Pato Hebert, Talking in Circles (2021). Mirrored acrylic.
“College art museums offer analytic observational skills that have applicability to the advancement of almost any liberal arts field”JR. Stromberg, “College Art Museums As The Crossroads,” in A Handbook for Academic Museums: Beyond Exhibitions and Education, eds. Stefanie S. Jandl and Mark S. Gold (Boston: Museums Etc., 2012), 6.
The Pitzer College Art Galleries’ mandate is education and advocacy through the Pitzer College core values—social responsibility, intercultural understanding, interdisciplinary learning, student engagement, and environmental sustainability. These values are enacted through the Galleries’ exhibitions and programming, its partnerships with faculty, and its collaborations with Pitzer’s academic centers in support of student engagement across multiple disciplines.
Multidisciplinary approaches to research and teaching can provide opportunities to bridge disciplinary boundaries and to encourage the development of new forms of knowledge. To expand upon these efforts, each year the Galleries endeavor to assist one or more faculty members in developing an exhibition linked to pedagogical goals—classes, co-curricular events, and speaker series. These faculty-driven exhibitions can function as powerful instructional tools by providing alternative lenses through which a subject may be examined. Regardless of the disciplinary focus, this image- and object-based approach can improve critical observational and interpretative skills. By encouraging experimentation across disciplines, these faculty-driven exhibitions can gesture towards new ways of thinking and of transferring knowledge. These methodologies can enhance student learning and create meaningful classroom experiences.
Proposals for Spring 2024 Faculty-Driven Exhibitions
Each year we make space for one faculty member (or team), to develop an exhibition to be used in concert with their teaching or other co-curricular events. These exhibitions take place on an annual basis during the spring semester and are usually sited in the Hinshaw Gallery, in the Grove House, from mid-February to the end of March.
For additional information on submitting a proposal for an Interdisciplinary Faculty-Driven Exhibition, view Faculty-Driven Exhibition Proposal.
Faculty-Driven Exhibition #4
David Goldblatt: The Angel of History
February 28 – March 25, 2023
David Goldblatt: The Angel of History derives inspiration from Walter Benjamin’s essay Theses on the Philosophy of History (1940). The exhibition presents a work of sixteen letterpress on paper prints by Visiting Professor of History David Goldblatt, which reflects on section IX of Benjamin’s essay. The sixteen prints were created at The Letterpress Collective in Bristol, England, in 2019.
For full exhibition information, view David Goldblatt: The Angel of History.
Faculty-Driven Exhibition #3
Remembering Jaider Esbell
Curated by Daniel Segal, Jean M. Pitzer Professor of Anthropology and Professor of History
February 14 – March 25, 2023
Artist-Activist Jaider Esbell (1979-2021) was artist-in-resident at Pitzer in 2013. Esbell was born and raised in the Macuxi community in the northern Amazon, in the now legally demarcated territory, Terra Indigena Raposa Serra do Sol. At the end of his residency at Pitzer, Esbell donated Woman with a Basket of Fruit (pictured above) to the College in appreciation of the faculty, students, and staff he had worked with at Pitzer.
About the artist:
An Indigenous Macuxi, Esbell became one of the most prominent Indigenous artists, of any historical era, in South America. Esbell died in 2021, while exhibiting at the 34th Biennial of São Paolo and shortly after several of his works were acquired by The Centre Pompidou, Paris. In 2022, a large selection of Esbell’s work was shown at the 59th International Art Exhibition of the Venice Biennale: The Milk of Dreams, curated by Cecilia Alemani.
During his residency, he co-curated the exhibition Cattle in the Amazon with Daniel Segal, the Jean M. Pitzer Professor of Anthropology and Professor of History at the College. Esbell also co-taught a course on Macuxi myths with Pitzer anthropology professor Lêda Martins, and they co-produced, with their students, a collaborative artwork illustrating key Macuxi myths.
Read Jaider Esbell’s obituary in Artforum: https://bit.ly/3jv8gLn
Professor Daniel Segal extends his gratitude to IGLAS, the Agnes Jackson Fund of the Campus Life Committee, and the Stu McConnell Memorial Fund for their generous support in funding this event, as well as Pitzer’s Study Abroad and International Programs Office, Pitzer’s Portuguese language faculty, Juanita Aristizabal and Joana Grande (2022-23 Fulbright Language Fellow), and the extraordinary Pitzer College Art Galleries team for all their hard work in realizing this exhibition and reception.
For full exhibition information, view Remembering Jaider Esbell.
Faculty-Driven Exhibition #2
Pato Hebert: Lingering
(with a collaborative work by Sarah Gilbert)
Curated by Associate Professor in Media Studies, Ruti Talmor
January 22 – April 16, 2022
Lingering addresses the COVID-19 condition of long-hauling, in which ongoing COVID symptoms persist well after the initial infection. The exhibition traces the ongoing process of recovery as a site for healing, creativity, and questioning, and the frustrations of seeking care for the varied and extensive symptoms of long-term illness.
For full exhibition information view Pato Hebert: Lingering.
Faculty-Driven Exhibition #1: The Work of Yusef Pierce, Curated by Associate Professor Barbara Junisbai
This virtual exhibition of paintings by Yusef Pierce ’21, which displays works referenced as both “Black Art” and “Prison Art,” is situated within Pitzer College’s academic emphasis on social justice issues and intercultural understanding, and serves to significantly enhance the college’s learning goals and educational mission. The phenomenon of mass incarceration in the U.S. today is a major focus in the movement for social justice. Involvement in so-called “Prison Art” is an often overlooked, yet crucial means for better understanding the modern carceral experience. An exhibition of “Prison Art” has the unique ability to reach all members of the Pitzer community, including those of us not already involved in the Justice Education Initiative, with a powerful message: The people inside California’s prisons have something valuable to contribute.
One of the main ways for non-white and non-mainstream cultures to find appreciation and acceptance by the larger social consciousness is through the arts. Visual art, more specifically, has a way of arresting one’s attention and transcending cultural boundaries. Through the curation of this exhibition of works by one of the college’s students, our aim is to fulfill the Pitzer core value of intercultural understanding in a direct and personal way.
I was introduced to Yusef Pierce’s work in fall 2019, during our first Inside-Out class together. That particular day, students were working in small groups, peer reviewing one another’s draft papers describing “my college journey.” Yusef’s story revealed a series of experiences that he had in the classroom during his incarceration. The part I most vividly remember is Yusef’s description of his first art lesson, when it soon became apparent to everyone in the class that Yusef had a gift. No one could believe he had never studied art or practiced drawing; it all flowed so easily and naturally from him. He himself was surprised by what he was able to produce. To enhance his narrative, Yusef brought in three of his works to share. As the paintings made their way around the room, each and every one of us who was present that day was yet again reminded of the most powerful lesson that we took from our time together: “We are all much more than we are told. We are all much more beautiful.”* What a privilege it is to behold and revel in the experience, knowledge, power, and beauty that we all bring to our communal spaces—yet, how often do we build in time and trust for these to be appreciated?
*Eduardo Galeano, https://www.theguardian.com/books/2013/jul/23/eduardo-galeano-children-days-interview, and cited in Bettina L. Love, We Want to Do More than Survive (Beacon Press 2019).
– Barbara Junisbai, Professor of Organizational Studies
For full exhibition information view Faculty-Driven Exhibition #1: Yusef Pierce.