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  • Harold B. Lemmerman Gallery

Harold B. Lemmerman Gallery

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  • The Harold B. Lemmerman Gallery runs shows independently and in cooperation with the Visual Arts Gallery.

    Current Exhibition

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    Laura Kina
    Blue Hawai'i

    January 27 - March 3 

    Press: "Women artists explore cultural histories of Hawaii, Black women at NJCU 

    Artist Talk: March 2, 5:30-6:30 p.m.
    Gothic Lounge, Hepburn Hall room 202, followed by a reception in the gallery.

    "You won’t find Elvis or surfboards or funny umbrella-topped cocktails in my dystopic Blue Hawai'i." The Chicago-based artist Laura Kina speaks of her latest series of paintings which are featured in this exhibition. Drawn from her family albums, oral history and community archives, Kina's ghostly oil paintings employ distilled memories to investigate themes of distance, longing, and belonging. The setting of these paintings is her father’s Okinawan sugarcane field plantation community, Piʻihonua, on the Big Island of Hawaiʻi near Hilo. The predominant blue color of the series was inspired by the indigo-dyed kasuri kimonos repurposed by the Issei (first generation) “picture bride” immigrants for canefield work clothes. Blue Hawaiʻi echoes the spirits of Kina's ancestors and shared histories of labor migration.

    In 2009, Kina accompanied her father back to his hometown community in Hawaiʻi to interview him along with other Nisei (second generation) and Sansei (third generation) about their memories of plantation life. In 2012, she traveled to Okinawa with her father, collecting stories of heritage and history. She learned of her grandmother and great aunts having been Kibei Nisei, i.e., sent to Japan for their education and that in the devastation of WWII and the Battle of Okinawa, four family members were killed–two by forced suicide.

    As U.S. relatives ceased to use the Okinawan dialect of Uchinaguchi or standard Japanese, stories like these were lost. In Blue Hawaiʻi, Kina seeks to reclaim these histories via reanimated traces from old photographs and present-day vestiges visible in paintings such as “Okinawa—All American Food” and “Black Market,” which capture the remnants of war and a continued American military presence in contemporary Okinawa. Risking distortion, misreading, nostalgia and erasure, the artist fully engages in, what she calls, "the messy business" of memory, collapsing time and space into one Blue Hawaiʻi.

    Laura Kina is Vincent de Paul professor of Art, Media, & Design at DePaul University. She is the coeditor, along with Wei Ming Dariotis, of War Baby/Love Child: Mixed Race Asian American Art (University of Washington Press, 2013); cofounder of the DePaul biennial Critical Mixed Race Studies conference; and cofounder and consulting editor of the Journal of Critical Mixed Race Studies and reviews editor for the Asian Diasporic Visual Cultures and the Americas.

    Her solo exhibitions include Blue Hawaii (2014), Sugar (2010), A Many-Splendored Thing (2010), Aloha Dreams (2007), Loving (2006), and Hapa Soap Operas (2003). She has exhibited at the Chicago Cultural Center, India Habitat Centre, Nehuru Art Centre, Okinawa Prefectural Art Museum, the Rose Art Museum, the Spertus Museum, the University of Memphis, and the Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience.

    For more about the exhibition, view an on-line catalog HERE.

    Image: Laura Kina, Canefield Workers, 2013, oil on canvas, 30 x 45 inches. Bottom image: Palaka, 2010, oil on canvas, 30 x 45 inches. 


    Upcoming Exhibit

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    Mia Brownell: At the still point, there the dance is.
    March 18 – April 23
    Opening Reception: March 18, 5 – 8 p.m.
    Artist Talk: March 18, 5:30-6:30 p.m. in Hepburn Hall room 202


    The exhibition will feature twelve oil paintings, spanning 2006-2014, with an emphasis on recent works.

    The title of the exhibition is drawn from Four Quartets by Brownell’s favorite poet, T.S. Elliot. In the first quartet, “Burnt Norton” (1935), Elliot wrote:

    “At the still point of the turning world. Neither flesh nor fleshless; Neither from nor towards; at the still point, there the dance is. But neither arrest nor movement.”

    This prose has been one of the artist’s inspirations for painting a never-ending “dance” of fruits, vines, and chemical molecules which swirl and interlock in complex motion. While these paintings carry on certain conventions from seventeenth-century Dutch still life, Brownell’s work is never “still” due to the compositional movement contained within.

    The curiously twisting formations of her still life, in fact, stems from the molecular dynamics of proteins, as seen in the Villin headpiece, which is a title of her series of paintings. Pieces of meat incorporated in some of her paintings unexpectedly remind us of the transient nature of life. In a recent public lecture, the artist recently remarked, “I embrace the invisible by reflecting on the social and cultural aspects of the food that we eat…. Still Life as a means to expressive ends, rather than as the end in itself.”

    Darra Goldstein, the Williams College professor and editor of Gastronomica: The Journal of Food and Culture commented: “Meditating on shapes seen and unseen, Brownell gives expressive form to the molecules comprising the foods that we eat, and in so doing straddles the boundaries between food and science, between naturalism and abstraction.” Brownell’s luscious paintings also subtly alert us to the potential harms of biotechnology, such as the genetic engineering of foods.

    Mia Brownell was born in Chicago, Illinois to a sculptor and biophysicist. She holds a BFA from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh and an MFA from University of Buffalo. For last two decades, she has held numerous solo and group exhibitions across the United States and her work has been reviewed in numerous renowned publications, including the Boston Globe, The Village Voice, and the New York Times. She is a professor of painting at Southern Connecticut State University.  


    Ongoing Exhibition

     Transformation: Art Faculty Exhibition
    Gilligan Student Union, Faculty Dining Hall, 2nd floor

    “Transformation: Art Faculty Exhibition” will feature works by NJCU art faculty Mauro Altamura, Hugo Bastidas, Dennis Dittrich, Brian Gustafson, Deborah Jack, Martin Kruck, Ken MacBain, Winifred McNeill, Janet Pihlblad, Ellen Quinn, Jose Rodeiro, and Herb Rosenberg. The exhibit will be shown throughout the full 2013-2014 academic year. The Dining Hall is accessible Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. - 2 p.m.

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    Brian Gustafson
    Bleeding the love out of roses
    2013
    Metal, glass, flora, 20" x 20" x 2"

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    Martin Kruck
    Habitorium: Blaze
    2013
    Photogravure