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Installations in Galleries Provoke Thought

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With two galleries on campus, there is always much artwork to explore on the Circle. This fall, art faculty Beth Van Gelder and Monika Andersson worked to curate art that would encourage students to engage with our resident galleries.

The Brodigan Gallery, located next to the Webb-Marshall Room, currently houses the work of three artists, and focuses on the female figure. Claudia Olds Goldie, Melanie Zibit and Ruth Rosner, the architects behind the exhibit The Female Form: Go Figure held an open house September 27 to allow for conversation with the student body.

“We are surrounded by art wherever we go,” says Ms. Van Gelder, “The galleries, because they are a part of campus life, serve to demonstrate that seeing and understanding art is an essential part of a Groton education.”

The artists behind The Female Form used different mediums including ceramic clay, bronze, stone, marble, plaster, and wire to create different female figures. “Each artist investigates the complexity of the female forms in variety of circumstances — the strong, multi-tasking mother, etcetera,” says Ms. Van Gelder.

Ms. Goldie, who works with clay, has won numerous awards and undertaken residencies throughout her career. Starting in 1983, she won the Byron C. Cleveland Memorial Award from the Copley Society, and has since won prizes from the New England Sculpture Association, the North American Clay Exhibition and the National Juried Ceramic Exhibition.

Ms. Zibit credits her career and success to her sculpting professor at Brandeis University, who told her to study in Italy. After graduating magna cum laude, Zibit learned stone carving from Italian masters before returning to New York.

The wire figures dressed with “found” materials were done by Ms. Rosner. She gained her experience from the Tyler School of Art Sculpture Intensive, Boston University and Bryn Mawr College where she earned her bachelor’s degree.

Though centered around the same general topic, the different media used and individual perspectives of each artist are apparent in their respective sculptures. The Brodigan Gallery will house this exhibit through November 10.

While the current Brodigan installation focuses on gender, the ICONS series by Nelson Da Costa in the de Menil Gallery follows Mr. Da Costa’s own childhood and the progression of his life in Angola. Many of the figures reference his family and his experiences with loss during the Angolan Civil War.  While the work in the Brodigan is sculptural, the de Menil series is comprised of paintings.

Gallery NAGA, an exhibit located on the corner of Newbury Street in Boston, displays much of Da Costa’s work. On NAGA’s website, Da Costa is quoted as having said, “I have a story to tell. I have so much to say about the experiences I have been through. I use art to communicate about war and destruction, about sadness and poverty, about death and where people are going when they die.”

Some of the works include color, but many canvases remain grounded in black and white. While the memories that Da Costa paints change drastically in nature, the thick black lines and geometric shapes he uses are stylistic constants. This installation will remain on campus through November 12. Check it out!

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