Senior Exhibition 2020

May 15, 2020 - August 23, 2020

Seniors studying studio art have spent all year working on capstone projects in disciplines that include printmaking, photography, painting, and sculpture. This show serves as the culmination of their studies. In a typical year these works would be displayed in the Davis Gallery at the Colby Museum, but this year has been anything but typical. Over the last few months the nineteen members of the senior cohort—our largest group in recent years—have adapted resiliently and still produced impressive culminating bodies of work.

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Ja’Tovia Gary: An Ecstatic Experience

March 12, 2020 - November 1, 2020

Davis Gallery

The artist and filmmaker Ja’Tovia Gary (b. 1984, Dallas) seeks through her work to liberate the distorted histories through which Black life is often viewed and present a nuanced and complex Black interiority. Her documentary films and experimental videos chart how structures of power shape perceptions around representation, race, gender, sexuality, and violence.

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The Sea in a Jug: The Welch Collection of Islamic and Later Indian Art

February 20, 2020 - November 1, 2020

Upper Jette Galleries

The phrase “the sea in a jug” (بحر در کوزه, bahr dar koozeh) appears in the first book of the Masnavi, the great multivolume work of the Persian poet, mystic, and theologian Rumi (1207–1275). The meaning of this saying has been debated for centuries. In the context of this exhibition of art from the Islamic world, it is intended to represent the idea that a subset of things—in this case a group of artworks—can contribute to our understanding of a much larger cultural field. Colby student Alaleh Naderi ’21, who proposed this title based on her reading of a major Rumi scholar, noted that the “largeness of the sea cannot fit into a jug, but the effort to store one day’s portion of water can help take away the thirst.”

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Hew Locke: Here’s the Thing

February 20, 2020 - November 29, 2020

Gladys Brooks Foundation Gallery, Lower Jette Galleries, Mirken Gallery, Sage Gallery

Here’s the Thing is the most comprehensive exhibition to date of work by the artist Hew Locke. Born in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1959, but raised in Guyana—a British colony until 1970—Locke often sailed between the UK and South America during his childhood. Across a wide range of media, he considers the maritime vectors of mercantilism, colonialism, post-colonialism, migration, and diaspora. Within his nautical imaginary, Locke reconfigures iconographies of nationhood, and in particular, the military. By his own account, he is “making global links between people on the sea,” and his artwork is as historically freighted as it is contemporaneously charged.

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Jennifer Steinkamp: Judy Crook 5

December 17, 2019 - August 2, 2020

William D. Adams Gallery

The artist Jennifer Steinkamp (born 1958) makes digital artworks, often working on a larger-than-life scale. Engineered to mesmerize and delight, her animations and images have appeared on building exteriors and billboards and in museum galleries and parks, among other sites. 

Steinkamp has made more than two dozen animated trees dedicated to a few teachers she especially admires. Trees represent strength, shelter, and fruitfulness; deciduous species, or trees that shed their leaves, manifest the changing seasons and, by extension, the cycle of life. This particular digital animation honors Judy Crook, who taught Steinkamp color theory in art school.

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Harmon and Harriet Kelley are San Antonio, Texas-based collectors of African American art. Over the last thirty years, the Kelleys have assembled one of the most comprehensive holdings of works by African American artists from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Loans from their collection are frequently exhibited in museums throughout the country. The Colby Museum is honored to have had twelve works from the Kelley Collection on display in our galleries through the 2019–20 academic year.

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