Zimmerli collaborates with Art History department on exhibits
From children’s books and paintings of ice caps to new Sunday programming, the Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum on the College Avenue campus has much to offer the Rutgers’ community this semester.
After closing for the month of August, the museum has now opened its doors to a new gamut of paintings, photographs, poems, contemporary prints and lectures, said Theresa Watson, the communications coordinator of the museum.
“We actually have a new series of Sunday programs,” she said. “The first Sunday of every month is free. Well, it’s always free for students, but also for others visiting.”
Watson said for the second Sunday of each month there are plans to involve a feature titled “Insights: Gallery Talks,” in which a curator or graduate scholar will lead a tour to introduce select artworks in detail.
“On third Sundays, we’re starting ‘Films about Art and Artists’, a series about [the works of] contemporary artists, several of which are featured in ‘Stars: Contemporary Prints by Derrière L’Étoile Studio,’” she said.
According to the 2013-2014 annual program guide presented by Watson, “Stars: Contemporary Prints by Derrière L’Étoile Studio” features significant contemporary prints by artists who defined the American art scene after 1980.
“For fourth Sundays, we have a collection of Meiji period photography from Japan,” Watson said. “[It’s from] the period when Japan opened up more to the west with trade and art and a number of new artists started practicing in Yokohama photo studios.”
Watson said the museum has also organized a series of lectures for the semester, several of which are in collaboration with the Department of Art History at Rutgers.
The new exhibit “Maples in the Mist” displays Chinese poems from the Tang dynasty in the form of children’s book.
“Going back hundreds of years, these are poems children would recite as they were learning,” she said.
Yet the highlight of this year’s exhibit is Diane Burko’s “Glacial Perspectives,” which captures the beauty of geology and the severity of climate change in an assortment of paintings and photographs from the polar cap.
Burko journeyed to both Antarctica and the Arctic, gaining a unique perspective on the far reaches of our planet. Her art aims to reflect the problems of climate change.
“I want to seduce the viewer with my painting of the landscape and then subtly engage them in contemplating its survival,” read the walls of the museum where he paintings are exhibited.
Burko’s work is a collection of paintings depicting the Columbia Glacier recession lines, the Arapaho Glacier and an Arctic cyclone. Twenty photographs titled “Antarctica Grid” display shades of inky blue and snow white.
“I grew up in New York, in an urban environment. I didn’t grow up in large open spaces and [thus] got attracted to nature,” Burko said.
Burko also emphasized the importance of her work to Rutgers students.
“My exhibit is in relation to the spring Byrne Seminar ‘Arctic Lens: A Journey to The Great North through Film,’” she said. “It will be taught by professors Asa Rennermalm and Hal Salzman, who recommended my work.”
Rennermalm, an assistant professor in the Department of Geography, said she met Burko at a discussion panel at Rutgers.
Rennermalm said she and Salzman, a professor in the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, brainstormed ideas about the integration of the seminar with Burko’s work.
For the Byrne Seminar, she will take students to Philadelphia to visit Burko’s studio as well as her lecture at Zimmerli in November.
“I am a scientist, I study changing landscapes, the Greenland ice sheet, deal with numbers, do seminars [and] write science papers, but Diane Burko’s art is another way to show the tremendously changing ecosystems,” Rennermalm said.