Fine Arts

Blaffer bids farewell to summer exhibitions


In his first solo exhibition displayed from May 18 through August 17, Texas sculptor Andy Coolquitt used trash to create art.   /Monica Tso/The Daily Cougar




Summer break has reached its end, students are preparing for another semester, and the Blaffer Arts Museum is bringing in fresh faces for the fall and bidding a formal farewell to last semester’s exhibits.

Contemporary artists like Texas-native Andy Coolquitt and Pamela Fraser both showed their work in Blaffer this summer for the first time.

An international sculptor, Coolquitt commandeered the museum’s first floor for his show “Attainable Excellence,” mixing retro light displays with an assortment indiscriminate debris.

At the same time, Fraser’s “The Fourth Dimension was Ha-Ha, in Other Words, That it is Laughter” occupied the second floor with a series of whimsical paintings. Her approach, similar in many ways to constructivism, experimented with color theory and linguistic anthropology to create graphic and iconic pieces.

Computer science graduate student Tejas Shah said he admired this new solo exhibition.

“I think Fraser deals with very simple figures,” Shah said, “but the most amazing part is that she is using different colors.”

Coolquitt’s curator, Rachel Hooper, held her first professional lecture and Q-and-A, presenting her curatorial work in “Jsut That Way,”  which enhanced the audience’s understanding and appreciation of Coolquitt’s unconventional methods and materials.

Blaffer educational curator Katherine Veneman said Hooper’s discussion provided an additional dimension.

“Her talk shed a lot of light on the exhibit,” Veneman said. “It helps all the visitors and viewers.”

These two exhibitions, which closed mid-August, brought Blaffer’s summer workshops to fruition.

A $4,500 grant from The Edward and Betty Marcus Institute for Digital Education in the Arts helped the museum revamp its tours with the integration of new iPads to allow guests to listen to the artists and curators and immerse themselves in the creative experience.

Blaffer’s reputation for fostering avant-garde contemporary art has attracted several visiting lecturers, scholars and performers.

Moving forward into the next season, Blaffer patrons can anticipate the Sept. 6 opening of “Feast: Radical Hospitality in Contemporary Art,” which will feature 25 distinguished artists including Marina Abramović, Lee Mingwei and Tom Marioni.

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