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On Campus - January/February 2020 Preview

As Winter Break comes to an end, a rich season of events begins!

An exhibition of self-taught and outsider art will be on view in the Palmer Gallery through February 16.

Friday, January 24

Self-taught and Outsider Art from a Private “Teaching Collection” will be on view in the College Center Palmer Gallery until February 16. The exhibition was curated by Arthur F. Jones, an art history professor, collector, and also an artist. Jones spent most of his career in places where major art museums were lacking. These works are all from his teaching collection and reflect his long-held interest in art made by individuals who are not formally trained, but who are nonetheless highly motivated to express themselves visually. A reception for this exhibition will be held on January 30 from 5:00pm–7:00pm.

Metal, Acid, Line: Etchings from the Loeb will be on view in the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center until April 12. Spanning time and geography, this focused exhibition features more than a dozen prints from the permanent collection. Etching, a printmaking process in which artists create images on metal plates with the aid of chemical action—traditionally, acid—developed around 1500 and is still in use today. This selection, co-curated with Visiting Assistant Professor of Art Christina Tenaglia, was made in conjunction with Art 209, a studio course in printmaking.

Louise Bourgeois: Ode to Forgetting, From the Collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and His Family Foundation will be on view at the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center—the only venue on the East Coast to host these works—until April 5. Louise Bourgeois (1911–2010) is one of the most renowned artists of the 20th century. Best known for powerful sculptures, including monumental spiders, human figures, and anthropomorphic shapes, she also made drawings daily and returned regularly to printmaking. This exhibition includes 87 works and focuses on prints she made in her 80s and 90s, with a few earlier examples and a massive spiral sculpture. An opening lecture will take place on Saturday, February 8, at 5:30pm in Taylor 102, followed by a reception in the Atrium of the Art Center.

Thursday, January 30

Celia Keenan-Bolger, who earned a Tony for her role in To Kill A Mockingbird, will share her experiences at Modfest.

Modfest, Vassar College’s annual exploration of the arts of the 20th and 21st centuries, opens its 18th season. Highlights include a talk by Celia Keenan-Bolger, who won a Tony Award for her portrayal of Scout Finch in To Kill A Mockingbird; a sound-design workshop for students led by Fitz Patton ’88, who received a Tony for Choir Boy; a lecture and “laptop performance” conducted by visiting artist Jeff Snyder; a concert in honor of Adene and Professor Emeritus Richard Wilson; a film screening introduced by Visiting Professor of Film Jack Kroopf ’10; and much more. Modfest continues through February 9. Check out the full schedule.

Tuesday, February 4

Vassar Writer-in-Residence James Wood

At 6:00pm in the Spitzer Auditorium (Sanders Classroom 212), James Wood will deliver Vassar’s Writer-in-Residence reading. Wood is a book critic at The New Yorker and the recipient of a National Magazine Award in criticism. He is the author of several essay collections, two novels, and the study How Fiction Works. He also teaches literary criticism at Harvard University. Wood’s lecture will be followed by a Q&A and book-signing.

Wednesday, February 5

Nemata Blyden will lecture on the relationship between African Americans and Africa.

At 5:00pm in Rockefeller Hall 200, Lisa Miracchi will deliver the next Philosopher’s Holiday Lecture, “Generating Artificial Intelligence: Making the Leap from Artifacts to Agents.” Miracchi is an assistant professor of philosophy and departmental wellness advisor at the University of Pennsylvania.

At 5:30pm in Taylor Hall 203, Nemata Blyden will deliver the lecture “African Americans and Africa: Speaking Across the Centuries. Blyden, a George Washington University professor of history and international affairs, will address the relationship between African Americans and Africa from the era of slavery to the present.

Thursday, February 6

The 2020 Tournées French Film Festival: Identities presents six free film screenings that allow audiences to reflect on changing identities in the Francophone world. Each film will be preceded by an introduction by faculty members from a variety of disciplines, and post-screening discussions will allow audiences to engage one another in discussing the aesthetic, political, and cultural questions the films raise. The festival runs through February 27. View the lineup.

Wednesday, February 12

A two-day anti-Semitism workshop with speakers from the Washington, DC-based National Coalition Building Institute will begin at 4:00pm in Rockefeller 203. The first topic is “Building Jewish Unity while Taking on Anti-Semitism and Staying in Coalition.” The series will continue on February 13 at 4:00pm in CCMPR with “Anti-Semitism and the Intersections of Anti-Semitism with Racism.” Get more information.

Information on upcoming athletic events can be found at:


Photo credits: artwork courtesy of Arthur F. Jones; Celia Keenan-Bolger by Caitlin McNaney; all others, courtesy of the subject.


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Posted by Office of Communications Friday, November 1, 2019