Sacred Sisters: In Praise of Art & Poetry

October 22-December 20, 2015

Sacred Sisters is a collaboration between visual artist Holly Trostle Brigham and award-winning poet Marilyn Nelson. Brigham’s paintings depict eight nuns from 12th-century Germany, 15th-century Italy, 16th-century Spain, 17th-century Mexico, 18th-century Japan, and 19th-century America and Brazil, each of whom was an artist or writer. While Brigham’s portraits imagine the nuns in the midst of their creative work, Nelson gives voice to each figure through a poem phrased as a prayer. Collectively, the works in the show explore issues relating to gender and creativity, religion and history, and the connections between the visual and literary arts.

Hildegard, 2011,watercolor on paper, © Holly Trostle Brigham, photographed by Ken Ek

Hildegard, 2011,watercolor on paper, © Holly Trostle Brigham, photographed by Ken Ek


Dead Hildegard, 2011, watercolor on paper, © Holly Trostle Brigham, photographed by Ken Ek

Dead Hildegard, 2011, watercolor on paper, © Holly Trostle Brigham, photographed by Ken Ek


The 49th Annual Art Department Faculty Show

October 22-December 20, 2015

This yearly exhibition highlights the work of the permanent faculty in the Art and Art History Department of the School of Fine Arts. A variety of media are featured, including 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.

Alison Paul, Equinox

Dotted Dialogues: Contemporary Indigenous Art from Central Australia

September 1 – October 11, 2015

Dotted Dialogues features contemporary paintings and sculptures from Aboriginal communities in Central Australia. In the early 1980s, new governmental policies encouraged Indigenous communities to partake in various initiatives meant to counteract the erosion of Aboriginal cultural identity. The traditional iconography of these works tells ancestral stories with the hope of reconnecting Indigenous communities with their ancestors, land, and cultural heritage, while simultaneously sharing it all with others. This exhibition was curated in its entirety by the students in the University of Connecticut, Spring 2015 Anthropological Perspectives in Art class, under the direction of Professor Françoise Dussart.

Opening reception at 4:30pm on Thursday, September 3rd.


Photograph by Françoise Dussart

Speak Up! Speak Out! Bread & Puppet Theater

May 28 – October 11, 2015

Opening Reception May 28, 4:30-7 pm

Speak Up! Speak Out! Bread and Puppet Theater presents puppets ranging in height up to 20 feet, masks, paintings, and other works from Peter Schumann’s Bread & Puppet Theater, which has left an indelible stamp on the world of theater and the American cultural landscape over the past half century.

This exhibition focuses on Bread & Puppet’s activist responses to fundamental political and social issues that have defined American culture over the past 50 years, including the war in Vietnam; Central American turmoil and Liberation Theology; the politics of black liberation as represented by the Attica prison uprising and the M.O.V.E. family in Philadelphia; opposition to nuclear weapons and nuclear power; and the war in Iraq.

Since Peter Schumann began his theater on New York City’s Lower East Side in the 1963, Bread & Puppet’s combination of modernist art and performance sensibilities with the desire to address critical social and political issues has created a new form of American puppetry capable of stunning beauty and provocative questioning, in contexts ranging from city streets, town squares, and traditional theater spaces to the expansive landscape of the theater’s home in Glover, Vermont. Writing of Bread & Puppet, the poet Grace Paley asked, “Why not speak the truth directly? Just speak out! Speak up! Speak to! Why not?”

Image Credit from Home Page:  Peter Schumann, Yama, the King of Hell, and the Birdcatcher, from The Birdcatcher in Hell.  2013.  Photo by Massimo Schuster.


Public Programs: The 2015 National Puppetry Festival of the Puppeteers of America will be celebrated at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, CT August 10-16, 2015 with more than 26 national and international performances, 30 professional workshops and master classes, 6 exhibitions, a parade, outdoor spectacles and many unanticipated events across the UConn campus and in Storrs Center. Visit online at nationalpuppetryfestival2015.com.
Note: Museum is Closed July 3 – 6 & August 16 – 31.


Peter Schumann, Mother Earth puppet. 1990s. Paper maché. Photo by John Bell

Remembering the Vietnam War

April 14 – August 9, 2015

The Benton marks the 40th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War with an exhibition of American works of the era — from posters to photographs, prints, and UConn ephemera that convey the anti-war sentiments that were held by many. Featured are works by Nancy Spero, LeRoy Henderson, and Douglas Huebler, anti-war posters by Seymour Chwast and Peter Max, and student-produced posters illustrating the strong feelings that prevailed on the UConn campus.

This exhibition is a collaboration between the Benton and the University’s Asian and Asian American Studies Institute. 

Many of the posters included in the exhibition including the images below are from the Poras Collection, Alternative Press Collection, University Photographs Collection. Archives & Special Collections at the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center, University of Connecticut Libraries.


LeRoy Henderson, Anti-War, Anti-Nixon Rally, Washington, DC, 1973. Gelatin silver print. Courtesy of the June Kelly Gallery, NY.

Uncle Sam Now Playing Magician, Don Seebach, 1971
Uncle Sam Now Playing Magician, Don Seebach, 1971
March Against Death, Picasso, 1969
March Against Death, Picasso, 1969

The 2015 Master of Fine Arts Exhibition: A World Still in the Making

April 14­–May 10, 2015

Opening Reception: Wednesday April 22, 4 – 6:30 pm

The 2015 Master of Fine Arts Exhibition: A World Still in the Making is the annual culminating experience in the Master of Fine Arts program at UConn. This year’s exhibition presents the works of Claire Coleman (printmaker and photographer), Elliott Katz (sculptor and photographer), Cynthia Melendez (photographer), Georgia Polkey (mixed media artist and painter), and Linda Smith (photographer and video artist).

The exhibition title the students have chosen, A World Still in the Making, is inspired by the book Women Artists: The Creative Process by bell hooks.

Linda Smith, 2014-15

In the Paint: Basketball in Contemporary Art

January 22 –March 29, 2015

The exhibition will feature artworks in a variety of media that explore the world of basketball.  Concepts of performance, competition, branding, and spectacle are central to the work of contemporary artists who engage with the sport as subject matter.  Their work reveals structural similarities between the spheres of athletics and art, where athletes and artists alike are constantly engrossed in practice, promotion, and play to refine their skills and dominate their chosen fields.

In addition to highlighting the basketball-inspored artwork of contemporary artists, In the Paint aims to celebrate the history of the sport at UConn.  The exhibition’s two goals align in the two-channel video installation One on One by Janet Biggs, which features alumnae Morgan Valley (2000-2004) and Maria Conlon (2004).

The present overview only briefly describes what promises to be a powerful, rich, and engaging visual experience with broad public appeal.  In the Paint will add new dimensions to the ways of seeing the sport.


Stacked Basketball nets
Awol Erizku, “Oh what a feeling, aw, fuck it, I want a Trillion,” 2014 Mixed media with seven regulation size basketball rims, 24 karat gold plated nets, and Spalding NBA Brooklyn Nets team basketball. Courtesy of the artist and Hasted Kraeutler Gallery, NYC
Two basketball players jumping to put basketball into a noose
Hank Willis Thomas. “And One”, 2011 From the series: Strange FruitDigital chromogenic color print. Museum purchase.


Sweet Sensations: UConn Reads The Omnivores Dilemma

January 22 –March 29, 2015

Exhibition complimenting the 4th Annual UConn Reads.

Since its publication, Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals (2006) has sparked a national conversation about American ways of eating and their impact on our health and environment. With our passion for the environment, health, and human rights, the UConn community is ready for a wide-ranging debate about the culture, politics, and science of eating.

On view at the museum is Sweet Sensations, an exhibition of works portraying sinfully seductive foods juxtaposed with book excerpts about additives to the American food systems.

“Heavenly Donuts”, 2014, by Peter Anton, Mixed media. Courtesy of the artist and UNIX Gallery, NYC
Peter Anton, “Heavenly Donuts”, 2014 Mixed media. Courtesy of the artist and UNIX Gallery, NYC
Work by artist Peter Anton, entitled Jubilant Assortment, dated 2014. Mixed media. Courtesy of the artist and UNIX Gallery, NYC
Peter Anton, Jubilant Assortment, 2014. Mixed media. Courtesy of the artist and UNIX Gallery, NYC