is curated by Michael Kosowski, who majors in art history and Russian. “Yarikata: Making Japanese Prints” focuses on the art of Japanese printmaking and is curated by Christopher Lane, a fine arts major.
Another small exhibition, “The Spanish Forger: ‘Medieval’ Paintings from the Collection of William Voelkle” will also open on Thursday, Oct. 16. This exhibition of known fakes is mounted in conjunction with a symposium, “Hidden Clues: Detecting Fakes and Forgeries in Art,” which will be held from 2-5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 22, in FA-258, with a reception to follow. The free symposium is sponsored by the Kenneth C. Lindsay Study Room Fund.
Butler hopes that the fall exhibition will serve as an inspiration to Binghamton students that a career in art isn’t some pie-in-the-sky notion.
“It’s always nice for students enrolled in classes now to know that this path has been trod before and that it’s possible to make a career of making art or showing art,” Butler said. “There are people who have been successful.”