Faculty, alumni work is featured at Miami Art Museum’s latest exhibition


The exhibition featuring artwork from faculty of the art department, along with selected alumni, runs through Dec. 11.

Miami University Art Museum and Sculpture Park and the Department of Art have once again partnered to present the Department of Art Faculty & Alumni Exhibition, which will be on display through Dec. 11. The joint exhibition features artwork from current and emeritus faculty of the art department, along with selected alumni.

“We rarely have the opportunity here to see faculty work, and even to see the alumni work, because most of them move on. We have works that are coming from across the country for this exhibition,” said Jason Shaiman, curator of exhibitions.

He said visitors to the free event can engage and experience art from artists they are unfamiliar with. They can also gain a new appreciation for different media, and how artists are pushing boundaries.

The quadrennial exhibition features a diverse representation of art forms including sculpture, painting, ceramics, photography, video printmaking, collage, mixed media works and scholarly publications.

Visitors will experience familiar and new artists, while exploring an array of the art-making practices at Miami University.

The 55 artists featured were given the opportunity to freely express themselves without the requirement of responding to a predetermined theme. Some of the artists and scholars responded to the pandemic, while other works are more introspective.

The 64 pieces deliver an array of topics and meanings through diverse forms, materials and presentation.

As a result, the assemblage offers great depth. There are 39 alumni artists; four emeriti faculty and 12 current faculty members represented.

Shaiman said he is pleased the exhibition will give viewers a new opportunity to learn more about the work of alumni, current faculty and emeritus faculty. There are alumni artists in the exhibition dating back over 50 years, with the earliest being a 1971 graduate. The exhibition will also highlight the work of faculty members, which is infrequently on display locally.

“I think one of the biggest things, particularly for the faculty, is that students, and even the public, we are familiar with the faculty as educators, so we know their names and the classes that they teach, but we rarely have the opportunity to see the work of faculty here in Oxford,” said Shaiman.

In organizing the exhibition, submissions by current faculty, emeritus faculty and alumni were not paired by the artist’s affiliation with Miami University. Pieces were interwoven and arranged according to known or perceived contexts, as well as evident imagery, playing pieces off one another to inspire viewers to see their connections.

“The exhibition is like taking 64 puzzle pieces, and each piece is from a different puzzle, and having to put them together to make a new image,” Shaiman said.

“Many of the works have no real connection to each other, because they are individual artists, and they are working independently. So, when we designed the exhibition for our gallery layout, it’s primarily going by aesthetics, the media and what we understand is the context of the works.”

He said it’s also important for viewers to appreciate the artwork within the context of the time it was created.

“What does it say about the past couple of years? What’s going on globally? What’s going on locally? What are the influences that are impacting artists to create their works?” said Shaiman.

For example, Roscoe Wilson, is a faculty member on the Hamilton campus. His works deal with environmental issues, which is clearly relevant to the world in which we live, he said.

“I think it’s important for people not to just look at the surface level of each work, but to really ponder and consider what does it say about the artist at the time that they made the piece,” Shaiman said.

Larry Collins, an artist who recently retired from teaching, created a series of works based on the COVID-19 pandemic, so artists are looking at that. Others are looking at the world around them and the changes taking place in that world, and they are responding to it, he said.

In presenting the exhibition, Robert Robbins, chair of the art department, and the Miami University Art Museum staff are committed to the collaboration between the museum and the department.

Logan Bowers, a curatorial intern last spring, assisted in developing the exhibition and Cassidy Gebhart, an undergraduate communication design major, designed the exhibition catalog.


■ What: Department of Art Faculty & Alumni Exhibition 2021

■ When: Gallery hours are Monday through Friday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on select Saturdays, from noon to 5 p.m. – 9/25, 10/2, 11/6 and 12/11. The exhibition will be on display through Dec. 11.

■ Where: Miami University Art Museum and Sculpture Park, 801 S. Patterson Ave., Oxford. Works will be on display in the Douglass, McKie and Farmer Galleries.

■ Admission: Free and open to the public. Due to COVID-19, guests are currently required to wear a mask when visiting the galleries, but a reservation is not required.

■ More info: 513-529- 2232 or www.MiamiOH.edu/ArtMuseum.