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Oppositional Realities—A Student-Curated Exhibition—Opens at the Huret & Spector Gallery at Emerson College

Carole McFall, 617-824-8415, Carole_mcfall@emerson.edu
January 15, 2014

Showcases artwork from graduate student artists at Boston University (BU), Massachusetts College of Art and Design (MassArt), and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts (SMFA)

BOSTON, MA (January 13, 2014)—On Thursday, January 16, Oppositional Realities, a new exhibition will open at the Huret & Spector Gallery on the Emerson College campus. The exhibition explores the connections between artistic works, space, and culture. Free and open to the public, the exhibit will show through February 28, 2014. The Huret & Spector Gallery is located at the Tufte Performance and Production Center, 10 Boylston Place, Sixth Floor, Boston. Gallery hours are M–F, 12:00–5:00 pm. The opening reception on January 16 runs from 5:00 to 7:00 pm and will include a performance piece by BU student artist Parastoo Ahovan.

Developed by students at Emerson College as part of a hands-on course titled What Is Contemporary Art? Oppositional Realities features artwork selected from the graduate studios of the Boston University School of Fine Arts, the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts. The exhibit highlights the work of each artist—integrating the pieces while still maintaining their individuality.

According to Alexander Hayes, a senior Visual and Media Arts major at Emerson College with a concentration in Post-Production, contemporary art combines diverse notions of form, aesthetic, and concept. Each piece selected for the exhibition emphasizes different realities—some symbolize personal or shared cultural history, some point to themselves as objects in space, and some simply ask the viewer to contemplate a specific place in time.

During the semester, Emerson students learn how to produce a public contemporary art exhibition—from finding artists and selecting works to developing a comprehensive theme and managing the installation. “Curating an exhibition gives students an opportunity to articulate what makes their generation unique from past artists,” said Joseph Ketner, the Lois and Henry Foster chair in contemporary art theory and practice and distinguished curator-in-residence, who teaches the Visual and Media Arts class.

Oppositional Realities includes a selection of photos from Mass Art student Andrew Hammerand’s The New Town series features images of Newtown, Missouri, a small Midwestern town. The images are taken via an online camera located on the roof of a town church. The camera is accessible through a public website. His pieces draw awareness to the age of heightened security and technological surveillance in which we live. Photos taken by Sarah Pollman, a SMFA student, focus on objects of light and architecture in small towns and suburbs. Her works include Gas Station, Salem NH; Mini Golf, High Point, NC; and ATM, Pawtucket. Justin Mendoza, a graduate student at BU, is a war veteran. His works repurpose the tools he used to serve. For Three Guns, he used the fabric from the three different uniforms he wore during his service to create the shapes of three guns. Oppositional Realities will also feature an original piece by BU student Josue Rojas, who is painting a wall mural for the exhibit.

“By studying contemporary art, art history, and participating in the process of selecting works for the exhibit, we came to the conclusion that art cannot be described or understood in absolutes. This is a reflection of our generation's beliefs and values, because we all strive for individuality,” said Hayes.

“It’s rewarding for me to see the work of the next generation of artists and to develop the Emerson students’ abilities to see and articulate the voice of their generation,” said Ketner.

Work from the following 10 artists will be displayed at the exhibition:

  • Parastoo Ahovan (Boston University)
  • Jackie Feng
  • Andrew Hammerand (MassArt)
  • Hoda Kashiha (Boston University)
  • Adam Matak (School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston)
  • Justin Mendoza (Boston University)
  • Helina Metaferia (School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston)
  • Sarah Pollman (School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston)
  • Josue Rojas (Boston University)
  • Danny Schissler (MassArt)

About Emerson College

Located in Boston, Massachusetts, opposite the historic Boston Common and in the heart of the city’s Theatre District, Emerson College educates individuals who will solve problems and change the world through engaged leadership in communication and the arts, a mission informed by liberal learning. The College has 3,660 undergraduates and 829 graduate students from across the United States and 50 countries. The grand opening for Emerson Los Angeles, a new permanent facility on Sunset Boulevard for the College’s LA-based program will take place in March 2014. For more information, visit www.emerson.edu.

About the Huret & Spector Gallery

The Huret & Spector Gallery is a vital educational and cultural component of Emerson College, serving the needs of the Emerson academic community and the Boston community at large. The gallery invigorates the academic curriculum and attracts visitors from the community through exhibitions of new work produced by contemporary artists, faculty, and students. Corresponding educational programs explore global perspectives on art and art discourse. For more information, visit www.emerson.edu.

The Harry L. Huret and Ellen Marr Spector Gallery was funded by a gift from Judith Spector Huret in 1999. Judy Huret received an MA in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Emerson in 1969 and has been a member of the Emerson College Board of Trustees since 2001.

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Communication Studies Professor Phillip Glenn

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