“¡Revolución!:” An Artful Collaboration
by Steve Charles
January 26, 2015
“This sort of collaboration is one of the very best things about teaching at a liberal arts college,” Associate Professor of Art Elizabeth Morton said Friday as she welcomed guests to the opening of “¡Revolución!,” the new exhibition of prints at the College’s Eric Dean Gallery.
Faculty, staff, and students from the Wabash art, modern languages, and theater departments worked together to mount the exhibition, which features historic linocut prints donated to the College by Kathy and Michael Atwell, alongside contemporary prints from the Justseeds Artists’ Cooperative.
Professor of Modern Languages Dan Rogers described the genesis of the project, which he called “one of the most rewarding and productive collaborations I’ve been involved with here at Wabash College.” (Read the complete text of Rogers’ remarks at Wabash Magazine Online.)
Several years ago Rogers and Atwell discovered that they shared "a deep interest in Mexican and Latino art.
“Michael began sharing, first his time and knowledge, and then documents and journals that enriched my own teaching,” Rogers said. In 2013, the Atwells donated a 1947 portfolio of linocuts, Estampas De La Revolución Mexicana, which narrates the events of Mexico’s 1910 Revolution.
“This gift makes Wabash one of the few institutions to house a complete collection, and gives professors here a wonderfully rich tool to help students explore Mexican art, politics, and history.”
Rogers also had a conversation with Visiting Professor of Art Andrea Ferber that revealed their shared interest in Mexican prints. Ferber, Rogers, and Fine Arts Gallery Curator Laura Conners spent an afternoon looking through the Atwell's prints and realized that a collaboration between the art and modern languages department was, as Rogers said, “the most logical thing in the world.”
In preparation for the show, Wabash senior Spanish majors Joe Sukup, Kevin Wynder, and Khuong (Max) Nguyen researched the art and history displayed in the prints and worked with Professor Morton, Media Center Director Adam Bowen, and Professor of Theater Dwight Watson, to create a film shown during the exhibit.
Rogers added that Assistant Professor of Spanish Ivette Wilson and her students had included the prints in their studies and research.
“Professor Wilson and her colleagues in Spanish decided to take a leap of faith and mentor students doing research in areas outside the normal confines of our discipline,” Rogers said.
Morton saw a parallel between the many artists who created the historic linocuts and contemporary prints and the work of her Wabash colleagues in creating the exhibition.
“Both are the result of many voices, many hands, all coming together to produce an artistic vision.”
The show continues through February 28 in the Eric Dean Gallery, Fine Arts Center, and is free and open to the public.
(Read an overview of the exhibit here.)