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'Collaborations'

Barry McNamara
01/19/2011
Colleges frequently display joint exhibits by their faculty members, but the current show in Monmouth College’s Len G. Everett gallery comes with a twist.

“Collaborations,” an integrated faculty art exhibition, is on display through Feb. 11 in the gallery, which is located on the upper level of Hewes Library. There will be a reception for the artists on Jan. 21 at 3 p.m., and a gallery talk that day at 4 p.m. in the Barnes Electronic Classroom, which is located on the library’s lower level.

“For this show, the art faculty collaborated with someone from another discipline,” explained assistant professor or art Tyler Hennings. “This forced us to do something different, something outside of our normal body of work.”

Monmouth art faculty members with works on display include Brian Baugh, who collaborated with assistant professor of chemistry Brad Sturgeon; Stephanie Baugh, who worked with assistant professor of theatre Janeve West; Hennings, who collaborated with biology professor Ken Cramer; Stacy Lotz, who worked together with associate professor of philosophy and religious studies Hannah Schell, and Schell’s husband, Martin Holland; Mary Phillips, who collaborated with music lecturer Garold Fowler; and Cheryl Meeker, who made stoneware with several MC students.

“Brad Sturgeon and I are collaborating on a project for the Warren Achievement Center,” said Baugh. “I have sculpted a bust of President Obama for their series of presidents from Illinois. Warren Achievement will cast resin copies. Brad, who received funding through the Wells Foundation, has acquired the equipment to bronze the casts that are taken from my sculpture. These will be manufactured and sold by Warren Achievement.”

Conversations about West’s work developing conceptual approaches for the upcoming Monmouth College production of Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” led to Stephanie Baugh’s portion of the exhibit.

“This artwork isn’t as much about ‘The Tempest’ as it is an exploration of the parallels between different modes of making art – in this case two-dimensional visual art and theatre,” said Baugh.

Hennings forged his expertise in art with Cramer’s main research interest, the brown recluse spider.

“Our display is drawings of three different views of the male reproductive transfer organ – the palp or pedipalp – in two different species of recluse spiders,” Hennings explained.

Phillips’s series of four “seasonal angels,” painted in watercolor inks on canvasette, is titled “Suite del Angel,” and is done in collaboration with the music of Argentinian composer Astor Piazolla.

Lotz’s contribution focuses on “lost industries” from her hometown of Galesburg, including Adams Pressed Metals, Bixby-Zimmer, Butler Manufacturing, National Seal Corporation, Gales Products/OMC, Admiral/Maytag and Gates Rubber.

“Memorials or memorial sites are commonly defined as works or sites that are designed to keep remembrance alive,” noted Lotz. “In collaborating with Professor Schell and Martin Holland about their current work and research regarding memorials, I began to think about the many conceptual ideas associated with loss and with life.”

She explained that memorials typically focus on significant events and most often the loss of people’s lives associated with that event.

“It seemed important to focus my ideas on events that I was familiar with – the loss of industry in my hometown,” Lotz said. “The maquettes presented here conceptually address the loss of industry in Galesburg between 1984 and 2005. The abandoned building walls left behind remind us of the spaces once occupied by a forgotten work force in this once vital industrial small town.”

The Everett Gallery is open Mondays through Thursdays, 7:30 a.m. to midnight; Fridays, 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sundays, noon to midnight.