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Sustaining Vision: The Dr. Luther W. Brady H’88 Collection at the Picker Art Gallery

January 24–March 10, 2019

The Dr. Luther W. Brady H’88 Collection at the Picker Art Gallery is one of the museum’s richest. For nearly four decades, gifts of artwork to the museum from Brady have greatly enhanced the museum’s holdings and have become invaluable resources for teaching and learning with art at Colgate. Even more remarkable, Brady’s philanthropic relationship with the University was not that of an alumnus, but grew from his penchant for developing personal relationships with artists—including Colgate professor Eric J. Ryan, whose untimely death was the catalyst for Brady’s first donation in 1981. Throughout his illustrious medical career, Brady demonstrated a strong commitment to arts patronage—in Philadelphia, where he began practicing medicine in 1956, and elsewhere—and an abiding belief in the value of art as part of a well-rounded education.

This exhibition honors Brady, who passed away in 2018, by presenting two dozen artworks that tell the story of how his attitude toward artists, arts patronage, and collecting helped to shape the Picker Art Gallery’s collection. A disciplined, deep collector who acquired South Asian, East Asian, pre-Columbian, Native American, and modern and contemporary art, Brady greatly expanded the museum’s holdings of works by abstract expressionists. Works by leading figures of this and other postwar art movements, such as Richard Diebenkorn, Barbara Hepworth, Jasper Johns, Robert Motherwell, and Fritz Scholder, are included in the exhibition. Also featured are works by several Philadelphia-based artists, many of whom found an avid and active patron in Brady, who was also a loyal patron of the Picker. As Colgate celebrates its Bicentennial, this exhibition recognizes Brady’s legacy and a collection that has become foundational as part of the museum’s teaching mission.

The exhibition is partially funded by the Dr. Luther Brady Endowment for Art Maintenance, the Robert J. Gerberg '59, P'85 Endowment for the Visual Arts, and by the Friends of the Picker Art Gallery.

Three Acts: Felix Gonzalez-Torres · Senga Nengudi · Joe Overstreet

January 24–March 10, 2019

Three Acts features installations by three American artists who have had a lasting impact on contemporary art through performance, use of nontraditional media, and experimental modes of display. For each of these artists, community advocacy and activism have been central to their practice and embedded in their work. This exhibition puts single installations by the artists—Untitled (LA) (1991) by Felix Gonzalez-Torres; A.C.Q. – Cross Eyed, A.C.Q. – Cross Ban, and  A.C.Q. – Cross Waves (2016–17) by Senga Nengudi; and Boxes (1970) by Joe Overstreet—in conversation to encourage interdisciplinary and intersectional conversations about gender, race, sexuality, and social practice in contemporary art.

Special events to accompany Three Acts include a candy-making workshop series at the Hamilton Public Library led by local confectioner and owner of Maxwell’s Chocolates and Ice Cream, Jennifer Jury. This workshop series will result in a collaboratively-created candy sculpture temporarily  installed on Colgate’s campus and inspired by Felix Gonzalez-Torres’ art practice. An interdisciplinary program led by Colgate Visiting Assistant Professor of Theater, Casey Avaunt, will bring students in the Advanced Contemporary Dance class together through visual art, dance, and music, in response to the work of Senga Nengudi. In collaboration with Sisters of the Round Table (SORT), a student group dedicated to promoting the voices of women of color on campus, Los Angeles-based artist, Uzumaki Cepeda, will install her artwork at the Picker and lead a public workshop, both in conversation with Joe Overstreet’s installation. 

Generous support for this exhibition and related programs provided by Art Bridges.

Making Space: Uzumaki Cepeda

Walls and chair covered with yellow fur Through March 10, 2019

In partnership with Art Bridges and Sisters of the Round Table, the Picker Art Gallery presents Making Space, a new installation by Uzumaki Cepeda. As part of a new generation of artists who are embedding community advocacy and activism in their artistic processes, Cepeda contributes an additional intergenerational dimension to the dialogue existing between the works in the exhibition Three Acts. The artist’s process finds particular resonance with that of Joe Overstreet, whose colorful canvases strikingly claim space and whose work with Kenkeleba House has tirelessly focused on creating spaces for artists of color and others who have been overlooked by the mainstream art establishment.

Cepeda’s installations are spaces for people to feel safe and comfortable, especially those for whom these feelings may be regularly denied—people of color, women, LGBTQ people, those suffering from mental trauma, and “anyone who steps out of their home and feels like it’s a battle to just exist.” Enveloped in a soft, vibrantly colored world, visitors are encouraged to get in touch with their inner child, to absorb the bright colors, touch the soft faux fur, relax, and revel in these simple pleasures.

Generous support for this program is provided by Art Bridges.