By Francesca Colturi for the Daily Campus
UConn’s 50th annual Faculty Art Exhibition was about more than reminding the university of its talented fine arts faculty. The opening reception on Thursday evening focused on a resounding theme of freedom of expression in the chaotic world of art and the chaotic reality of our world today.
“I know it’s not easy to bring together so many visions in such a harmonious fashion,” said Anne D’Alleva, dean of the School of Fine Arts at UConn, in her gracious speech to faculty and museum staff.
With varied artworks from nearly 20 UConn art faculty hanging on the walls of the Benton Museum’s East Gallery, students with dreadlocks mingled between grey haired docents, eating cheese and swaying alongside a bassist and pianist.
Art and art history department head Cora Lynn Deibler followed on the microphone soon after D’Alleva, filling the room with choice words of inspiration. Deibler quoted a poem about the Vietnam War and an opinion column titled, “How artists change the world.” But her own words resonated the loudest. “Speak however you must to support the freedom of expression and the arts. Just don’t be silent,” Deibler said.
In the center of the gallery stood four inflated installations of grey teardrops with a nuclear essence and massive black lettering, created by Brandon Bultman. Around the corner were portraits of a chimpanzee named Toddy taken by Frank Noekler, a temple honoring delivery pizza, stacked by John O’Donnell, and framed napkins illustrated by Allison Paul.
Each bore a small plaque and fostered the buzz of conversation.