Tag Archives: Mary S. Byrd Gallery of Art

Faculty exhibition delights

Art lovers from GRU and throughout the community, including President Brooks Keel, packed the Mary S. Byrd Gallery of Art on the Summerville Campus last Thursday to experience the color and creativity of the annual Art Faculty Exhibition.

The exhibition, which included a scholarship presentation by gallery namesake Mary Byrd, followed a talk by faculty members Kristin Casaletto, Brian Rust, Scott Thorp and Janice Williams Whiting.

Drawing considerable attention, and not just because of the artist’s illuminated skirt and golden stockings, was a piece by Casaletto, who assembled her body weight in Twinkies.

A commentary on minimalist sculpture that echoed both pyramids and the gold bars at Fort Knox, Casaletto had the good fortune of starting the piece just before Hostess declared bankruptcy.

“The bankruptcy of an American icon,” she said. “I thought, ‘That’s even better.’”

Having amassed more than 1,000 Twinkies at the height of the nationwide run on the cream-filled cakes, she found herself fielding calls from interested fans hoping to buy up part of her supply. Rather than selling them – or eating them herself – Casaletto shellacked them instead.

The show continues until September 17.


Faculty art showcased in new GRU Byrd Gallery exhibit

Faculty in the Georgia Regents University Department of Art will present at the first exhibit of the academic year at The Mary S. Byrd Gallery of Art opening Thursday, Aug. 27.

The Mary S. Byrd Gallery of Art is a free art gallery open to the public on the Summerville campus of GRU. From Aug. 27 through Sept. 17, the space on the first floor of Washington Hall will feature works of art created by members of the GRU Department of Art faculty.

The GRU Annual Faculty Art Show 2015 is a unique opportunity to showcase the talents of GRU’s faculty, said Scott Thorp, chair of the Art Department and interim director of the gallery.

“With an expansive range of media exploration and artistic expression, these works reflect the inspiring creative abilities of our faculty,” Thorp said. “We’d like to invite the GRU community and Augusta community to join us for the opening, which includes a series of brief lectures and gallery reception. It’s a wonderful space and a hidden gem on GRU’s campus.”

Both events are open to the public. The artist talk featuring Kristen Casaletto, Brian Rust, Scott Thorp and Janice Williams M. Whiting is 4:30-6 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 27, in University Hall, room 170.  The opening reception is 6-7 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 27, in the gallery.

For more information, see gru.edu/byrd.

Art talk opens Juried Student Exhibition at Mary S. Byrd Gallery of Art this Thursday

Renowned artists Tom Crowther and Philip Morsberger will kick off the 2015 GRU Juried Art Student Exhibition award ceremony with an art talk at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 19, in Room 170 of University Hall.

The GRU Juried Student Exhibition 2015 features 34 works by 17 artists in a range of mediums, such as painting, drawing, photography, collage, sculpture, ceramics, and fiber. The invited jurors, Karen Strelecki, director of the Steffen Thomas Museum of Art, and Kristi Jilson, director of the Westobou Festival, made this selection from close to 300 submitted works created by GRU’s talented student artists.

The exhibition will be on display at the Mary S. Byrd Gallery of Art from Feb. 17-March 2.

An opening reception in the gallery will follow the art talk and award ceremony.

The event is free and open to the public.

For more information, click here.

Immersive installation exhibit to open at Byrd Gallery

Guaranteed: the first thing you notice at artist Ben Sloat’s installation exhibit at the Mary S. Byrd Gallery of Art on the Summerville Campus won’t be the last thing you notice.

Sloat, a New York-born artist whose recent exhibitions include those in Boston, Nashville, and Berlin, has earned a reputation as an exciting young artist whose work is tough to describe.

“The One in the Center Cannot See the Whole,” which opens at the Byrd Gallery on Thursday, Jan. 15, with an artist reception from 5:30-6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 22, is a study in light and color played out against projected photographs of modern-day Beijing and a continuous, highly detailed wallpaper depicting a commercialized and highly idealized version of Chinese history that wraps around the gallery. The result is the creation of an arresting, vibrant, and constantly changing immersive environment.

The longer you look, the more you see.

“Making slight adjustments of light from multiple sources rapidly shifts what the piece does,” Sloat explained while installing the exhibit. “If you’re in an immersive environment like the ocean, it’s not just a visual experience – you’re aware of the texture of the sand; you’re aware of the wind and the changing light from the day and the way the waves crash.”

The question, he said, is how do you create an artistic experience like that, something that is more full bodied and affects more senses than just the eye?

Judging by the number of inquisitive people sneaking a peek through the glass door, his work has answered the question.

“I like the collaboration between the artist and the viewer and the fact that the viewer has to really participate,” he said.

According to Liselott Johnsson, Director of the Mary S. Byrd Gallery, Sloat’s work is something not seen before in Georgia.

“Most galleries avoid installations because they have so many complex components,” she said. “But I think art is risk taking, so if we as a university gallery don’t show our students that you need to take risks and go beyond, what would they do? They would conform.”

Sloat, who was also preparing for a show in Copenhagen, said he was enjoying his time at GRU.

“It’s really exciting to have work at a university because it’s about generating new ideas and having a forum for students to feel empowered,” he said.

Taking time during the installation process, Sloat worked with art students and seemed to draw energy from their questions.

“I’ve gotten a lot of really good questions from the students,” he said. “It’s all on their terms, and I think it’s really important to have the art be very open. Nobody needs to have any kind of art background to connect with the piece.”

In order to connect, however, a modern audience has to be convinced to slow down, which Sloat admitted isn’t always easy.

“In 2015, people are so used to the virtual experience of something, but when they are confronted with something physical, I think they have a kind of glorious experience,” he said. “To be immersed in something actual, I think, has more and more credibility and value in people’s experience.”

As he spoke, the lights changed and different colors were reflected across the walls, at one point forming a crayon-colored honeycomb that surprised even him.

“When you allow for a little bit of flexibility, new things happen,” he said. “That’s the only way you can actually innovate. You only innovate if you’re forced to be dynamic and allow things to change.”

That flexibility, he said, is part of being an artist.

“I’m hoping people don’t think that just because they don’t have a formal art background that there isn’t a lot they can respond to about the show,” he said. “I’m excited about the different populations that may come through here.”

Before the reception, the gallery will host an Art Talk featuring Karen Strelecki, Museum Director for the Steffen Thomas Museum of Art, and Kristi Jilson, Festival Director for the Westobou Festival. Though both speakers will target students with their talks, Johnsson said community members are encouraged to attend.

The Creative Space between Reality and Delusion: A mini-symposium

The Georgia Regents University Mary S. Byrd Gallery of Art presents a mini-symposium, The Creative Space between Reality and Delusion, as part of its current exhibit exploring linkages between mental illness and art.

The program includes three talks with artists and scholars: Michael Schwartz, Jorge Armenteros, and Craig Drennen, and begins at 5 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 20, in University Hall, room 170, on the Summerville campus. A reception will follow at the Byrd Gallery in Washington Hall at 6 p.m.

Lecture 1: Michael Schwartz

Bernini’s Cathedra Petri: Trinitarian Mystery and Theological Politics

Michael Schwartz will present the Trinitarian mystery and theological politics of Bernini’s Cathedra Petri. Michael Schwartz, PhD, Columbia University, is a full and tenured professor at Georgia Regents University in Augusta GA. He teaches, lectures, and publishes in the fields of art history, art criticism, continental and comparative philosophy, meta-theory, and contemplative studies. Co-founder of an international professional philosophy organization, the Comparative and Continental Philosophy Circle, and Founding Associate Editor of the CCPC’s journal with Maney Press and books series with Northwestern University Press, he is also Aesthetics Editor at Integral Life, having co-curated and art-critically commented upon nearly 50 on-line exhibition galleries since 2009.

 Lecture 2: Jorge Armenteros

Exploring the Rooms of the Mind Through Fiction: A psychiatrist’s intimate look at schizophrenia and autism

Jorge Armenteros, M.D. will discuss how minds different from the norm have influenced his work. Harnessing the inspirational force of the unconscious, he will share his prose and perspectives of writing about mental illness. Dr. Armenteros will also discuss how to create experimental fiction based on practical knowledge of psychiatric conditions. Born in Cuba, Dr. Armenteros is a Harvard graduate, who also holds an M.A. in Spanish and Latin American Literature from New York University, his M.D. from University of Puerto Rico, and his M.F.A. in creative writing from Lesley University. He has published extensively in medical journals on the diagnosis and treatment of children with schizophrenia and autism. A practicing psychiatrist for over twenty years, and a novelist, Dr. Armenteros now divides his time between Georgia, Florida, and the south of France.

Lecture 3: Craig Drennen

Timon of Athens

 Craig Drennen, MFA, will present the structure and artworks from his interdisciplinary project based on the one play by Shakespeare not produced in his lifetime. Craig Drennen is a visual artist based in Atlanta, GA.  He is represented by Samsøn gallery in Boston and Saltworks in Atlanta.  His most recent solo exhibitions were at Ellen de Bruijne Projects in Amsterdam and Samsøn gallery in Boston.  His work has been reviewed in Artforum, Art in America, and The New York Times.  He teaches at Georgia State University, served as dean of the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, and is on the board of Art Papers magazine. Since 2008 he has organized his studio practice around Shakespeare’s Timon of Athens

The symposium and gallery are free and open to the public. Learn more about the Mary S. Byrd Gallery of Art.

Art exhibit explores mental illness

Augusta, Ga. – Part existential puzzle and part hypnotic meditation, the exhibition “We Should Talk to Each Other, the Cloud and I” navigates labyrinthian spaces where imagery, textures, and language buoy us through the unconquerable world of uncertainty.

The exhibition brings together both national and regional artists, representing a wide range of mediums and disciplines, Monday, Oct. 27 through Friday, Nov. 21, at the Mary S. Byrd Gallery of Art on the Summerville campus of Georgia Regents University. All events are free and open to the public.

Featured events include an artist talk on Thursday, Oct. 30, with nationally recognized painter Molly Zuckerman-Hartung, and a Mini-Symposium on Nov. 20. During this last event of the year, three scholars and artists, Dr. Michael Schwartz, Dr. Jorge Armenteros, and Craig Drennen, present talks related to the creative space between reality and delusion.

The artists in the exhibition were inspired by Jorge Armenteros’ novel, The Book of I, the story of Teaston, a painter struggling with schizophrenia. Each artist explores our fragmented human nature through the distorted lens that Teaston provides. Similar to how some characters in the book defy authorial certitude by remaining in a sort of reality twilight, the works exhibited exist in a creative space between reality and delusion.

Chicago artist Molly Zuckerman-Hartung, whose work was included in the Whitney Biennale this year, creates a site-specific installation including fruit, paintings, and an overhead projector. Atlanta artist Craig Drennen displays a wall of paintings, inspired by the characters in Shakespeare’s Timon of Athens. Acclaimed New York photographer Oliver Wasow, whose work is represented in numerous museum collections, such as MOMA and the Metropolitan Museum, contributes two engaging portraits of close family members.

New York artist Fabienne Lasserre uses malleable materials and paint to create sculptural narratives in which “truth is stretched, mixed and turned over.” Painter James Hyde, who lives and works in Brooklyn, contributes a visual puzzle that holds its own secrets.

Fia Backstrom, a conceptual artist from New York who recently represented Sweden in the Venice Biennale, portrays the schizophrenic nature of contemporary time in a printed tapestry. Philadelphia artist Jeff Brown uses programming to time-average databases of photographs to produce the video “This is Water,” echoing the fragmented yet relentless barrage of images we are subjected to in contemporary culture.

Raoul Pacheco, GRU Assistant Professor in Ceramics, uses his fictional character Ott as the protagonist that translates the human condition into a feeling of make-believe and fiction, a language of cartoons as well as a highly personal narrative that offers no clear conclusions.  The curator of the exhibition and visual artist Liselott Johnsson and California-based composer Sarah Wallin Huff, a Grammy Award nominee, contribute a collaborative video work that portrays the delusional and suicidal world of the schizophrenic painter Teaston.


A Group Exhibition Exploring the Creative Space between Reality and Delusion

Monday, Oct. 27 – Friday, Nov. 21, 2014

Fia Backström, Jeff Brown, Craig Drennen, James Hyde, Fabienne Lasserre, Raoul Pacheco, Peter Rostovsky, Teaston (Sarah Wallin Huff & Liselott Johnsson), Oliver Wasow & Molly Zuckerman-Hartung

Artist Talk: Molly Zuckerman-Hartung

Thursday, October 30, 5-6 p.m., University Hall, room 170


Thursday, Oct. 30, 6-7 p.m., Washington Hall, Mary S. Byrd Gallery of Art

Mini-Symposium: The Creative Space between Reality and Delusion

Michael Schwartz, Jorge Armenteros & Craig Drennen

Thursday, Nov. 20, 5-6 pm, University Hall, room 170

Reception to follow

Photographer Andrew Moore gives artist talk Thursday

Photographer Andrew Moore will give an artist talk at 5 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 16, in University Hall, room 170, on the Summerville campus of Georgia Regents University.

The talk will be followed by a reception in Washington Hall, room 116.

Moore is best known for his large format photographs of Cuba, Russia, Times Square, Detroit, and most recently, the American High Plains. He graduated from Princeton University in 1979 where he studied with the esteemed photographer Emmet Gowin as well as the photo historian Professor Peter Bunnell.  Moore’s photographs are held in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Yale University Art Gallery, Museum of Fine Arts Houston, the George Eastman House and the Library of Congress amongst many others.  His publications include Cuba (2012), Detroit Disassembled (2010), Russia; Beyond Utopia (2005), Governors Island (2004) and Inside Havana (2002).He currently teaches a graduate seminar in the MFA Photography Video and Related Media program at the School of Visual Arts in New York City.

Learn more at gru.edu/byrd.

Westobou Festival comes to GRU

The Westobou Festival comes to Georgia Regents University with several events featuring the school’s Cinema Series, art gallery, music students, and faculty.

Westobou, an annual celebration of dance, film, music, spoken words, and visual arts, includes five days of performances from Oct. 1-5. Events at GRU include:

 An Evening with Peter Bogdanovichdisplaymedia cinema

7 p.m. Oct. 1, Maxwell Theatre

The Westobou Festival and the GRU Cinema Series partner to bring Peter Bogdanovich to Augusta. The respected director, producer, writer, actor, film critic, and author will be in conversation prior to presenting a restored director’s cut of his 1971 Academy Award-winning masterpiece “The Last Picture Show.” Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 day of show, and free for all college students.

Peter Bogdanovich double feature

1 and 3 p.m. Oct. 4, Maxwell Theatre

A free double feature of Peter Bogdanovich includes “Paper Moon” at 1 p.m., followed by “They All Laughed” at 3 p.m.

“Voice Off” | Courtesy Judith Barry and Galerie Karin Sachs, Munich, and Rosamund Felsen Gallery, Los Angeles

Voice Off by Judith Barry

A two-sided video installation by artist Judith Barry has opened at the Mary S. Byrd Gallery of Art on the Summerville Campus. The exhibit will remain open through Oct. 10 and is free and open to the public.

Artist Talk with Judith Barry

5 p.m. Oct. 2, University Hall, room 170

Opening Reception

6 p.m. Oct. 2, Mary S. Byrd Gallery of Art, Washington Hall

Westobou Festival Chamber Music Series

This season’s Chamber Music Series “Go Baroque!” presents a variety of afternoon concerts each day of the Westobou Festival.  Acclaimed musicians will perform programs including favorite selections from the Baroque era.  Events include:

Student Showcase Concertstudent

1 p.m. Oct. 1, Maxwell Theatre

Students from the GRU Department of Music perform , including Henry Holt on violin, Cole Dunkirk and Ben Blackmon on French horn, and Steven Fitzwilliam on piano. The concert is free.

Back to Baroque

Noon Oct. 3, Church of the Good Shepherd Parish Hall

This performance, with Vivaldi, Bach, and a Two Harpsichord Concerto with Chamber Orchestra, features the Georgia Regents University Orchestra with James Nord and Clara Park, harpsichord soloists. The concert is free.

Quartetto Gelatoqg

3 p.m. Oct. 5, Maxwell Theatre

The Harry Jacobs Chamber Music Society presents this unique and critically acclaimed quartet. Tickets are available at the box office; for ticket information call 706-790-9274 or see hjcms.org. The event is free with a valid GRU ID.

Miotas Ceol Draiocht: Ireland in Myth, Magic, and Music ireland

7:30 p.m. Oct. 3, Maxwell Theatre

This event, featuring new compositions by noted Augusta musician Carl Purdy and storytelling and photography by GRU Communications Professor Debbie van Tuyll, transports audiences back to ancient Ireland. $15 per person, and $5 for GRU students with ID. Children under 12 are free.

Learn more at westoboufestival.com.

Westobou Festival video installation opens at GRU

Augusta, Ga. –A unique video installation on the human voice opens at the Mary S. Byrd Gallery of Art Sept. 22 in partnership with the Westobou Festival.

First exhibited in 1999 at Le Fresnoy in Lille, France, Voice Off by Judith Barry explores how the voice can be experienced through both its possession and loss. The installation, built to fit the dimensions of the Byrd Gallery in Washington Hall of GRU’s Summerville campus, divides the gallery into two rooms. In one, a dream-like succession of characters engage with the voice. In the other, a man searches for the source of the mysterious sounds.

“The viewer becomes immersed in Barry’s interactive representation of the voiceʼs intangibility,” Gallery Director Liselott Johnsson said. “We’re fortunate that the artist herself will be here for an artist talk and opening reception during the installation, which has been generously sponsored by the Westobou Festival.”

The free exhibit is open to the public Sept. 22-Oct. 10 at the gallery. Events include:

Artist Talk with Judith Barry

5 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 2

University Hall, room 170

Opening Reception

6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 2

Mary S. Byrd Gallery of Art, Washington Hall

Barry is an artist and writer whose work crosses many disciplines including architecture, film and video, performance, installation, sculpture, photography, and new media. Her work has exhibited internationally at the Berlin Biennale, Carnegie International, Documenta, and Venice Biennale, among others. Barry is Director and Professor in the Masters of Fine Arts in Visual Arts Program at Lesley University College of Art and Design, Boston, Massachusetts.

For more information, see gru.edu/byrd.

5 don’t-miss arts events at GRU

1) GRU Idol searches for top singer

The Jaguar Production Crew presents “GRU Idol,” a showcase of the university’s best singing talent, at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 17, in the Maxwell Theatre. The musical group Colour of London will host and perform. Free for GRU students. Guests are $5.

 2) Free movie screening with the GRU Cinema Series

The GRU Cinema Series returns Thursday with “Ida,” a moving and intimate drama from acclaimed director Pawel Pawlikowski about a young nun in 1960s Poland who makes a shocking discovery on the verge of taking her vows. It screens at 1 and 7 p.m. Sept. 18 in the Maxwell Theatre on the Summerville Campus. For more information on Cinema Series events, visit facebook.com/CinemaSeriesGRU.

3) ‘Voice off’ by Judith Barry opens at Byrd Gallery

“Voice off,” a unique video installation by artist Judith Barry, opens Sept. 22 at the Mary S. Byrd Gallery of Art. The gallery is free, open to the public, and located in Washington Hall on the Summerville Campus. An artist talk with Barry is scheduled for 5 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 2, in University Hall, room 170. A reception will follow in the gallery at 6 p.m. Learn more at gru.edu/byrd.

4) Confucius Institute hosts free martial arts, dance performances

Celebrate Confucius Institute Day with free martial arts and dance performance by elite performers from Beijing’s Capital University. A demo, including language lessons and acupuncture demonstrations, begins at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 27, outside Macy’s at the Augusta Mall. A full-scale evening performance begins at 6:30 p.m. at the Kroc Center Chapel. The Confucius Institute is a new center offering courses in Chinese language, culture, and Traditional Chinese Medicine at GRU. Learn more at gru.edu/centers/Confucius.

5) Vocal chorus performs ‘How the West Was Sung’

The Garden City Chorus has invited the Atlanta Vocal Project Chorus for a special fall performance sponsored by the GRU Department of Music at 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 27, in the Maxwell Theatre. Students are $12. General public tickets are $15. See augusta.universitytickets.com for more information.