Thursday, September 11, 2008

The City Awash in Art

The image above, Jacob Riis' "Street Arabs - Night Boys in Sleeping Quarters (Newsboys)", is just one of many such shots from the past 170 years that will be on display during the fall semester at Wesleyan.

"Eye of History: The Camera as Witness" encompasses 3 separate exhibitions, 4 talks and 2 screenings, all linked to the photographic image in its role as giving readers and viewers a closer look at the world. On September 13, "Framing and Being Framed: The Uses of Documentary Photography"opens in Zilkha Gallery: the Opening Reception is Friday the 12th from 5 - 7 p.m. during which time curator Nina Felshin will give an overview of the exhibition and the entire project.

"Looking for an Icon", the 2007 award-winning documentary that is an in-depth investigation of photographs whose power has lasted long after the event has faded from the public eye, will be shown in the Gallery on Tuesday September 16 at 7 p.m. Click here for more information.

The Riis image is part of "The Photograph and the Book", an exhibition at Olin Library that opens on October 16. The following day, "Document or Art? Photography in the Long 19th Century, 1839-1914", opens its 7-week run in the Davison Art Center. For more information about "Eye of History", go to

One could make quite a day out of taking an "Arts Stroll" through our town. There's the David Schulz show at The Russell Library, the "Art Without Judges" at MAC 650 Artspace on Main Street, "The Bizarre and the Beautiful"at Davison Art Center, and "The Pearls of the Snowlands" in the lovely gallery inside the Mansfield Freeman Center for East Asian Studies on Mansfield Terrace. One should not forget the display of arts works inside Middletown's City Hall. Organized by the Middletown City on the Arts, the impressive collection features many different styles, including sculpture, on the walls throughout the building. There is a well-lit showcase on the Main floor and several playful wiry creations by the late John Risley outside the Council Chambers.

The art is all around us, one just has to make the effort to go exploring.

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