Two new exhibitions will open the beginning of June at the University of Wyoming Art Museum.
“Western Explorations: The Wyoming Arts Council Biennial Fellowship Exhibition 2018 and 2019” offers Wyoming residents and visitors the opportunity to view outstanding artwork created by the Wyoming artists who were selected as Visual Arts Fellowship recipients. The exhibition is hosted by major arts venues around the state and rotates on a two-year cycle.
Artwork for the exhibition is selected by an out-of-state curator who has served as a fellowship juror for two years. The fellowship juror for this cycle, Ruth Bruno, public art program manager with Colorado Creative Industries, was tasked with conducting studio visits with each artist; selecting artwork for the exhibition; working with the hosting venue; and contributing an essay to the corresponding exhibition catalog. The exhibition catalog also features the artwork of the honorable mention artists from the previous two years and will be available at the UW Art Museum during the exhibition.
The artists included in the exhibition are: Elaine Henry, from Big Horn; Joe Arnold, Margaret Haydon and Patrick Kikut, of Laramie; Robert Martinez, from Riverton; and Andy Kincaid, of Wilson.
Artists who received honorable mention (and not on display) are: Sonja Caywood, from Dayton; Wendell Field, of Jackson; Ashley Hope Carlisle and Rani Robison, from Laramie; Brittney Denham, of Sheridan; and Kincaid, from Wilson.
The exhibition is funded, in part, by the Wyoming Arts Council through the National Endowment for the Arts and the Wyoming State Legislature. It will be on view June 8-Aug. 31.
“New Acquisitions: The Art Museum Collection” features important acquisitions that the museum has acquired over the last year for its permanent collection. Objects will include artworks by African-American artist Kara Walker; Iranian artist Shirin Neshat; Ponca artist Julie Buffalohead; and others.
“When it comes to selecting artworks, art museums across the country are looking at their collections and seeing a lack of diversity in the artists acquired over the years,” says Nicole Crawford, chief curator of the UW Art Museum. “Aware of this tendency, the UW Art Museum has made a conscious effort to acquire artworks by minority and underrepresented artists.”
Collecting lies at the heart of the UW Art Museum’s activities, advancing its mission to collect, exhibit and interpret art to inspire creativity and nurture lifelong learning for the people of Wyoming.
The exhibition is funded, in part, by the Patricia R. Guthrie Special Exhibitions Endowment. It will be on view June 1-Aug. 17.
These additions to the permanent collection will be integral for teaching in the museum with UW students, says Raechel Cook, curator of academic engagement.
“Walker and Neshat are powerful voices in the contemporary art arena, inviting viewers to question dominant historical and cultural narratives,” Cook says. “Their artwork will be instrumental in guiding students to consider someone else’s perspective and facilitating dialogue about complex challenges in our society such as racism, sexism, classism and violence.”
Through its “Museum as Classroom” approach, the UW Art Museum places art at the center of learning for all ages. Located in the Centennial Complex at 2111 East Willett Drive in Laramie, the museum is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Thursday hours are extended to 7 p.m. Admission is free.