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SBU Art Week Highlights Campus, Faculty Creativity

Han moonface feature


Zuccaire floaters hires maurides patricia maurides
‘Floaters’ is one of two works by Patricia Maurides featured in the Faculty Exhibition at the Paul W. Zuccaire Gallery.

Stony Brook University is home to a variety of renowned art galleries that provide unique spaces for cultural and artistic exchanges and collaborations. To celebrate Stony Brook’s art and artists, the Paul W. Zuccaire Gallery and the Simons Center for Geometry and Physics have partnered to present a series of events as part of SBU Art Week.

The 2023 Faculty Exhibition will kick off Monday, November 6, at 4:30 pm with an Opening Reception in the Zuccaire Gallery in the Staller Center for the Arts, highlighting artwork by a diverse group of faculty artists.

“The art galleries at Stony Brook University — Staller Center’s Zuccaire Gallery, the Wang Center, the Alloway Gallery and Special Collections at Melville Library and the Simons Center Gallery — have hosted the campus-wide Art Crawl each semester for eight years,” said Karen Levitov, director and curator of the Zuccaire Gallery. “For the first time, we are thrilled to collaborate on SBU Art Week, a week filled with new exhibitions, free guided tours, artist talks and receptions. This is a chance to see artwork by world-renowned artists, including SBU’s own Art Department faculty artists, and to meet the artists and curators who make it all happen.”

The opening reception will include a short performance by Izumi Ashizawa, an assistant professor of Directing and Devising in the Department of Theatre Arts. Ashizawa will also be one of the featured faculty artists, showing work featuring Kurogo — the stagehands in the Japanese traditional theater genres of Bunraku puppetry and Kabuki who dress all in black. In the Japanese theatrical code, Kurogo signifies “invisibleness” or “non-existence,” functioning only to support the on-stage characters.

Ashizawa monster
‘Monster’ by Izumi Ashizawa.

“I have been exploring a Japanese ‘invisible’ Kurogo for the past few years in the theater frame,” said Ashizawa. “I wanted to develop the ‘invisible’ female Kurogo character further by bringing her out of the theater and into a more visual art/performance hybrid context in order to address invisibility through a wider lens. In this new context, instead of a fictional male character, the audience can step into the role and interact with the invisible figure. The immersive setting will help make the audience think about the issue through active participation.”

Ashizawa will be followed by a short performance of Margaret Schedel‘s musical score Typologies. Schedel is a professor of Composition and Computer Music in the Department of Music.

Patricia Maurides, a visual artist and a lecturer in the Department of Art, will also have her photographic work shown in the Faculty Exhibition. It prominently features investigations into origins, both cultural and genealogical, and the exhibit includes two works called ‘Pollen’ and ‘Floaters’ from her ‘Sight’ Series, inspired from an optic nerve scan of her eyes.

“These photo compositions are from a body of work exploring perception and seeing,” she said. “It is awe-inspiring to see your own optic nerve and imagine the intricacies and wonder of human vision and how it may morph and shift over time. It’s both wondrous and otherworldly.”

Qin Han, a lecturer in the Department of Art, will display a set of 18 small works called Moon Face, a series of self-portrait prints portraying layers of diasporic identity shaped by the immigration experience. “It depicts the artist transforming herself into the moon, exploring the universe, time and space, and her own identity,” said Han, who specializes in digital arts, installation, printmaking and video art. “The concept is paralleled with layered techniques of printmaking, and 3D scanning.”

Han moonface
‘Moon Face’ by Qin Han.

“My work is going to be a little bit dark,” said Lorena Salcedo-Watson, a professor of practice in the Department of Art whose work is featured. “I have a piping plover as the poster child of my silk screening, because they’re threatened,” she said. “They’re no longer officially endangered, but they’re threatened because their nesting areas are overrun by people that want to walk onto the dunes and it interferes with their nesting habitats. So I wanted to feature that and convey the sense of continually being endangered.”

Salcedo-Watson also noted the importance of art alongside STEM. “Art is about human experience,” she said. “Students come in and they are hungry to work with a different part of their mind and soul. They need to do that. It doesn’t mean you have to become an artist. But it gives engineers and those who work with computers another way of thinking.”

Painting students in the Studio Art program will host a reception November 6 from 6 pm to 8 pm for an exhibition called “Continuum” in Gallery Unbound in room 3212 of the Staller Arts Center. The exhibition will be on display November 1 through 14.

Art Week continues on Wednesday, November 8, with a campus-wide Art Crawl beginning at the Wang Center at 12 pm, and continuing on to the Zuccaire Gallery at 12:30 pm, the Alloway Gallery at 10 pm, and the Simons Center Gallery at 1:30 pm.

“The Art Crawl unites Stony Brook University’s galleries through a series of free guided tours led by expert curators and artists,” said Levitov. “The initiative directly supports the university’s commitment to celebrating diversity and promotes the university’s place in the global community.”

Art Week concludes Thursday, November 9, at 5 pm with a reception and artist talk in the Simons Center Gallery with artists Ander Mikalson and Katie Paterson. The exhibition, titled Cosmic Rhythm and Bang, will feature the work of Mikalson and Paterson that represents the result of rigorous research and collaborations beyond the field of visual art. Inspired by the cosmos, their work exemplifies human connection to astronomical data through choral music, timekeeping, poetry and miniature explosions.

Robert Emproto

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