Action By Design: Sustainability Planning in Sewanee

“By design” simply means on purpose, thoughtful, and intentional.

 

Making ideas visible, inspiring visitors, and bringing people together across areas of study and interest are all essential to the mission of the University Art Gallery.

 

Action By Design is part exhibition and part workshop. It is intended to share pieces of sustainability planning on our campus and in our community - especially the University of the South's new Climate Accountability Plan (CAP) - and to invite visitors to participate.


Sustainable Planning and Design best begins with an integrative workshop (charrette) process that brings everyone along for the conversation. This exhibition is inspired by that process.

Behind the Seen: Process, Performance, and Practice in the Work of Fahamu Pecou

The University Art Gallery of the University of the South is delighted to present Behind the SEEN: Process, Performance, and Practice in the Work of Fahamu Pecou, on view in the University Art Gallery from January 11 through March 9, 2022. Throughout his work, Pecou manipulates roles and stereotypes in order to question how Black masculinity and identity are imagined, circumscribed, and read. Associations of high and low are reversed, and the conventions and symbols of pop culture, of Trap music, of Yoruba culture, of academia, are combined to thwart expectations. Carefully orchestrated photo sessions, planned in collaboration with photographers, stylists, make-up artists, and models, are the starting point for each of his projects. These photo sessions yield hundreds of source images that become the foundation for Pecou’s drawings and paintings. Each rendering of an image in paint and graphite becomes another performance.

 

Imagining Matriarchy

In Imagining Matriarchy, Wohl works with brilliantly colored found fabrics to build complex, celebratory compositions. Her quilts evoke suns, seeds, dense forests and flags. Found fabrics with past lives are carefully and painstakingly hand quilted, hundreds of hours of labor made visible in pieces of cloth and thread. Contrasting colors and tones – pinks, reds and blues, yellows and black – are combined in compositions that reimagine established associations. With these quilts, associated with comfort and women’s labor, Wohl “envision(s) what a matriarchal society might feel like.”

SOMOS

In Somos, the personal and specific become communal. Images of loved ones, of remembered places, are filtered, layered and abstracted. Printed on chiffon or canvas, the images float in the air or drape the wall. Places and people from the past are honored, held on to, and shared. In other pieces, vividly colored abstractions repeat motifs drawn from traditional Mesoamerican and Mexican artwork, or present new patterns representative of a common experience. Images of plants, native and non-native, cultivated in a family garden or at large agricultural scale, weave through the exhibition, emblematic of displacement and exploitation, but also of home and resilience.

Caryatid

The University Art Gallery is delighted to present the thesis work of Sewanee's graduating senior art majors: Kara Adams, Mary Cahoon, Cecile Denton, Jasmine Huang, and Bailey Stevens in the exhibition Caryatid.

Caryatid examines pillars of identity in photographs, digital illustration, and painting.

Denton / Huang Honors

The University Art Gallery is delighted to present two senior art majors’ honors thesis exhibitions: Cecile Denton’s my tongue is frozen in silence, and Jasmine Huang’s Tian Tang. Both will be on view in the University Art Gallery from April 1 through April 7.

In my tongue is frozen in silence, Cecile Denton explores the feelings of unease and longing associated with hidden or suppressed identities in digital illustrations, platinum-palladium prints, and inkjet print photographs. In each medium, Denton plays with averted gazes, concealed features, and uncertainty about inanimate and animate states.

In Tian Tang, Jasmine Huang explores the correspondence between the mark of a print and the calligraphic mark on paper, and the “oscillating relationship between entities and their environments” in platinum palladium prints. 

House of Leaves

The University Art Gallery is delighted to present Jered Sprecher’s House of Leaves, an exhibition of paintings and drawings that play with technologies of representation and the mediation of experience. Visual information fleetingly encountered is caught, mulled over, and reworked. Images of birds, plants, flowers, and natural light, glimpsed through phones and on tablet screens or in banal stock photographs, is translated into intensely vibrant, gorgeous paintings that hover “in the sliver of space between abstraction and representation” and demand attention and contemplation. House of Leaves will be on view in the UAG from February 2 through March 28, 2021.

Wendy Ewald: This is Where I Live

For This is Where I Live, Ewald worked with fourteen disparate groups of people in Israel and the West Bank. The exhibition presents “a kind of narrative atlas,” in which people from a deeply and impossibly divided region share their experiences, and all the places they live, in photographs.

Floating Needles: Graduating Exhibition 2020

The University Art Gallery and the Department of Art, Art History and Visual Studies of the University of the South are pleased to present online exhibitions by the graduating Art majors of 2020.

Collectively, these six bodies of work address the distribution of tension across and between surfaces. Floating Needles refers to the phenomenon resulting from surface tension, of that moment water supports heavier substances. Similar to needles afloat on water, the works in this exhibition point in different directions, but together exist in a delicate and tense state of balance. The works deal with contradictions and resistance, and vulnerability and resilience.

Highlander Libraries

The exhibition hosted all kinds of events to bring people together, from bookmaking workshops for community members to university classes, from a concert by Sewanee Praise to a weekly Bible Study Group, from film screenings to conversations about voter suppression and voter registration, from visits by Sewanee Elementary School students to meetings by the board of the Grundy County Historical Society, from the Southern Intellectual History Colloquium to an afternoon of rug-hooking with the Broad Mountain Conglomerate Ruggers. It was an exhibition designed for sharing challenges, and books, films, and ideas about how to meet those challenges.

Diedrick Brackens: Allegiance

The University Art Gallery is honored to present Allegiance, a quiet and intimate exhibition of complex and beautiful woven textiles by Los Angeles-based artist Diedrick Brackens, on view from Oct. 25 through Dec. 13, 2019.

In Allegiance, Brackens plays with our expectations and associations, turning symbols, lyrics, and materials to new purposes. He refashions American and Confederate flags, he quotes and recasts the lyrics to the minstrel song Dixie and to the hymn Holy, Holy, Holy, he makes the language of advertising both sentimental and subversive, and he - an African American whose antecedents picked cotton in Texas - self-consciously transforms that fraught material into beautiful textiles.

Prints and Quilts from Gee’s Bend

The University Art Gallery is honored to host Prints and Quilts from Gee’s Bend, on view from Aug. 28 to Oct. 13, 2019. Inspired by the tradition of quilting, the art objects on view — created by artists Mary Lee Bendolph, Louisiana Bendolph, Thornton Dial, and Lonnie Holley — were carefully selected from the Arnett collection to represent a new chapter in the long story of quilting and the community of Gee’s Bend, Alabama.

Sewanee Senior Art Majors: Reclamation

The University Art Gallery presents Reclamation, an exhibition of photography, sculpture, and collage by the University of the South’s senior art majors: Ivey Dahlstrom, Violet Hoagland, Barton Perkins, and Brianna Young.

This Ain't No Cakewalk

Ih a special presentation of collage, costume, dance, and music, the UAG will host the interdisciplinary project This Ain’t No Cakewalk, created by visual artist Thom Heyer and musicologist Dr. César Leal. The exhibition and its associated events will consider appropriation and the cakewalk tradition. Originating in the Antebellum South and first performed by enslaved persons, cakewalks became broadly fashionable.

Jiha Moon: Familiar Faces

Freely combining imagery, techniques and materials from disparate places and cultural registers, Atlanta-based artist Jiha Moon questions the value of origins. As she writes, “The world is so interconnected nowadays, how can one even tell where someone or something “comes from” anymore?” She draws pictorial references from sources as seemingly distinct as Korean temple paintings and Walt Disney cartoons, synthesizing them into a visual language that is both strange and familiar.

Isle of Printing, Communication Station: Automated Exchange

The Isle of Printing will lead Sewanee in a community project centered around The Communication Station - Automated Exchange Interface, an experimental process for people to share and receive objects and ideas. Participants can interact, examine and share with their community in an efficient modern manner that explores our collective ability to communicate with one another as neighbors and citizens of the world.

Vesna Pavlović: Fabrics of Socialism

In Fabrics of Socialism, Vesna Pavlović mines the archive of the former Yugoslavia to explore propaganda and collective memory, the medium of photography and the life and obsolescence of media.

Angelica Mesiti: Citizens Band

Angelica Mesiti’s moving 4-channel video installation "Citizens Band" depicts individuals from Cameroon, Algeria, Mongolia and Sudan, surrounded by the dense urban environments of their adopted homes, as they quietly recall and perform the music of their birthplaces.

Zanele Muholi: Faces and Phases

The University Art Gallery is proud to present the work of renowned South African artist activist Zanele Muholi in a selection of 22 photographs from her series Faces and Phases, dignified portrait photographs of black South Africans who identify as LGBTI. Shown together, these portraits of individuals represent and build community. Muholi is a visual activist. In collaboration with her sitters, she uses photography to combat the oppression of a group whose existence is often excluded from South African history.

Jessica Wohl: Love Thy Neighbor

Jessica Wohl’s Love Thy Neighbor grapples with the fear, intolerance, and polarization the artist sees dividing communities and cities across the country, and answers those divisions with objects that evoke empathy and comfort. The patterns of Wohl’s quilts invoke the fences, gates, and security bars that divide us, both from one another and from that to which we aspire.

Sarah Lindley: Operable Units

Invoking the units used to organize EPA cleanup sites, Operable Units explores the connections between industry, communities and the environment along the Kalamazoo River in Michigan. The installation juxtaposes two fragile constructs: the suspended structure Exposure Pathways, fabricated from an abandoned ream of paper found in the former Plainwell Paper Mill, and Superfund Areas 1-5, built of brittle clay saturated by stains and oxides.