|Fourth Biennial Alumni Exhibition
This exhibition is actually a collaboration between four artists and the
art department. It has been designed to help our current students
and the University community better understand this activity we call "art-making."
More than a show of techniques or formal issues, this exhibition is about
work and play, about commitment and passion, and it is about how four individuals
have each made their own art-making into a way of life. I hope that
everyone who views the exhibition will also attend the gallery talks.
These presentations will allow the artists to define their major experiences
related to art since graduation and to make the connections between their
art and their lives.
- Roger Bailey
Professor of Fine Arts
Blaylock Peppard graduated from St. Lawrence in 1975, and attended
the Maryland Institute College of Art, Hoffberger School of Painting, where
he received a Master of Fine Arts degree. He has been living and
working in NYC and in 1990-91 received a National Endowment for the Arts
grant in painting, sharing this experience with his wife JoAnne '75, a
bio-tech advertising executive, and young son Indigo. In 1993 they
bought an old farmhouse in Pennsylvania and have been spending as much
time there as possible, working, dreaming, and keeping bees.
Blaylock Peppard, untitled, 1992-93,
oil and wax emulsion, 28 x 34 in.
Creating imagery is a curious thing. I can't begin to explain
it. I find it painful much of the time, and a grand world in which
to live. Early on, it seems that my work was informed by the currents
and concerns of the art world. Youthful issues of recognition, comparison,
and acceptance inflected my output. In more recent years, even more
youthful and hopefully wiser forces have punctuated my work. The
attempt to simply make a picture, like the line of an unspoken poem, humbles
me. Lately I have felt more than at any other time images slipping
into place. "Look," "think," "make" in any order and sometimes the
act of "seeing" is revealed.
After graduating from St. Lawrence in 1984, Bobbie Bush worked a few
years in art galleries and was persuaded by her family in 1986 to get a
Master's degree in business and a "real job." For the next several
years, she embarked on a corporate track while pursuing photography as
a hobby. As her interest in photography grew, interest in her "career"
declined rapidly. When she realized that her job was getting in the
way of her photography, she knew she had to make some serious changes.
In mid-1996, she cut her corporate ties to begin life as "a starving artist
and struggling photographer." Two years later, she writes, "I have
a terrific studio and the beginning signs of survival as a self-supporting
Bobbie Bush, Playa Bonita, 1995, Polaroid
on linen, 3 x 4 in.
I seek to take the photographic image beyond the traditional print.
Always looking to go the next step, I regularly experiment with a number
of alternative processes -- hand-tinting, hand-applied emulsions, Polaroid
transfers, black-and-white infrared film, and capturing images with plastic
toy cameras. Composition is an important element in my work, whether
consciously or spontaneously captured in the frame. Subject matter,
for me, is always secondary to composition and the two-dimensional design
elements such as shape, texture, light, and shadow. Choice of subject
matter varies with the tools and medium of expression. I find that
landscapes work well with the black-and-white infrared film, while the
plastic camera lends itself to highly spontaneous hip shots of people.
Since graduating from St. Lawrence in 1978, Kristin Landau has managed
to maintain a studio of some sort, no matter how small. She is now
active in a local artists' group and shows her work locally. Landau
returned to school and received a Master of Art in Teaching degree from
Manhattanville College in 1997, and she currently teaches art part-time
in a public school.
Kristin Landau, Prima Donna, 1996,
acrylic on canvas, 50 x 28 in.
I constantly seek the "common thread" which ties my work together.
My work is mostly about joining parts together to form a whole, unified
image. I enjoy taking a piece from here and a piece from there to
create a new visual experience. At times this is done with content
in mind, and at other times it is purely visual. I see the body of
work as one constant process, a process that involves the evolution of
ideas and materials. As part of that process it is important for
me to experiment. I am not afraid to jump ahead or get side-tracked,
because in the end I somehow bring something new back to the beginning.
Jane Lockwood Lincoln entered St. Lawrence University the first year
studio fine arts was offered as a major and spent four years in brand new
facilities. After graduating in 1972, she worked for newspapers and
moved to Cape Cod in 1973. She continued her creative study, enrolling
in the Cape Cod School of Art in Provincetown (begun by Charles Hawthorne
in 1899 and devoted to the study of color outdoors). Her work has
developed into colorful landscapes in pastels. Lincoln has received
over fifty awards and had thirteen one-person shows. In addition,
she has been featured in American Artist, is a member of the Pastel
Society of America, and is listed in Art in America. She is
represented by the Jacob-Fanning Gallery in Wellfleet, Massachusetts, and
The Market Barn Gallery in Falmouth, Massachusetts.
Jane Lincoln, Gold Across the Marsh, 1998,
pastel on paper, 18 1/4 x 22 1/2 in.
Color is my primary motivation for creating. I combine this
with my love of nature to depict Cape Cod landscapes. I strive to
go beyond the mere depiction of the scene to reach a statement based on
the specific color and light that inspired me. Pastels provide the
immediacy, sensitivity, and variety of color which work best for me.
Each year I concentrate my work on a particular aspect discovered on location
painting. These have included notes of color, curves, pools, and
I prefer my exhibitions to be unified with these elements.
My attitude toward my work is always to be a student, exploring new subjects
and media and remaining fresh for inspiration.
Additional funding for the exhibition and related educational programs
is provided by the Jeanne Scribner Cashin Endowment for Fine Arts.
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Formulation: Articulation by Josef Albers
Josef Albers, Folder 18, from Formulation:
screen print, 159/1000, SLU 85.201.18
August 24 - October 14, 1998
Albers began his lifelong interest in education with his training as
an art teacher in 1913 at the Königliche Kunstschule in Berlin, Germany.
Seven years later, he began studies at the Bauhaus in Weimar. The
Bauhaus School, founded by architect Walter Gropius in 1919, sought to
integrate art and technology, recognizing no difference between the roles
of artist and artisan. There, Albers' talents were quickly recognized,
and he was one of the first students selected to become an instructor.
From the time he became affiliated with the Bauhaus, Albers ceased to create
figurative works of art other than photographs. Most well-known as
a printmaker, he also created glass assemblages, collages, and oil paintings,
and designed functional objects such as tea glasses, bookshelves, tables,
In 1933, the faculty of the Bauhaus closed the school under increasing
harassment from Nazi functionaries. That same year, Albers was invited
to the United States to teach at the newly founded Black Mountain College
in North Carolina. At Black Mountain, a progressive and experimental
curriculum emphasized the importance of the arts in culture and education.
Albers described his goal, "We want a student who sees art as neither a
beauty shop nor imitation of nature, as more than embellishment and entertainment;
but as a spiritual documentation of life; and who sees that real art is
essential life and essential life is art."
Albers remained at Black Mountain until 1949 and subsequently joined
the Department of Design at Yale University, where he taught until 1960.
During his years at Yale he published Interaction of Color, an important
text investigating the properties of color, and worked on Homage to
the Square, a series of over one thousand paintings examining color
relationships through the depiction of nested squares of color. Homage
was left unfinished at his death in 1976.
These prints are from the double portfolio Formulation: Articulation,
a gift made possible by Gary Fish through the Ackerman Foundation in 1985.
Published in 1973, the portfolios include 127 screenprints, representating
concepts developed by Albers concerning color and form.
-Carole Mathey, Collections Manager,
and Cristianne McKenna '99
The concept of this publication is the realization rather than the
reproduction of the essential ideas in Josef Albers' works.
It is our intention to show the artist's methods of formulating his ideas
and thus demonstrate the manifold potentials in his unique concern for
color and formal relations, rather than to reproduce selected paintings
from special collections. We have tried to show how he has continually
worked in series; for example, in one folder the same image will be developed
several times, the only difference being that the same color (or similar
colors) is distributed in different quantities and therefore assumes new
characteristics. Or, in another folder, we will consider the visual
dialogue between versions of the same painting in the same hue: reds, greens,
Works have been selected from forty years of Albers' search and offer
an unusual opportunity for study of this significant artist's direct participation
in an original development of his own work. The conceptual relationships
between color and form inherent in each particular work have been restudied
and developed for the medium of screenprinting. This medium has made
possible the maximum control of Albers' color interactions.
Finally, in Josef Albers' own words: "Our aim is not a retrospective
report; the book aims at Art itself, meaning: no retrospective in the usual
sense. These are visual realizations here presented outspoken in
- Norman Ives and Sewell Sillman
From the preface to Formulation: Articulation
Josef Albers and François Bucher, Despite Straight
Lines, revised edition, Cambridge, Mass.: The MIT Press, 1977.
Mary Emma Harris, "Josef Albers: Art Education at Black
Mountain College," in Josef Albers: A Retrospective, exhibition
catalogue, New York: Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, 1988.
Harris, The Arts at Black Mountain, Cambridge,
Mass.: The MIT Press, ca. 1987.
Nicholas Fox Weber et al., Josef Albers: A Retrospective,
exhibition catalogue, New York: Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, 1988.
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Textures of Memory: Paintings, Drawings, and Prints by Obiora
Prior to coming to St. Lawrence, Obiora Udechukwu was Professor of Drawing
and Painting at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, where he received his
B.A. and M.F.A. in painting in 1972 and 1977, respectively. Internationally
known, Udechukwu has exhibited in many countries including Nigeria, Britain,
Austria, India, Cuba, Switzerland, South Africa, Germany, Zimbabwe, and
the United States. Most recently his paintings, drawings, and prints
were included in the group exhibition The Poetics of Line: Seven Artists
of the Nsukka Group held at the National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian
Institution, Washington, DC from October 1997 to April 1998.
From 1997 through 1999, Udechukwu is the Distinguished Visiting Dana
Professor of Fine Arts at St. Lawrence University. As artist and
art historian, he has incorporated his creative and scholarly endeavors
into courses in both areas of the department, teaching Mural Making, Contemporary
Nigerian Art, and Uli Drawing. Mural Making is an introductory
course in which students work collaboratively utilizing various techniques
of painting and mosaics to design large-scale public works of art.
The Uli Drawing course emphasizes the formal and iconographic aspects
of Igbo body painting and murals. Contemporary Nigerian Art is a
survey of colonial and post-colonial periods and addresses such issues
as multiculturalism, cultural nationalism, and internationalism.
Udechukwu also gives occasional lectures, seminars, and readings of his
poetry at St. Lawrence and across the country. The exhibition at
the Brush Art Gallery also includes in the hallway gallery examples of
student works derived from the themes and issues examined in Udechukwu's
As one of the leading figures of the Nsukka School, Udechukwu is influenced
primarily by uli body painting and murals, as well as nsibidi
scripts which derive from the Ejagham group and are associated with men's
secret societies. There is a broad thematic range in Udechukwu's
work dealing with folklore, landscape, portraiture, music, and literature.
However, socio-political issues are significant to the artist, as reflected
in his concern with "man's responsibility for action, the effect of action,
and the burden of the effect of action." His work often deals
with the cruelty of contemporary society and its apathy toward the struggles
of the poor and weak. Common subjects range from nightsoilmen, refugees,
and mothers, to the relationships between those in power and the subjugated
Udechukwu's work often stems from first-hand experiences of genocide
and war-related suffering, hunger, and air raids. Significantly,
it reflects a traditional Igbo saying, "Not to speak out is the bane of
the mouth, not to listen is the bane of the ear." His work attempts
to expose societal injustices, as seen in the etching Chameleon,
which depicts three figures in the foreground who represent the three main
politically influential ethnic groups in Nigeria. Like the politicians'
willingness to change their beliefs and actions abruptly, so does the reptile's
skin change colors.
An analysis of Igbo drawing and painting reveals that space, line,
pattern, brevity, and spontaneity seem to be the pillars on which the whole
tradition rests. It is these same qualities that I strive, both intuitively
and intellectually, to assimilate in my work.
Haiku poems by Obiora Udechukwu
Portraits and Landscapes
Maru the Mad
Has gone for a walk
Our hill is now littered
With pellets of goat shit
It is fall season
Thousands of miles from Lagos
How fares my country?
This expanse of green
Basking in the noonday sun
How cold will winter?
The maples are stripping
It is autumn in Canton
Trees undressing in the yard
Farewell to summer
The exhibition and related educational programs are funded in part by
the Gallery's Barnes Endowment and by the Cashin Endowment for Fine Arts.
Special thanks to Cristianne McKenna '99 and Alison Loucks '00 for research
assistance and to Sharon and Larry Adams, Simon Ottenberg, Janet Stanley,
and the National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington,
DC, for lending works to the exhibition.
Udechukwu, Obiora. "Of Nightsoilmen, Refugees,
and Politicians: Or Peculiar Situations, Peculiar Responses." Conference
paper for The Nsukka Group and the State of Nigerian Contemporary Art,
National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.,
Todd Matte, Creation, n.d., ink wash on
October 22 - December 11, 1998
An exhibition in the hallway gallery of works by students in Obiora
Udechukwu's classes in drawing and mural painting.
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Monday-Thursday 12-8 p.m.
Friday-Saturday 12-5 p.m.
All exhibitions and related educational programs are free
and open to the public. The Gallery welcomes
individuals and groups for guided tours; please call (315) 229-5174 for
information. The Gallery will be closed October 15-18 for mid-semester
break and November 21-29 for Thanksgiving.
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