Denison's Art Department Hosts Two Visiting Artists
Posted: October 16, 2006
The Denison University Art Department will host two Vail visiting artists in the coming week. Jeffrey Nilan will present "2000 Pounds of Soil: Imagery From the Rural Midwest" at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday (Oct. 24) in the Cleveland Annex and Scot Kaplan will present "That's Not Art, Its Not Even Pretty" at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday (Oct. 26), also in the Cleveland Annex. Both lectures are free and open to the public.
For the past eight years, Nilan has been working on a project focused on the people, landscape and structure of rural southwestern Iowa. He uses out-buildings and small structures found on his relatives' farms in Cass County, Iowa, a rural farm community in decline, and takes rubbings of the surfaces of these buildings. He uses black and white and color photographs, artist's books, video and alternative photographic processes -- such as salted paper prints and cyanotypes printed with litho-crayon rubbings as the negatives to produce his works.
Nilan earned a bachelor of science degree at the University of Nebraska, was a fellow at the American Photography Institute of New York University, and earned his master of fine arts degree in photography at Indiana University. He currently is serving as the assistant special collections conservator of the Lilly Library at Indiana University. His work is included in the collections of the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center, McNeese State University and the South Bend Regional Museum of Art.
Kaplan is an assistant professor of art at Ohio State's Marion campus. His installation pieces have attracted attention and praise from writers who have experienced them from South Africa to Philadelphia. A master of fine arts graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, Kaplan installed "Control Room" at Stellenbosch University, South Africa. In that work, he stood at attention in a small area partitioned from the viewer who was told that Kaplan was under his/her control and would do anything asked of him for three minutes. One reviewer of this installation reported that "the isolation of having to 'keep the secret' of what you requested Kaplan to do inside the room creates guilt, shame and embarrassment -- all very unexpected emotions." He said there was a desire to confess to someone just so they wouldn't think that you had asked Kaplan to do something inappropriate and concluded "This embarrassment exposes an unavoidable question: Who is controlling whom?"
Kaplan's "R-21" installation at the Bridgette Mayer Gallery in Philadelphia used a realistic two-room interrogation chamber. Here, two participants play at a process that can become chilling as the interrogator's multiple computers and cameras raise issues about the communication of information -- especially that produced by Kaplan's software program, "Private Eye." Kaplan reported that in testing the piece he'd found people ready to divulge plenty about themselves and their neighbors.
"Happy Accidents: Thirty Days, Thirty Minutes, Thirty Paintings" is one of Kaplan's latest projects. In it, he painted live along with a taped episode of the PBS series that featured soft-spoken Bob Ross, "Joy of Painting," at the Mahan Gallery in Columbus.
Denison University,Vail visiting artist Jeffrey Nilan speaks on "2000 Pounds of Soil: Imagery From the Rural Midwest"; 7:30 p.m., Tuesday (Oct. 24). Cleveland Annex (201 N. Mulberry St.). Free and open to the public. Contact 740-587-6596 to confirm information.
Denison University,Vail visiting artist Scot Kaplan will speak on "That's Not Art, It's Not Even Pretty"; 7:30 p.m., Thursday (Oct. 26), Cleveland Annes (201 N. Mulberry St.). Free and open to the public. Contact 740-587-6596 to confirm information.
Denison University, founded in 1831, is an independent, residential liberal arts institution located in Granville, Ohio. A highly selective college enrolling 2,100 full-time undergraduate students from all 50 states and dozens of foreign countries, Denison is a place where innovative faculty and motivated students collaborate in rigorous scholarship, civic engagement and the cultivation of independent thinking.
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