Past Exhibitions

From Hogarth to Daumier: Satirical Prints in the Benton’s Collection

From Hogarth to Daumier: Satirical Prints in the Benton’s Collection, 1720-1848
August 30 – October 14, 2018

Reception: Thursday, September 6, 4:30 – 7:00 pm

Caricature and graphic satire flourished in Western Europe during the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, when widespread social change and tumultuous political events inspired new forms of humorous printmaking. This exhibition samples satirical printmaking’s golden age with works by William Hogarth, James Gillray, Thomas Rowlandson, Francisco Goya, J. J. Grandville, and Honoré Daumier.

Image Credit: William Hogarth, The Four Times of Day: Night (1738), Etching and engraving. Collection of The William Benton Museum of Art, Robert S. and Naomi C. Dennison Fund for Acquisition.

William Hogarth etching and engraving, titled The Four Times of Day: Night created in 1738. Benton Museum Collection.

What’s the Alternative? Art and Outrage of the 1960s Underground Press

Alternative_Website1

August 24, 2018 to October 14, 2018

Opening Reception:  September 6, 2018, 4:30 – 7pm

Drawn exclusively from the Alternative Press Collection at the UConn Archives & Special Collections, What’s the Alternative? The Art and Outrage of the 1960s Underground Press  surveys the efforts of cartoonists, illustrators, photographers and painters to warn against public impassivity in the face of political oppression, war, systemic racism and censorship of free speech during the mid-twentieth century. The exhibition is guest curated by cartoonist Dwayne Booth (a.k.a. Mr. Fish).

The exhibition is a collaboration with Archives & Special Collections, UConn Library; Thomas J. Dodd Research Center; CLAS Dean’s Office, Humanities; Humanities Institute / Humility & Conviction in Public Life; Departments of History, English and Journalism; and the School of Fine Arts.

Image Credit: Sir Realist by John Francis Putnam, 1958.

PUBLIC PROGRAMS
FREE and open to the public. RSVP recommended: 860.486.4520 or email: benton@uconn.edu
Check our calendar for more information on these programs.

Film Screening
Tuesday, September 11, 6:30 – 8:30
Mr. Fish: Cartooning from the Deep End (2017) Running time: 70 min.
Followed by a Q&A with Dwayne Booth (aka Mr. Fish) and director Pablo Bryant If Dangerous Art Doesn’t Have A Place In Our World, Does A Dangerous Artist?
“A must see for anyone who cares about the world” -Unseenfilms.net
The film hit my heart and brain with such velocity that it literally made me sit on the edge of my seat.” -Ain’t It Cool News
Award winner of numerous film festivals. https://www.mrfishmovie.com/
Refreshments.

Tour & Workshop
Thursday, October 4, 4:30-6:30pm
Explore the trajectory of the alternative press from the 1960s to 2016 with Graham Stinnett, Archivist, Human Rights & Alternative Press Collections. Meet at the Benton for coffee and cookies, followed by a tour of What’s the Alternative? Workshop continues at the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center.

Salon at The Benton: Art and Conversation
Dangerous Art and Censorship
Friday, October 12, 5:00-7:00pm
Panelists: Dwayne Booth (aka Mr. Fish), cartoonist; Molly Land, Professor of Law; and Christopher Vials, Associate Professor of English and Director of American Studies.
Moderator: Brendan Kane, Associate Professor of History and Assistant Director, Public Humanities, UConn Humanities Institute.

 

I AM A MAN: Photographs by Ernest C. Withers

February 1, 2018 to May 6, 2018

I Am a Man is a portfolio of ten photographs by African-American photojournalist Ernest Withers that tells the story of the civil rights movement from the perspective of one of its most important chroniclers.

This exhibition is the first of two collaborations in 2018 between the William Benton Museum of Art and the African American Cultural Center (AACC), which is celebrating fifty years on the UConn campus in October.

You are invited to listen to AACC director Dr. Willena Price’s remarks on I Am a Man by using Guide by Cell.

Image Credit: Ernest C. Withers (American, 1922-2007), I Am a Man, 1968, From the portfolio, I Am a Man, Silver gelatin print, edition 19/25, William Benton Museum of Art, Louise Crombie Beach Memorial Fund, 2006.7.1

51st Annual Studio Art Faculty Exhibition

January 18 – March 11, 2018

Opening Reception – Thursday, January 25, 2018,  4:30-7 pm.
5:30 Remarks by Anne D’Alleva, Dean of the School of Fine Arts, & Cora Lynn Deibler, School of Fine Arts Department Head
Cash bar, hors d’oeuvres, & live music by UConn Jazz Ensemble

This annual exhibition highlights recent work of the permanent, adjunct, and visiting studio art faculty from the Department of Art and Art History, School of Fine Arts at UConn. A variety of media are featured; painting, sculpture, illustration, graphic design, printmaking, photography, and installation art. Such diverse bodies of work represent the most significant directions in contemporary art, as well as the unique vision of each artist-faculty member.

Ancestors of the Passage: Work by Imna Arroyo

Inspired by this year’s UConn Reads Selection The Refugees by Viet Thanh Nguyen
January 18 – March 11, 2018

“If the Atlantic Ocean were to dry up, a trail of bones would lead from the shores of Africa to the Americas.”

Ancestors of the Passage is a multi-media installation resulting from Puerto Rican-American artist Imna Arroyo’s quest to visualize her heritage. The installation is composed of 27 terracotta ceramic figures, each extending their hands out to the audience from a sea of acrylic canvases and silk fabric. According to the artist, these figures represent the African ancestors who died in the Middle Passage, where millions of people were forcibly transported across the Atlantic Ocean to the New World. The figures are surrounded by 47 black and white collagraphs, which depict the multitudes who witnessed the ancestors’ journey. A digital projection, titled Trail of Bones, further advances the narrative journey suggested in Arroyo’s work. An altar placed in the gallery also pays tribute to the ancestors and allows visitors to become participants by writing a message to their forebears.

The unifying theme of human rights and refugeeism emerges from the UConn Reads selection for the 2017-2018 academic year: The Refugees (2017), a collection of short stories, by Viet Thanh Nguyen.

This exhibition is mounted in collaboration with: The Puerto Rican/Latin American Cultural Center; El Instituto: Institute of Latina/o, Caribbean, and Latin American Studies; The Asian and Asian American Studies Institute; and The Art and Art History Department of the School of Fine Arts at the University of Connecticut.

PUBLIC PROGRAMS
Opening Reception – Thursday, January 25, 2018,  4:30-7:00 pm
All events are free of charge and open to the public.

Artist Talk: Imna Arroyo. Thursday, February 15, 2018, 5:00 pm.  Arroyo will discuss her installation Ancestors of the Passage.

Salon at the Benton: “A Nation of Immigrants?” Friday, March 2, 2018, 5:00-7:00 pm. A panel discussion on immigration in contemporary US politics and culture, moderated by Professor Cathy Schlund-Vials, with: Ellen Litman; Jason O. Chang; and Renato Muguerza.

ABOUT THE ARTIST
Imna Arroyo is an educator, activist and artist.  She is a painter, printmaker, papermaker and bookmaker, who also works on multi-media installations. Her artistic work has been devoted to exploring the connections between the African Continent and the Diaspora.  She was born in Guayama, Puerto Rico.  She studied at La Escuela de Artes Plasticas del Instituto de Cultura in San Juan, Puerto Rico and obtained her BFA from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York and her MFA from Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut.  She also studied other printmaking techniques at the Tamarind Institute, New Mexico, the New York University Printmaking Studio, the University of Guanajuato, Mexico and Non-toxic Printmaking Methods at the Canadian School for Non-Toxic Printmaking, Summer International Printmaking Workshop, and Grande Prairie Regional College, Alberta, Canada. Her work is included in numerous public collections, including the Museum of Modern Art Library; Franklin Furnace Artist Book Collection; Schomberg Center for Research and Black Culture, NY; Yale University Art Gallery, CT; and Casa de las Americas and the Museum Casa Africa, Habana, Cuba.

Arroyo is currently a Professor of Art at Eastern Connecticut State University where she chaired the Visual Arts Department. She is the recipient of numerous awards and grants. In 2010 she received the title of Connecticut State University (CSU) Professor in recognition of her teaching, mentorship and nationally and internationally acclaimed artistic achievements. In 2007, she received the honorary title of Chief Yeye Agboola of Ido Osun (Chief Mother of the Garden of Honor) in recognition of selfless service to enrich the Ido-Osun Kingdom. This honor was conferred by his Royal Majesty Aderemi Adeen Adeniyi-Adedapo, Ido-Osun, Nigeria. She received the Distinguished Faculty Award from Eastern in 2008 and an Excellence Award in 2000 for creativity and scholarship. She is the recipient of the 2003 Steinkraus-Cohen Memorial Outstanding Women of Connecticut Award, in recognition of achievements and dedication to public service under the auspices of the United Nations Association of the USA (Connecticut, Southwestern Chapter) and UNIFEM-Connecticut. She was awarded the 2012 Outstanding Latino Cultural Award from the American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education for artistic achievements that have contributed significantly to the understanding of Latino culture.

Arroyo has exhibited extensively throughout the United States, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Panama, Mexico and the Czech Republic.  In 2011, she was invited to participate in The Living Legacy of 30 Million Untold Stories for the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.

Image Credit:  Ancestors of the Passage:  Journey Through the Middle Passage.  Instillation by Imna Arroyo. 2018.  Courtesy of the Artist.

A Print Sampler: Explore Printmaking Techniques

A Print Sampler: Explore Printmaking Techniques Through Polish Prints 1960-1990
March 22, 2018 to May 27, 2018

Opening reception: Wednesday April 18
5 pm – 7:30 pm.  Cash bar.
Free of charge and open to the public

This exhibition is geared towards teaching the viewer how to distinguish the various printmaking techniques–from mezzotint to woodcut,  silkscreen, linocut, etching, aquatint, and engraving–using a collection of Polish prints dating from 1960-1990. Clear explanations of the printmaking process accompanies each print.  Also on display are some of the tools used to produce the works on view.

The prints included in this exhibition were collected by Professor Emeritus Gus Mazzocca and are an intended gift to the Benton Museum. Mazzocca is responsible for creating an exchange program between the University of Connecticut and the art academy in Krakow, Poland in 1986. In the fall of 1984, printmaking professor Stanislaw Wejman from the Akademie Sztuk Pieknych w Krakowie (the art academy of Krakow, Poland) came to Storrs as a one-year sabbatical replacement in the UConn Department of Art and Art History. He brought with him a large roll of prints by colleagues from Krakow, which were eventually exhibited at the gallery space called “the Benton Connection” (now the Jorgensen Gallery) in the spring of 1985. At the end of his tenure here, Professor Wejman invited Professor Mazzocca to be a visiting artist at the Krakow academy. From this initial collaboration, a vibrant and fruitful exchange program developed between the two institutions. Over the years more than twelve visiting artists and scholars from Poland have been in residence at UConn, and eight different faculty members from UConn’s art department have participated in residencies in Krakow. The rich and varied collection of prints that accrued from this exchange is due to the generosity of the Polish artists represented.

Image Credits:
Anna Sobol-Wejman (Polish  b.1946), Kawałki całości / Bits and Pieces , 1985, Mezzotint, Courtesy of Gus Mazzocca.
Krzysztof Tamalsk i(Polish b. 1963), Martwa natura w rombie / Still life in a rhombus, 1989, Aquatint, Courtesy of Gus Mazzocca.

Close Third Person: MFA Studio Art Group Exhibition

April 3 – May 6, 2018

Opening Reception: Wednesday April 2018
5pm – 7:30pm
Free of charge and open to the public

Close Third Person highlights new work by the Studio Art MFA class of 2018. The exhibition features painting, drawing, printmaking, photography, ceramics, installation, and digital animation

The Master of Fine Arts in Studio Art program at the University of Connecticut is an intensive, multidisciplinary approach to the development of work in a wide range of media, including painting and drawing, photography and video, printmaking, sculpture and ceramics, and installation and performance. The three-year program focuses on the advancement of each student’s abilities as an artist. New graduate studio facilities in the historic Kirby Mill, situated on the banks of the Natchaug River, offer each student a fresh, well-lit space in a tranquil setting. Work in the studio and studio-based classes is combined with courses in art criticism, theory and history, and teaching to provide a context of ideas for developing students’ visions. Frequent contact with faculty members and visiting artists exposes the students to diverse viewpoints and practices. The Studio Art MFA program at UConn combines the creative excitement and intellectual energy of an art school and a major research university, providing students with the best of both worlds. Learn more at https://art.uconn.edu.

Artist Talks: Close Third Person
2018 Studio Art MFA candidates discuss their work.
Date: Wednesday, April 18, 3:00 to 5:00 pm.

Participating Artists:

Kelsey Miller
Statement
My art turned overtly political in January 2017 when I made letterpress signs for the Women’s March. Now the air is ever more clouded, fervent. Political opinion simmers continuously below the surface of the everyday and news advances at a rate faster than we can comprehend it. Belief, denial, complacency, and fear are emotional complexities that often seem at odds with scientific data. My work addresses the polarization of opinion and fact, informed by current events, archival documents, nationalism, and weather—a symbol of change and its real harbinger. The act of making resists the act of skimming, insisting that I absorb and respond to what has happened and is happening. My practice is a call to action, but also a pause, with the intention of offering a moment of reflection and sanctuary, in hope of finding better solutions for navigating this changing world.
Bio
Kelsey Miller was born on the island of Antigua and moved to the United States at the age of ten. She earned a BA in Studio Art from Wellesley College and spent four years as a chef on a sailboat before returning to land and pursuing her MFA at the University of Connecticut. Kelsey exhibits work nationally and internationally in solo, juried, and small group shows.

Jelena Prljević
Statement
As a storyteller, I use layering to build narratives. Using erasure, light, and the regenerative power of shadows I suggest time. Through process and material, my drawing serves as an invocation of place and reflects experiences of transition. Life is always in flux. Light and time give perspective, allowing change to unfold. Who defines whom? Does a final form exist or is its essence fluid? These questions are constant in my work. I champion the power of personal mark-making to build structures, erase them and build again to reveal life as it moves between light and shadow. My drawings and animations illuminate intimate observations grounding them in a present moment. Documentary, magical and sentimental, my work embraces the healing potential of storytelling through fragments of time, memory, and motion.
Bio
Jelena Prljević is an artist from Serbia whose practice exists within the intersection of drawing, animation, and installation. She holds a BFA from the Academy of Arts in Novi Sad, RS where she received several awards for painting and drawing. During this period, she participated in many national and international group exhibitions and collaborative projects. Jelena was awarded The Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Grant to support the development of her MFA thesis project.

Kaleigh Rusgrove
Statement
Narrative photography exists between fact and fiction. I use my camera to create false moments of importance and to record artifacts of questionable authenticity. I interlace the seen with the contrived. Together these elements build a convincing story; one leaving the viewer unable to find their footing in either reality or fantasy. This body of work, this story, focuses on current environmental issues. Climate change falls into the same strange in-between where my work exists. The reality of the situation is distressing, the political response both alarming and laughable, and information presented is often contorted. Through research I find inspiration for image-making, combining what I have witnessed with what I have imagined. In my practice, I have come to learn that the most frightening moments are not always born from the wildness of the mind, but exist in real life.
Bio
Kaleigh Rusgrove was born in Bristol, Connecticut and spent her formative years photographing her younger sister against a leaf-patterned bed sheet with a Kodak disposable camera. Moving on to a point-and-shoot as a teenager, she made a series of portraits of local troublemakers that earned her moderate praise among the other neighborhood kids. Kaleigh eventually settled on the solitude of photographing herself with a DSLR. At some point she decided to keep making pictures forever.

Erin Koch Smith
Statement
My work often starts with something abstract—like a wayward emotion or a decontextualized word or phrase. I like language that feels vaporous and substantial, as if a dream sat on your head. Narrative is important as an impetus to painting, but my paintings are not stories. They are plotless, hero-less, scattershot moments, birthed from boredom, loneliness, and heartache, operating within the welcome limitations of the language of painting. On canvas, there are no rules for gravity, and floating objects can be heavy as lead. I search for form through scraping and damaging the surface, playing with images of swan beds, mangled chairs, and rainbows the way I used to play with Barbie dolls as a kid, bashing their plastic parts together, trying to land on something tender.
Bio
Erin Koch Smith was born in Richmond, VA where she fell in love with drawing and painting at an early age. Her studio practice encompasses a variety of approaches including painting, drawing, installation, and performance. She earned a BFA in Painting and Printmaking from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2005, and after living in Ithaca, NY for a number of years, relocated with her family to pursue an MFA in Art at the University of Connecticut.  

Claire Stankus
Statement
Tidy piles of studio scraps, flowers on the floor, puzzle pieces, and birthday cakes are recurring features in my work. I collect seemingly banal and discarded objects and paint my daily encounters with them; expressing that even a pile of junk is worth painting. While some paintings are made directly from observation, others start from photographs of quickly-passed moments. I use casual marks, flattened fields of color, and invented line and shadow to break down the recognizable into something ambiguous yet familiar. The remaining abstraction is where we may find unexpected humor or joy. I want each painting to become something odd or sweet and give viewers a second chance to spend more time with an experience they may have overlooked.
Bio
Claire Stankus was born and raised in the suburbs of Albany, NY and earned a BFA in Painting from Syracuse University in 2012. She has attended artist residencies at the Chautauqua Institution, Vermont Studio Center, and Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild. Claire was recently interviewed and featured on the podcast Studio Break.

Acknowledgements
We would like to express our gratitude to our families, friends, faculty, and peers who have provided continuous support and guidance over these three years.
We would also like to thank UConn’s Design Center for the creation of this catalog and accompanying materials.

Living in Frames: Gendered Spaces

October 19 – December 17, 2017

Opening Reception – Thursday, October 19, 2017,  4:30-6:30 pm.
Cash bar, hors d’oeuvres, & live music by “Souls of Zion” playing original and cover Roots Reggae 

Remarks by Françoise Dussart at 5:30

Gender and space are the central concepts of this exhibition. Gendered identities are confined to public or intimate spaces and monitored through palpable gazing techniques.  The culture of the gaze seems invisible and natural, at times, making us complacent about how inequalities are created. It is important to pay attention to the ways in which spaces are embodied and how boundaries can be created by the movement of conforming or defiant actors.

The representations of such movements captured in paintings and photographs force us to ask the following types of questions:

Who is looking?
Who is being looked at?
What social positions are framed in these artworks?
What is visible and what is invisible?
How do these positions change the spaces?
How do such frames reinforce stereotypes?

This exhibition was curated by students enrolled in Anthropological Perspectives on Art taught by Professor Françoise Dussart (Spring 2017).

The student co-curators are: Stephanie Abadom; David Attolino; Sarah Castleberry; Hannah Einsiedel; Alexa Every; Jocelyn Hernandez; Esther Kang; David Lagace; Kevin Mendoza; Conor Merchant; Hayden Miller; Beth Park; Bruno Perosino; Catherine Ramirez Mejla; Lily Shih; Mackenzie Tarczali; Abdul Vanadze; and Daphnée Yiannaki.

The William Benton Museum of Art is proud to collaborate with students and faculty to provide engaging learning experiences.

Felicia Meyer Marsh, Interior, n/d, Oil on Masonite

Felicia Meyer Marsh, Interior, n/d, Oil on Masonite, William Benton Museum of Art, 1978.8.10

Nicholas Vasilieff, Woman With White Dog, c 1946, Oil on canvas

Nicholas Vasilieff, Woman With White Dog, c 1946, Oil on canvas, William Benton Museum of Art, 1979.10

Henry Mosler, Spring, 1909, Oil on Shaped canvas, Henry Mosler, Summer, 1909, Oil on Shaped canvas, Henry Mosler, Winter, 1909, Oil on Shaped canvas

Henry Mosler, Spring, 1909, Oil on Shaped canvas, William Benton Museum of Art, 1991.10.3a
Henry Mosler, Summer, 1909, Oil on Shaped canvas, William Benton Museum of Art, 1991.10.3b
Henry Mosler, Winter, 1909, Oil on Shaped canvas, William Benton Museum of Art, 1991.10.3c

KK Kozik, Dress Up, 2000, Oil on Linen

KK Kozik, Dress Up, 2000, Oil on Linen, William Benton Museum of Art, 2003.22

 

Unfiltered: An Exhibition About Water

August 31December 17, 2017

Opening Reception – Thursday, August 31, 2017,  4:30-7:00 pm.

Unfiltered explores water as a universal concern and which touches specifically on the themes of: the power of water and the changing landscape; water pollution and biology; water scarcity; climate change; the physical properties of water; and the Connecticut River. The exhibition attempts to place on view works of art which provide visual launching points for discussions about these important water-based issues.

This exhibition is organized in collaboration with the departments of Natural Resources and the Environment; Civil and Environmental Engineering; and Marine Sciences; Institute of Water Resources; as well as the CLEAR, CT Sea Grant, and CT NEMO Programs at the University of Connecticut, Storrs

The following artists are included in this exhibition: contemporary artists Diana Barker Price; Will Sillin; Leif Nilsson; Stacy Levy; Ravi Agarwal; Vibha Galhotra; Kate Cordsen; Susan Hoffman Fishman; Jamie Murphy; Rani Jha, Atul Bhalla, and Michael Singer as well as nineteenth- and early twentieth-century artists: Lionel Feininger; Frederick Judd Waugh; Reginald Marsh; Arthur B. Davies; Gerrit Hondius; Martin Johnson Heade; Fairfield Porter; Maurice Prendergast; Henry Ward Ranger; and Robert Motherwell.

A portion of this exhibition will travel to the University of Connecticut regional campuses in Avery Point, Groton, and UConn Stamford.

See what the Hartford Courant says about the exhibition.

Related Event:  Upstream/Downstream – New Delhi conceptual artist Vibha Galhotra talks about her work.

Diana Barker Price, "Ornament"

Diana Barker Price, “Ornament,” photograph, 12×21”, 2017. Courtesy of the artist

Susan Hoffman Fishman, "Water Wars #2"

Susan Hoffman Fishman, “Water Wars #2,” 24 x 48″ mixed media. Courtesy of the artist

 

Marking 35 Years: The Work of Deborah Dancy

August 31October 15, 2017

Opening Reception – Thursday, August 31, 2017,  4:30-7:00 pm.
FREE & Open to the Public.
Professor Dancy will give a Gallery Talk about her work at 4:30pm.

A retrospective exhibition.  Recently retired from the University, Deborah Dancy was on the faculty in the Department of Art and Art History at the University of Connecticut since 1981.  Deborah Dancy is a painter whose abstract work describes odd invented spaces and stacked structures. Subtle tonalities and fragmented lines become descriptive markers in work that suggests familiar yet ambiguous spaces. Dancy works in a variety of mediums, large-scale oil paintings, mixed media on paper, printmaking and artists’ books. She has received a number of significant honors and awards, including: a John Simon Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, Connecticut Commission of the Arts Artist Grant, New England Foundation for the Arts/NEA Individual Artist Grant, Nexus Press Artist Book Project Award, Visual Studies Artist Book Project Residency Grant, The American Antiquarian Society’s William Randolph Hearst Fellowship, YADDO Fellow, and Women’s Studio Workshop Residency Grants and a Connecticut Book Award Illustration Nominee for her mixed media work in the book, The Freedom Business.

She has exhibited in numerous museums and galleries and her work is represented by Sears-Peyton Gallery, New York, and N’Namdi Contemporary, Miami.

For more information about Deborah, visit http://www.deborahdancy.com.
The Thomas J. Dodd Research Center has shared a 1986 interview with Deborah Dancy from their collection:
The Black Experience in the Arts Collection

Deborah Dancy, “Libby”
Deborah Dancy, “Libby” painting, 72” x 120”, 1998, courtesy of the artist