Carleton College’s Weitz Center for Creativity is the setting for two new art exhibits opening in January 2012 in the College’s Perlman Teaching Museum. In the Kaemmer Family Gallery, “Running the Numbers: Portraits of Mass Consumption” presents large but intricate color images based on statistics to visually dramatize aspects of contemporary American culture. In the adjoining Braucher Gallery, “A Complex Weave: Women and Identity in Contemporary Art” reveals the ongoing vitality of the Feminist artist movement with works by 17 contemporary women artists exploring aspects of identity through painting, drawing, needlework, photography and other media. Both exhibits will be on display Friday, January 13 through Sunday, March 11, 2012. Gallery admission is free and open to the public.
“Running the Numbers” features the work of Seattle artist Chris Jordan, who has composed huge color photographs based on statistical facts about American consumer culture. Employing detailed photographic prints assembled from thousands of smaller photographs, Jordan hopes to “raise some questions about the roles and responsibilities we each play as individuals in a collective that is increasingly enormous, incomprehensible, and overwhelming.”
“Each image portrays a specific quantity of something: fifteen million sheets of office paper (five minutes of paper use); 106,000 aluminum cans (thirty seconds of can consumption) and so on. My hope is that images representing these quantities might have a different effect than the raw numbers alone, such as we find daily in articles and books. Statistics can feel abstract and anesthetizing, making it difficult to connect with and make meaning of 3.6 million SUV sales in one year, for example, or 2.3 million Americans in prison, or 32,000 breast augmentation surgeries in the U.S. every month.”
On Tuesday, January 17, from 7 to 9 p.m., everyone is invited to “Northfield Runs The Numbers,” the result of a collaboration between Northfield Middle School art teacher John Bade and his students along with Carleton College psychology professor Neil Lutsky and students from his “Measured Thinking” class. The evening will feature a reception and student presentations.
On Friday, January 20, from 7 to 9 p.m.. the Perlman Teaching Museum will host an opening reception for “A Complex Weave,” including an exhibition tour at 8 p.m. with Martin Rosenberg, co-curator of the exhibition and professor of art history at Rutgers University, Camden.
In the 21st century, issues of personal identity seem increasingly intricate and critical. “A Complex Weave” reveals the ongoing vitality of the Feminist artist movement with works by contemporary women artists of varied backgrounds. Curated by Martin Rosenberg and J. Susan Isaacs, professor of art history at Maryland’s Towson University, the exhibition explores ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation and other aspects of identity through drawing, painting, sculpture, needlework and photography. The exhibit includes works by Blanka Amezkua, Sarah Amos, Helene Aylon, Siona Benjamin, Zoe Charlton, Sonya Clark, Annet Couwenberg, Lalla A. Essaydi, Judy Gelles, Sharon Harper, Julie Harris, Fujiko Isomura, Tatiana Parcero, Philemona Williamson, April Wood, and Flo Oy Wong.
Both exhibits will be on display in the Carleton College Weitz Center for Creativity Perlman Teaching Museum from January 13 through March 11, 2012. For more information, including disability accommodations, contact Laurel Bradley at (507) 222-4342 or visit online at https://apps.carleton.edu/museum/.
The Weitz Center for Creativity is located at 320 Third Street East in Northfield. Hours for the Perlman Teaching Museum are: Monday-Wednesday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Thursday-Friday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; and Saturday-Sunday, 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Enter the Perlman Teaching Museum, Weitz Center for Creativity, at Third and College Streets.