Friday, March 29 marked the opening reception for the three exhibitions currently being shown in the Wriston Art Galleries. In the Leech Gallery, one will find an exhibition curated by Caitee Hoglund ‘12. In the Hoffmaster Gallery, viewers will find Sonja Thomsen’s photographic installation titled “Nexus.” And, in the Kohler Gallery, several works of Wisconsin-born artist Rafael Salas can be seen.
While seeing nude women in art is a typical part of the museum-going experience, curator Caitee Hoglund’s exhibition, titled “Stripped Down: Understanding the Female Nude,” aims at taking a closer look at how nude women are represented and challenging the viewer to recognize the conceptual frameworks through which they personally have viewed the female nude in the past.
Hoglund has organized the art works that she has chosen into four distinct categories, titled “Lounging,” “In Nature,” “Women by Women” and “Engaging.” Furthermore, Hoglund has also designed an activity book that viewers are encouraged to use as they view the pieces within the gallery. With activities such as “Re-imagining the Female Nude,” the book is a handy tool to inspire you to view the works not just passively but actively as she challenges your perceptions.
Sonja Thomsen’s exhibition, titled “Nexus,” is a photographic installation utilizing reading shelves which are hung at various angles and hang between 12’, 5’ and 1’ from the gallery floor. The photographs are placed on these various shelves and the viewer is invited to walk around the exhibit in order to view the photographs from these various angles and heights. Typically, we may view a photograph straight on, such as in a photo album or on a computer screen. But the way that Sonja Thomsen has designed the exhibit is how she visualizes viewers to be able to weave back and forth within memory, place and the present.
The various photographs in the gallery feature vast landscapes, domestic scenes such as the back of a child’s head as she sits at a table and certain natural phenomena such as the beautiful northern lights. Those interested should note that Sonja Thomsen will be giving a lecture on her exhibition in the Worcester Auditorium at the Wriston Art Center on April 9 at 4:30 p.m. The lecture will be followed by a reception with refreshments.
Finally, in the Kohler Gallery, viewers can view Rafael Salas’ exhibition, titled “You’re Invisible Now.” An exhibition featuring both paintings and drawings, viewers will recognize the Midwestern landscape which has come to be one of Salas’ greatest influences. His works describe the landscape and convey the moods that Salas observed and felt while growing up in Wisconsin. In hopes of elevating the spirit and sense while evoking a sense of tragedy, Salas’sworks show the whimsical, tragic nature found in many Byzantine artworks with the banality of Wisconsin landscape as the background. While visiting the gallery, if one should so choose to be listening to music while one views Salas’ artworks, country music is the appropriate soundtrack.
All three exhibitions will be on display until May 5. Be sure to stop by and check them out!