As part of the Springfield College William Simpson Fine Arts Series, the In Person and Virtual Exhibition, "Rhizomatic: Cause to Strike Root," remains on display both at the The William Blizard Gallery, and virtually by clicking here.
The William Blizard Gallery is open Mondays and Thursdays from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Visitors are limited to five people at a time. The gallery is currently open to Springfield College students, faculty, and staff only.
Springfield College Assistant Professor of Art and Community Engagement and the Gallery Director Jessica Poser recently assisted with providing some history on the "Rhizomatic: Cause to Strike Root" gallery.
What caused this idea to be the focus for this particular art gallery (I would say exhibit rather than gallery)
Poser: The rhizome is a really generative form, both as it occurs in nature as well as a way of thinking about knowledge formation. I was also drawn to the idea as a hopeful metaphor- for growth and connection, the things that are a bit elusive right now.
What was the process of actually putting the exhibit together? (Did you reach out to the artists, or vice versa?)
Poser: The process of creating this exhibit was actually pretty rhizomatic in itself. I reached out to an artist, she agreed to participate and then sent me to another artist, who agreed to participate and so on. I think that the final show reflects that kind of 'one thing leads to another' process.
The virtual exhibit is a great option for those unable to visit the gallery in person. How important is it for you to provide this option for those unable to see the art physically? Is this something the Art Department started with the rise of Covid?
Poser: Virtual experiences of live exhibits are important these days, and although the formats available do leave a lot to be desired, it's what we have to work with to make exhibits available to folks who can't be there in person. I tend to think of the online exhibit as an 'approximation' of the real thing. One nice to think to come out of all this is a more expansive accessibility of events and exhibits, even if the actual experience isn't quite the same.
What do you appreciate the most about this particular exhibition?
Poser: I am excited about the connections that have been made between the artists and their work. As Jacin and I worked on installing the work, we were delighted by the dialogues that began to emerge. For example, Scott Wolniak's 'Cairns' (made of pulped Artforum magazines) had a very interesting conversation going with Stacey McCarthy's 'Wall', but also with Beth Humphrey's use of non-precious and recycled materials as well as Rob Bywater's poems. These kinds of connective tissues emerged throughout and there is something especially alchemical when that happens in ways that are unplanned.
Rhizomatic: Cause to Strike Root is open from February 8th to March 5th. Are there any future plans for the Art Department after this exhibit?
Poser: After this show comes down there are three more exhibits coming up this semester.
March 15- April 9.
Refugees, Resistance, Resilience: Creating Emotional Resonance
Simone Alter Muri, Harriet Diamond, Viki Gable, and Judy Shintani
This exhibit, envisioned by Simone Alter Muri, connects present-day refugee crises to those of the past. Art can serve as both a witness and as a vehicle to address social issues. Art can also help convey and, indeed, instill resilience. The exhibit is done in collaboration with several organizations, whose representatives will join in a panel discussion and in presentations on issues of concern to refugees.
April 19- April 30
Graduating Undergraduate Seniors. Art, Art Education, Art Therapy and Digital Web and Multimedia Design. The exhibit showcases the work of graduating seniors in the Department of Visual and Performing Arts. Work includes: graphic design, ceramics, photography, printmaking, painting, drawing, sculpture and mixed media.
May 3- May 15
Masters Students in Art Therapy and Counseling Exhibit
This exhibit showcases the work of graduate students of art therapy. Work includes: graphic design, ceramics, photography, printmaking, painting, drawing, sculpture and mixed media.