Art gallery exhibitions highlight photography and faculty work

Posted 01/15/14

The NutcrackersThe Hammond Hall Art Gallery at Fitchburg State University will reopen following a three-year hiatus on Wednesday, Feb. 5, with “Seeing Pink,” an exhibition of photographer Lisa Kessler’s work exploring the color pink and its assorted connotations in American life. The program is part of the CenterStage at Fitchburg State University arts and culture series.

The university's annual Faculty Show, featuring works by Fitchburg State art and communications media professors, will run in the Gallery at Sanders from Jan. 29 through March 26.

Kessler’s documentary photographs play with the myriad associations we make with the color pink. As the artist says, “Pink is the color of love and sweetness and vulnerability, but also of power, eccentricity, and pornography. It is a gender marker; both vulnerable and transgressive. These pink pictures stir up notions of what is real and what is fake; what is biologically determined and what is socially created. Pink is simply a color: but it is also an idea, one that confines and liberates, and ultimately holds a mirror to our culture.”

“Seeing Pink” opens with a gallery talk by the artist at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 12, with a reception to follow. Admission is free. The exhibition will run until March 28.

Trained as a historian and a photojournalist, Kessler holds degrees from Brown University and Boston University. She teaches documentary and photography courses at Endicott College and Boston College, a master class on vision and voice and is available for private mentoring and workshops. Her photographs are in the permanent collection of the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Teaching Collection of the Lehigh University Art Galleries. She is a 2011 recipient of a Massachusetts Cultural Council Artist Fellowship and was a runner-up for the Honickman Foundation First Book Prize in Photography, Center for Documentary Studies, for her work on the clergy sex abuse crisis.

The Hammond Hall Art Gallery was closed for three years during the comprehensive renovation of the campus center. This spring marks the completion of the most recent phase of work to the building, including the new, centrally-located art gallery space. Kessler’s exhibition is the inaugural show in this new space.

Faculty show Jan. 29-March 26

Fitchburg State’s art and communications media faculty will present an exhibition of photography, sculpture, design, painting, drawing, film, video and mixed media in the gallery at the Sanders Administration Building, 300 Highland Ave., from Wednesday, Jan. 29 through Wednesday, March 26. The exhibition highlights some of the faculty’s best and recent work.

There will be an opening reception at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 29 in Sanders. A video screening will follow at 6:30 p.m. in Presidents’ Hall in the Mazzaferro Center, 291 Highland Ave. Admission is free.

For more information on “Seeing Pink,” the Faculty Show and other events scheduled in Fitchburg State’s cultural series, visit www.fitchburgstate.edu/cultural.

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