December 10, 2008
WOOSTER, Ohio — The College of Wooster Art Museum will bring the global HIV/AIDS crisis closer to home when it presents a pair of exhibitions in Ebert Art Center (1220 Beall Ave.) beginning next month. “Body Maps: The Bambanani Women of Cape Town, South Africa,” a series of life-size drawings that illustrate what it is like to live with HIV and AIDS, will be presented in the Sussel Gallery, while “GalleryLAB,” an interactive exhibition that will evolve weekly, will be on display in the Burton D. Morgan Gallery. The two exhibitions, which are free and open to the public, run Jan. 13 through March 1.
Body Maps, a traveling exhibition organized by David Krut Projects New York,grew out of the Memory Box Project in Cape Town, South Africa. It was developed to assist with the emotional devastation of those facing almost certain death from AIDS prior to the introduction of anti-retroviral drugs in South Africa in 2003. The original 14 participants worked with Cape Town artist Jane Soloman to produce contour drawings of their bodies as a framework on which to represent the physical and emotional effects of the virus. It was these women who founded the Bambanani Women’s Group, which continues to help others dealing with HIV/AIDS. The word bambanani comes from the Xhosa word for “stand together and unite.” These women initially shared their stories through a community outreach program initiated by the AIDS and Society Research Unit of the University of Cape Town and Médecins Sans Frontières.
GalleryLAB will feature projects produced by a class (The Global HIV/AIDS Crisis: An Interdisciplinary Inquiry) that will be team-taught during the upcoming spring semester by Shirley Huston-Findley (theatre and dance), Amber Garcia (psychology), Sharon Lynn (biology), and John Rudisill (philosophy). Students will create and display visual works based on lectures and class discussions about the biological, philosophical,and psychological aspects of HIV/AIDS. Projects may include photomontage, three dimensional objects, and self-portraits.
“The entire GalleryLAB will be a work in progress,” said Huston-Findley. “The students, with the assistance of Jaime Carrejo (visiting assistant professor of art), will work on their projects throughout the run of the exhibition, display them in the gallery, and when the three projects are completed, the students will self-curate an exhibition and install it for the closing reception on Feb. 26.
“Our goal is to provide an opportunity for students to think about the global HIV/AIDS crisis in a very different light and provide a venue in which to express themselves in a creative way,” added Huston-Findley. GalleryLAB will also include a video booth where visitors can record a response to questions about social stigma and other relevant topics as well as a timeline of global HIV/AIDS, developed by teaching assistant Charlotte Castle, a senior who worked with children in Malawi during the past two summers. In 2007, she spent time educating children in rural and urban communities through World Camp for Kids, where she became aware of the magnitude of the HIV/AIDS crisis. She returned in 2008 to conduct research for her senior Independent Study project, which deals with issues about HIV and AIDS through paintings and educational illustrations. During her second visit, she asked the children to illustrate their feelings about HIV/AIDS and those who are afflicted. Those illustrations will also be part of the GalleryLAB exhibition. “I am looking forward to sharing my experience with the class,” said Castle, a studio art major from Lexington, Ky. “It is my hope that people will look at those who are HIV positive in a different light. By learning what other people think, I will better be able to mold the educational aspect of my I.S.”
Kitty McManus Zurko, director/curator of The College of Wooster Art Museum will lead a Gallery Walk of both exhibitions on Thursday, Jan. 15, from 12-1 p.m. There will also be a Faculty/Student Roundtable discussion on Wednesday, Feb. 11, at 7 p.m. in the Sussel Gallery. On Thursday, Feb. 19, at 7 p.m., The Wooster Chorus and Singers, directed by Gregory W. Brown, will present a Music in the Galleries concert, and the exhibitions will conclude with a closing reception on Thursday, February 26, from 6-8 p.m.
The 2008-2009 exhibition season will conclude with “Molecules that Matter,” which opens March 24 and continues through May 10. In this exhibition, organized by the Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery, Skidmore College, large-scale molecular models, contemporary art by nationally recognized artists, and cultural artifacts combine to reflect humankind’s capacity to understand and reshape matter at the molecular level.
The College of Wooster Art Museum is open Tuesday through Friday from 10:30a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 1-5 p.m. All receptions, lectures, exhibitions, and performances are free and open to the public. Group and class tours are also available. These exhibitions and related events are supported, in part, by the Ohio Arts Council with state tax dollars "to encourage economic growth, educational excellence, and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans." The GalleryLAB exhibition is also supported, in part, by a grant from The Burton T. Morgan Foundation.
For more information, call 330-263-2388 or visit the CWAM website.
1189 Beall Avenue, Wooster, Ohio 44691. (330) 263-2000
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