June 21, 2024
Annapolis, US 91 F

Exhibits on Display at St. John’s College Explore the Relationship of Art, Light, and Text 

The Elizabeth Myers Mitchell Art Museum at St. John’s College is pleased to announce two art exhibits on display this summer. “Some Light Reading (A Summer Exhibition),” which explores the relationship of art, light, and text, is on view through July 7. The museum is also offering “Two Art Books–Louise Bourgeois and Fischli/Weiss,” at the Greenfield Library through September 8. The museum will also host events that are free and open to the public including an exhibit tour, poetry reading and film showing. 

“With its play on words, ‘Some Light Reading’ looks at art as a form of perceptual, cognitive, and spiritual illumination,” says Peter Nesbett, Director of the Mitchell Art Museum. “Meanwhile, the art books on display at the library are art objects that can be looked at but can’t be read, since they are devoid of explanatory texts.” 

“Some Light Reading (A Summer Exhibition)”: Playing off St. John’s College’s reputation as a school of big ideas and heavy texts, the exhibition offers a selection of art and texts that explore the magical, life-making qualities of light, as well as the idea that art—with or without light—can be a source of illumination. As the writer and activist Audre Lorde has written, “The quality of light by which we scrutinize our lives has direct bearing upon the product which we live.” The exhibition features a variety of artworks, including prints, sculptures, and paintings by artists Virgil Marti, Eileen Neff, Bahar Yürükoğlu, Vija Celmins, and Rockne Krebs, interspersed with quotes by Emily Dickinson, Lorde, the poet Eileen Myles, and Virginia Woolf. 

“Two Art Books: Louise Bourgeois and Fischli/Weiss”: This exhibition presents two small, zine-like art books, each featuring a single body of work. Though different in temperament and focus, both ask fundamental questions about the meaning of life and our place in the social or natural order. Les Fleurs (The Flowers) includes reproductions of 28 gouache paintings created by the French-American artist Louise Bourgeois in 2009-10, a year before she died at the age of 97. Ordnung and Reinlichkeit (Order and Cleanliness) by the Swiss artist duo Fischli/Weiss contains 15 black and white drawings by the artists from 1981. This exhibit is on display in the Greenfield Library’s Lillian Vanous Nutt Room. 

Summer Events at the Museum:  

(Free and open to the public; no pre-registration required.) 

·         Exhibit Tour: On June 15 from 3 to 3:30pm, the Mitchell Art Museum’s Manager of Artistic Inquiry, Jenny Cawood, will lead an educational tour about “Some Light Reading.” During this half-hour tour, Cawood will talk about the delicate connection between visual art and poetry, the stories and art historical references behind the featured pieces, and how light can act as both object of study and subject of beauty within our lives. This tour will be discussion-based and informal. 

·         Poetry Reading: On June 22, from 1 to 1:45pm, the Mitchell Art Museum will host a special guest speaker (TBA) for a Public Poetry Reading. Selections performed will come from master poets including Ada Limón, Frank O’Hara, Lucille Clifton, e.e. cummings, and Gwendolyn Brooks. The program will present poetry that speaks to the themes of “Some Light Reading” – love, grief, hope, nature, life – and provide a different level of insight into this unique exhibition.  

·         Film Showing: On June 30, at 1 p.m. the Mitchell Art Museum will show Don Hertzfeldt’s sublime 2012 film It’s Such a Beautiful Day in the Francis Scott Key Auditorium in Mellon Hall. Widely regarded as one of the greatest films of all time and boasting an ultra-rare 100 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, It’s Such a Beautiful Day is an experimental adult animated comedy-drama film which is directed, written, animated, photographed, produced and narrated by Don Hertzfeldt. 

For more information on Mitchell Art Museum exhibits and programming, visit sjc.edu/mitchell or follow @sjcmitchell on Facebook and Instagram. 

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