UNCG Campus Weekly

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Enjoy ‘potpourri’ of newly gifted works at Weatherspoon

hughes-ice-2“The Kindness of Friends,” part of the Weatherspoon’s 75th anniversary celebration, features 38 recently donated pieces displayed in a public exhibition for the very first time. Coming from individual donors’ private collections, the works show a wide variety of styles, periods and subjects. “A potpourri,” is what curator Elaine Gustafson calls “The Kindness of Friends,” currently up in the Gregory D. Ivy Gallery.

Despite that the collection of gifted art pieces is highly eclectic, there is also noticeable unity in the exhibition. Gustafson has placed the works in a particular order, with the intention of telling a story. “Hopefully, the art pieces themselves are creating some dialogue with the visitor,” she says. Many of the pieces display humor and satire, and Gustafson has also added to that by often juxtaposing them with one another.

Anne Chu’s wildly multicolored bear portrait rests next to a quiet, pale mountain in Tom LaDuke’s “Anaheim.” Simon Hughes’ “Ice-Fishing Tower,” shows tiny, sparkling characters ice fishing within a series of cubicles, and another of his pieces, “Frontier Condominiums,’’ wooden cabin-like structures making up a skyscraper. Placed nearby is Joel Shapiro’s human figure statue made only of several wooden blocks—he is completely square on all edges, but leans backward, resembling a jubilant hitchhiker, as Gustafson sees him.

Elsewhere in the exhibit are collage-art pieces with diverse styles but an inherent visual link.  The exhibition holds R. B. Kitaj’s prints that were a collaboration with the poet Robert Creeley, “Guggenheim Poster,” by Roy Lichtenstein and “Boomerang,” by Alexander Calder.

Donors of art works include UNCG faculty, faculty emeritus and community members. Each work includes a credit to the donor on the placard. This exhibition will be open through Jan. 29. The museum will be closed Dec. 24 through Jan. 2. but open for all other regular hours in December and January.

By Susan Kirby-Smith

Visual: Simon Hughes, “Ice Fishing Tower,” gift of Scott Morgan and Katy Allgeyer, 2016.