Art and a Sense of Place

Posted on June 01, 2014 by Web Services Editor

A panel discussion organized in conjunction with In Residence: Contemporary Artists at Dartmouth

Hood Quarterly, summer 2014

A memorable aspect of the exhibition In Residence: Contemporary Artists at Dartmouth has been the related public programming, which has proved to be extremely popular with our visitors. We have had a wonderful series of lunchtime gallery talks by studio art faculty and Hood staff members that have drawn substantial crowds, as well as equally well-attended panel discussions involving former artists-in-residence that were planned to take place in the winter, spring, and summer terms. In the first of these panel discussions, which took place on January 28, Louise Fishman, Linda Matalon, and John Newman discussed their experiences as visiting artists at Dartmouth and reflected on the history and legacy of the College's internationally recognized Artist-in-Residence Program. On April 24, another trio of former artists-in-residence, Subhankar Banerjee, Daniel Heyman, and Sana Musasama, addressed the important theme of "Art and Activism" in a panel discussion that was deeply moving and highly inspirational.

Our third and final panel discussion, which is scheduled to take place on June 26, takes as its theme "Art and a Sense of Place." The three former artists-in-residence who will participate—Varujan Boghosian, James McGarrell, and Rebecca Purdum—all live and work in rural New Hampshire or Vermont. They will discuss the impact that the natural beauty and distinctive character of the local region has had on their work and artistic practice over the years.

Rebecca Purdum, who was artist-in-residence in the fall of 2009, is represented in the In Residence: Contemporary Artists at Dartmouth exhibition with a monumental painting entitled Ripton 76 (Yellow) that was named for the town in Vermont where she lives and works. This luminous 2007 painting can be understood as the artist's profound meditation on color and natural phenomena, as she transforms the Vermont landscape that surrounds her into an abstract painting that is hauntingly reminiscent of Claude Monet's series of Water Lilies paintings, which were inspired by his flower garden in Giverny, France.  While James McGarrell was here as artist-in-residence in the spring of 1993, he and his wife, the writer and translator Ann McGarrell, purchased an early-nineteenth-century house in Newbury, Vermont. This property included a large mansard attic that the artist transformed into a light-filled painting studio. The work that McGarrell has made in this studio over the past two decades also engages with nature and the unique light and colors of the Vermont countryside. Finally, Varujan Boghosian, who was invited to Dartmouth as artist-in-residence in the summer of 1968 and stayed to become a professor in the studio art department, where he taught until his retirement in 1996, has lived and worked in the Upper Valley for more than forty-five years. His box constructions, assemblages, and collages have incorporated materials, such as toys, mannequins, prints, and advertisements, that he has accumulated over the years from local antique shops, estate sales, and flea markets. Like an alchemist, Boghosian recombines and assembles his materials to create new associations and meanings for these objects in works that take the form of visual poetry.

Join us on Thursday, June 26, at 4:30 p.m. for this fascinating panel discussion and learn more about the work and ideas of these distinguished artists and their relationship to the local area.

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Written June 01, 2014 by Web Services Editor