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Fitchburg State, Fitchburg Art Museum collaborate on Jeffu Warmouth exhibit

Posted 02/04/14

The absurdist artwork and off-kilter sensibility of Fitchburg State University Professor Jeffrey “Jeffu” Warmouth will be on display this spring when the Fitchburg Art Museum presents the mid-career retrospective “Jeffu Warmouth: No More Funny Stuff” from Sunday, Feb. 9 through Sunday, June 1. There will be an opening reception on Sunday, Feb. 9 from 1 to 3 p.m. at the art museum, 25 Merriam Parkway.

The exhibit also marks the culmination of a pilot collaboration between Fitchburg State University and the Fitchburg Art Museum (FAM), in which Communications Media students helped conceive, design and promote the show.

“This has been an amazing opportunity for our students, and I am grateful to the Fitchburg Art Museum leadership and our faculty members for their initiative,” Fitchburg State University President Robert V. Antonucci said. “This exhibition strengthens the university’s ties to the city at the same time it creates meaningful educational and cultural opportunities for our students.”

“The Jeffu Warmouth exhibition is the first major step towards developing an integral relationship between the Fitchburg Art Museum and Fitchburg State University,” said FAM Director Nicholas Capasso. “Our mutual desire is to have FAM become the de facto art museum for Fitchburg State, so that we can both better serve the audience, the students, and the community.”

Capasso said the exhibition brings value to both institutions.

“Our audiences benefit from the creativity and resources of Fitchburg State staff and students, and students in multiple Communications Media classes enjoy a real-life work experience that significantly builds their professional portfolios,” he said. “Many American colleges and universities have embedded art museums, but I cannot imagine any of them working with their own undergraduates to design and implement an exhibition, its marketing, and its educational interactives. The FAM-Fitchburg State collaboration is a model for institutional collaboration that can be applied elsewhere, with the potential for great positive impact.”

Capasso credited President Antonucci, who is also a trustee at the museum, for the leadership that has made this innovative collaboration possible. “This has worked so well, for both the university and the museum, that we are already planning to follow this model for future exhibitions.”

Warmouth has been a member of the Fitchburg State faculty since 1997. He teaches interactive media in the Communications Media Department and helped design the university’s new game design major.

“No More Funny Stuff” is a mid-career retrospective featuring the puns, parody, and absurdist humor of a beloved New England contemporary artist. Whether riffing on fast-food courts, Spaghetti Western cinema, or concepts of monotony and ennui in our tech and media-savvy society, Warmouth’s photographs, videos, and installations wittily demonstrate the transformative nature of the mundane in our everyday lives.

The exhibition was made possible through a pilot collaboration between the Fitchburg Art Museum and Fitchburg State University during the 2013-14 academic year. The exhibition is organized by Associate Curator Mary M. Tinti with major contributions by Professor Carr’s document design students at Fitchburg State.

This exhibition has been supported by the Louise I. Doyle Exhibition Fund and a grant from the Artist’s Resource Trust.

For more on the exhibition, visit the FAM website.

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