The Lunder Institute is Hiring!

Attention current Colby College students—the Lunder Institute for American Art at the Colby College Museum of Art is seeking applicants for the following paid student internships:

Student Organizer for Senior Fellow Dread Scott

The Lunder Institute seeks one student to serve as intern to artist and Lunder Institute Senior Fellow Dread Scott for 8-12 hours per week. Dread Scott, in his own words, “makes revolutionary art to propel history forward.” His work is exhibited across the United States and internationally. For over 30 years Scott has played with fire—metaphorically and sometimes literally. Through works ranging from performance, photography and screen printing, to installation and video, Scott asks viewers to look soberly at America’s past and at our present. The intern will collaborate on a year-long research and practice project surrounding the topic of fugitivity as it relates to the artist’s ideas and the Arts and Humanities theme of Freedom and Captivity.

Candidates for the internship must be reliable, organized, and capable of working independently. They must also have strong written and verbal communication skills. Interns should have experience with or strong interest in learning community organizing and/or public programming; they are also expected to demonstrate interest in learning more about activism through art. Students with connections to Abolitionist groups in Maine will be prioritized. Interns will meet with the Institute fellow via Zoom; conduct community-based and other forms of research relegated to the artist’s work with Colby; participate in one or two scheduled events related to Scott’s October visit to the Colby campus and assist with the promotion and production of this event; and check in with their supervisor on a weekly basis. Rising juniors and seniors are encouraged to apply.

Interested applicants should submit a cover letter and resume to Khristina Kurasz, Lunder Institute manager of operations, no later than September 24, 2021.

Lunder-Buck Internship Program on Art and Environment

The Lunder Institute for American Art and the Buck Lab for Climate and Environment seeks a Research and Studio Assistant to work on a project related to the intersection between art and the environment. Throughout the fall semester, the RA will work collaboratively to assist E. Saffronia Downing on a Residential Fellowship appointment for the Lunder Institute.This person will focus on Maine’s brick-making history.

This interdisciplinary internship program is geared towards a student with interest in Environmental Studies or Geology and Art or Art History. Duties will include research on materiality, geology, and industrial history, help processing clay, and conducting site-specific research in central Maine. The project includes hands-on fieldwork related to clay deposits and defunct brickyards. Additional responsibilities may include preparation for and participation in public programming related to the project.

The RA will work 5 hours per week and report to the Lunder Institute’s Manager of Programs. Ideal candidates are rising sophomores and juniors, with an interest in archival research, art-making, material culture, geology, and experimental ecologies. Interested applicants should submit cover letter addressing your interests and relevant experience, a resume, and a list of two references to Gabriel Chalfin-Piney. Application materials in the form of a single PDF are due by September 24, 2021.

Meet Our Fall 2021 Residential Fellows

In September, two new residential fellows—Julia Arredondo and E. Saffronia Downing—will join continuing residential fellows Adriane Herman and Veronica Perez at the Lunder Institute through December 2021. Established earlier this year, Lunder Institute residential fellowships provide artists with spacious studios as well as opportunities for collaboration with Colby College faculty, students, and staff, the Waterville community, and the Maine arts community. This new studio program, based in downtown Waterville, encompasses artists at all stages of their careers and working in a range of artistic disciplines and mediums. Resident fellows are provided with housing and a stipend, have access to Colby College campus facilities, and are in dialogue with local organizations and community members.

 

Bios

Julia Arredondo (she/they) is an artist entrepreneur who recently completed her master of fine arts at Columbia College Chicago. Originally from Corpus Christi, Texas, Arredondo is heavily influenced by the small, family-based businesses she grew up around. Formally trained in printmaking and specializing in artistic forms of independent publishing, she founded Vice Versa Press and Curandera Press. Her latest endeavor, QTVC Live!, a DIY shopping network for artists and underrepresented creatives, is currently in its second season of production in collaboration with the Cleveland Museum of Contemporary Art. Arredondo is a recent recipient of the Hyde Park Art Center’s Artist Run Chicago Fund grant. She believes that open dialogue around creative finances is a much-needed form of class representation in the arts.

E. Saffronia Downing (she/her) works with wild clay to create site-specific sculptures and installations. Foraging materials from local landscapes, Downing considers correspondences between makers and matter. She received her master of fine arts in ceramics from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2020, and her work has been featured in exhibitions at Bad Water (Knoxville, Tenn.), Resort (Baltimore, Md.), and The Franklin (Chicago). Downing currently teaches the Knowledge Lab: Craft Ecologies course at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and is the co-creator of the digital publication Viral Ecologies.

 

2021–22 Research Fellows: Art of the American Southwest

The Lunder Institute for American Art is pleased to announce its 2021–22 Research Fellowship program on the Art of the American Southwest.

Led by Distinguished Scholar Jessica L. Horton, the 2021–22 cohort of research fellows will pursue original scholarship on artistic modernisms of the Southwest, a region with unstable and contested boundaries shaped by sovereign Indigenous communities, settler colonialism, and ecological flux. Motivating this focus are the Colby College Museum of Art’s collection of work by the Taos Society of Artists, the Museum’s recent collaborations with Indigenous artists, and a forthcoming collection reinstallation that will put Native and non-Native art into conversation.

Research Fellows will attend meetings at Colby College in Waterville, Maine, and in Taos, New Mexico, engaging in critical reflections on art in the context of the westward expansion of the United States, a vast and unfinished project centered on the appropriation of Indigenous homelands, assimilation of Native bodies, and establishment of industries dedicated to art, tourism, and resource extraction. The group will be joined by guest speakers at each site, including Cynthia Chavez Lamar (assistant director for collections, National Museum of the American Indian), and they will convene in Taos at the Couse-Sharp Historic Site. Through the Colby College Museum’s collections and their ongoing research, the Fellows will explore these questions and others: How have the social and environmental upheavals of western expansion been registered—or suppressed—in artistic modernisms by makers of diverse heritages? How might our analyses of historical materials be read through the lens of Indigenous and environmental justice? What methodological tools are most needed today to address the legacies of colonialism and its contestation in Southwest modernisms and American art history more broadly?

Read their bios here.

Featured image: Victor Higgins, Taos (detail), c. 1914-1915. Oil on canvas, 27 in. x 30 in. (68.58 cm x 76.2 cm). The Lunder Collection; 2013.139P

David Driskell and Maine

David Driskell, Blue Pines, 1959. Oil on canvas, 36 x 29 in. (91.4 x 73.7 cm). Gift from the Alex Katz Foundation and Museum purchase from the Jere Abbott Acquisitions Fund. Accession Number: 2017.388

The Lunder Institute for American Art, the Portland Museum of Art , and the Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture are pleased to announce David Driskell and Maine, on Saturday, July 24, 2021, 4 p.m., at the Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture.

David Driskell (1931–2020) attended the Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture in the summer of 1953 and remained part of the Skowhegan community for the rest of his life. His connection to Maine and to the School influenced many artists over several generations, and artists worked with him as a teacher, advisor, mentor, and friend. The participants in this conversation will discuss the meaning of David’s legacy within their practices, and in Maine more generally. Speakers will include Ruth Fine, Desmond Lewis, Julie L. McGee, and Sylvia Snowden; moderated by Sarah Workneh.

Organized in conjunction with the exhibition David Driskell: Icons of Nature and History (Portland Museum of Art, June 19 through September 12, 2021), this conversation will be followed by a reception and an optional tour of the Skowhegan campus.

This event is free but registration is required and capacity is limited. Register now.

Dread Scott Named 2021–22 Senior Fellow

For the 2021–22 academic year, we are pleased to announce the senior fellowship of artist Dread Scott. Senior fellows are chosen by invitation; their appointments last from nine to eighteen months, during which they contribute to the Colby community through academic engagement and one or more public programs related to their research. Scott’s fellowship represents a collaboration between the Lunder Institute and Colby’s Center for the Arts and Humanities as part of the Center’s 2021–22 humanities theme, “Freedom & Captivity.” Read more

Lunder Institute Interns and Research Assistants Reflect on the Past Year

In the 2020–21 academic year, the Lunder Institute employed eight Colby College student research assistants and interns. At the end of the spring semester, they reflected on a challenging but rewarding year and their individual contributions to the Institute’s fellowships and related programs. Read their insights here.

Inaugural Cohort of Resident Fellows Moves In

Established in 2021, the Lunder Institute residential fellowships provide artists with spacious studios as well as opportunities for collaboration with Colby College faculty, students, staff, and the Waterville community. This new studio program, which is based at the Arts Collaborative at 18 Main Street in downtown Waterville, encompasses artists at all stages of their careers and working in a range of artistic disciplines and mediums. Resident fellows are provided with housing and a stipend; have access to Colby College campus facilities; and are in dialogue with local organizations and community members.

Read more

Maya Lin, Interrupted River: Penobscot

Memorializing the Natural Environment: Maya Lin in conversation with Jessamine Batario, Danae Jacobson, and Chris Walker

Recorded on via Zoom on Thursday, May 6, 2021, at 6 p.m., this program is part of the Spring 2021 Lunder Institute Talks, a series of live, unscripted conversations with scholars and artists who are shaping the field of American art.

Consider how art, science, and history converge in Maya Lin’s “last memorial,” What is Missing?, a multi-sited and multimedia project devoted to the global biodiversity crisis related to habitat loss. As a 2020–21 Lunder Institute senior fellow, Lin has been working with several Colby College courses and engaging with the local community to make contributions to the project. This Lunder Institute Talk features Lin in conversation with her Colby faculty collaborators, Chris Walker (Assistant Professor of English) and Danae Jacobson (Visiting Assistant Professor in History). Together, they reflect on this year’s creative projects and research, discussing art’s capacity to convey urgent scientific information and the role of community participation in the formation of a public history project.

Maya Lin is an artist, designer, and environmentalist who has received both the National Medal of Arts (2009) and the Presidential Medal of Freedom (2016). Since designing the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC (1982), Lin has built a practice that balances her interests in art, architecture, and the natural environment. She has remained firmly committed to her Memory Works, of which What is Missing? is the ongoing final project. Lin has consistently focused on utilizing scientific methodology to create artworks that draw the viewer’s attention to nature in order to consider our relationship to it. From large-scale earthworks to intimate sculptural mappings of terrain, waterways, and mountains, Lin’s work reveals aspects of the natural world that are oftentimes overlooked.

Danae Jacobson is a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of History at Colby College. She received her PhD in Environmental History from Notre Dame in 2019, and is now working on a book manuscript. Her work focuses on intersections of gender, religion, and race in the U.S. West; specifically, she studies the roles of Catholic nuns in 19th century settler colonialism and empire. In addition to her research, Danae enjoys engaging with students about the multiple ways history shapes the kinds of communities we build, the kind of earth we inhabit, the kind of people we identify with, and the kind of change we imagine possible.

Christopher Allen Walker is Assistant Professor in English at Colby College, where he researches and teaches in the environmental humanities. His book project, Narratives of Decay: Environmental Change and Speculative Form, argues that 20th-century scientists and artists developed shared speculative languages in response to newly discovered processes of material decay. He is co-director of the Colby Summer Institute in Environmental Humanities.

Jessamine Batario is an art historian of modern and contemporary art and the Linde Family Foundation Curator of Academic Engagement at the Colby College Museum of Art. She received her PhD in Art History from The University of Texas at Austin, where her research project, Contemporary Transgressions: the Byzantine-Modern Connection, received support from the Dedalus Foundation, Getty Research Institute Library, and the Vivian L. Smith Foundation at The Menil Collection. Her published work can be found in the Journal of Art HistoriographyDifferent Visions, and the Brooklyn Rail

Featured Image: Maya Lin, Interrupted River: Penobscot (detail), 2019. Glass marbles and adhesive, 288 x 264 x 120 in. (732 x 671 x 305 cm). Museum purchase from Sandy ’78 and Sissy Buck, Laura Keeler Pierce ’07 and M. Vassar Pierce Jr., Seth A. Thayer ’89 and Gregory N. Tinder, the Bruce C. Drouin ’74 and Janet L. Hansen ’75 Maine Art Endowed Fund, and the Robert Cross Vergobbi ’51 Museum Acquisition Fund; 2020.026.

Watch Maine on the Map of Memory: Lunder-Buck Interns and What Is Missing?

On Monday, May 3, 2021, Colby students Helen Bennett ‘22 and Cal Waichler ‘21 reflected on their year working on the What Is Missing? project with Lunder Institute senior fellow Maya Lin and her team of researchers. Bennett and Waichler discussed their experiences building a Maine environmental history timeline and translating that research into an installation for the Arts Collaborative. Designed to be interdisciplinary and collaborative at its foundation, the Lunder-Buck Internship Program is a partnership between the Lunder Institute for American Art and the Buck Lab for Climate and Environment.

This conversation was introduced by Gail Carlson, Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies and Director of the Buck Lab for Climate and Environment, and moderated by Jessamine Batario, Linde Family Foundation Curator of Academic Engagement, Colby College Museum of Art.

Featured image: Jeremy Frey, Color in Winter, 2019. Black ash, sweetgrass, birchbark, porcupine quills, dye, 16 x 12 x 12 in. (41 x 30 x 30 cm). Museum purchase from the Bruce C. Drouin ’74 and Janet L. Hansen ’75 Maine Art Endowed Fund and Friends of Art; 2019.026.

Reframing Modern Art of the American Southwest: Patricia Marroquin Norby in conversation with Jessica Horton

Recorded on via Zoom on Thursday, April 22, 2021, at 6 p.m., this program is part of the Spring 2021 Lunder Institute Talks, a series of live, unscripted conversations with scholars and artists who are shaping the field of American art.

Explore new research shaping understanding of modern art of the American Southwest—the focus of the Lunder Institute’s Research Fellows Program in 2021–22. University of Delaware professor Jessica Horton (2021–22 Distinguished Scholar) and the Met’s Associate Curator of Native American Art Patricia Marroquin Norby (2021–22 Research Fellow) will discuss some of the questions guiding their research. How, for example, have the social and environmental upheavals of western expansion been registered—or suppressed—in art made during the first half of the 20th century by makers of diverse heritages? How might Indigenous and environmental justice change our analysis of historical materials? What methods are most needed today to address the legacies of colonialism and its contestation in Southwest modernisms and American art history more broadly?
Read more

Maine on the Map of Memory: Lunder-Buck Interns and What Is Missing?

Monday, May 3, 2021, 6 p.m.

REGISTER NOW

Join Colby students Helen Bennett ‘22 and Cal Waichler ‘21 via Zoom as they reflect on their year working on the What Is Missing? project with Lunder Institute senior fellow Maya Lin and her team of researchers. Bennett and Waichler will discuss their experiences building a Maine environmental history timeline and translating that research into an installation for the Arts Collaborative. Designed to be interdisciplinary and collaborative at its foundation, the Lunder-Buck Internship Program is a partnership between the Lunder Institute for American Art and the Buck Lab for Climate and Environment. Read more

Oral Histories in the Present Tense: Ben Gillespie, Liza Kirwin, and Wendy Red Star in conversation with Beth Finch

Recorded on via Zoom on Thursday, March 18, 2021, at 6 p.m., this program is part of the Spring 2021 Lunder Institute Talks, a series of live, unscripted conversations with scholars and artists who are shaping the field of American art.

How are artists responding to the challenges, demands, and losses of this moment as well as the opportunities it has offered for renewal, transformation, and growth? Over the Summer of 2020, the Archives of American Art created a new initiative, the Pandemic Oral History Project, that includes responses to the global pandemic across the American art world. This Lunder Institute Talk features the artist Wendy Red Star, a participant in the project, and Ben Gillespie and Liza Kirwin of the Archives of American Art in conversation with Beth Finch. The event will feature selected highlights from the eighty-five interviews, focusing on artists’ responses to this invitation to speak about their experiences during a time of interrelated crises. The conversation also touches on the Lunder Institute’s Vocal Archive, an oral history initiative dedicated to gathering artists’ reflections on works in the Colby Museum’s collection. Read more

Maya Lin, Interrupted River: Penobscot

Announcing the Lunder Institute Talks Series for Spring 2021

Maya Lin, Interrupted River: Penobscot

The Lunder Institute for American Art is pleased to announce the lineup for the Spring 2021 Lunder Institute Talks series.

The Lunder Institute Talks are a series of live, unscripted hour-long Zoom conversations with scholars and artists who are shaping the field of American art. These conversations bring audiences up close with creative and research processes. Lunder Institute team members and invited guests delve into work in progress, engage with artworks and projects related to the Colby College Museum of Art, and connect these to contemporary questions about art and society.  Read more

Staying Connected: Updates from the 2019–20 Research Fellows

Our inaugural Research Fellows Program, focused on art by African Americans, is already having a significant impact on scholarship. Distinguished Scholar and Director of Research Tanya Sheehan recently reconnected with the six 2019–20 fellows and learned about their plans to disseminate the research they conducted on artworks at the Colby College Museum of Art, including objects in the permanent collection and works on loan from the Harmon and Harriet Kelley Collection of African American Art. Read more

Recapping Our Educator Evening with Maya Lin

 

Maya Lin’s tenure as a Lunder Institute senior fellow started with great enthusiasm, a feeling that continues to grow along with her network of Colby and community collaborators. In addition to delivering online lectures and participating in discussions in several courses at Colby, Lin has embarked on outreach to encourage the participation of Maine’s K–12 students in What Is Missing?, her “last memorial” to the environment.

In October, Lin discussed the memorial with a lively virtual audience of Maine’s teachers during an Educator Evening co-organized by the Lunder Institute and the Museum. Framed as a storytelling initiative, Lin’s project asks our younger audience members to interview people in their communities to uncover local narratives about endangered species and habitat loss. 

“Interview your grandparents, interview your great-grandparents,” Lin suggested. “It’s a wonderful way to have older generations connect with younger generations through nature.” The students will then have the opportunity to contribute their stories to What Is Missing?, spotlighting Maine on Lin’s map of memories. 

In discussing the state’s leading role in conservation and dam removal, Lin anticipates that Maine stories might demonstrate natural abundance and recovery, countering narratives of loss elsewhere. “Everywhere we can showcase how much conservation has helped nature rebound is a success for me,” said Lin. Environmental hope has been a key message in her academic engagements at Colby and across Maine. “Art can give us hope by showing us a road map. Nature is resilient. If we protect it, nature can be and has been restored.”

As one teacher attending the Educator Evening said, “This is a great project with an artist who is totally committed to working in a sensible, historical way [about how] our planet has changed.”

We are  excited to share the impact of Lin’s fellowship in a virtual program featuring the artist and some of her Colby collaborators, to be held in spring 2021.

Learn more about how to get involved in What Is Missing? here. 

Image: Detail of Maya Lin: A River Is a Drawing, Installation at Hudson River Museum, 511 Warburton Avenue, Yonkers, NY, October 12, 2018–January 20, 2019.