November 15, 2013
Richard Anuszkiewicz featrured in the exhibition "Optic Nerve" at the Tacoma Art Museum.

Have you ever wondered if your eyes are playing tricks on you? Or why someone may see something differently than you do? Tacoma Art Museum’s Optic Nerve: The Art of Perception showcases a selection of artwork that embodies these questions while venturing into ideas about visual and spatial perception. From November 2, 2013 through April 20, 2014, visitors are invited to immerse themselves in pulsating patterns, eye-dazzling colors, and disorienting forms for a whole new way of seeing.

“By manipulating your eye, the works on view heighten your experience of looking at art,” said Margaret Bullock, Curator of Collections and Special Collections at Tacoma Art Museum. “The variety of works will surprise you. For example, you might see something across the gallery that looks like paint splattered on the wall, but it is actually a three-dimensional physical structure.”

Artists have always been fascinated with manipulating the human eye and mind. From impressionism to op art, theories and ideas of how the eye perceives colors and patterns have been tested throughout history. There are a wide range of forms artists have chosen to entice viewers. Some works are meant to puzzle or visually deceive while others aim to intensify the viewing experience. Contemporary artists continue to explore these previous concepts as well as incorporate new media and techniques.

“Art has a way of speaking to people and in this exhibition the artwork challenges the viewer to consider what they are seeing from a variety of perspectives,” said Stephanie A. Stebich, Director of Tacoma Art Museum. “Perception is highlighted in a manner that will captivate people in ways they won’t expect.”

Several of the artists featured in Optic Nerve were major figures in the op art movement, including Bridget Riley, Richard Anuszkiewicz, and Victor Vasarely. The exhibition also includes works by Northwest op artists Spencer Moseley and Francis Celentano, who is still actively creating art today.

Op artists embraced perceptual experimentation as the primary motive for their art, creating images that explored the illusion of movement through color and pattern. Seen as a new form of abstraction, op art influenced pop culture, fashion, and design of the 1960s.

All of the artwork in Optic Nerve comes from the museum’s permanent collection. Some works, such as John Buck’s Dragon House, have never been on display at the museum before.

Optic Nerve is an exploration of the varying degrees by which people perceive the world that surrounds them. From illusionistic techniques, to vivid colors and patterns, and deceptive forms, this exhibition encourages guests to delve into an array of art that is more than what meets the eye. This exhibition is organized by Tacoma Art Museum.

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January 17, 2017
Globalocation: Celebrating 20 Years of Artnauts
J. Willard Marriott Library
The University of Utah, 01/17/2017

The University of Utah’s J. Willard Marriott Library will host the art exhibition Globalocation: Celebrating 20 Years of Artnauts, Jan. 20-March 3.

Artnauts, an art collective formed 20 years ago by George Rivera, professor of art and art history at the University of Colorado, Boulder, consists of 300 global artists who serve as goodwill ambassadors, acknowledging and supporting victims of oppression worldwide. Their creativity has generated over 230 exhibitions across five continents. Five faculty members from the U’s Department of Art and Art History are members of the collective, Sandy Brunvand, Beth Krensky, V. Kim Martinez, Brian Snapp and Xi Zhang.

Globalocation derives from “Globalocational Art” — a concept used by the Artnauts to refer to their exhibitions in international venues. It is the mission of the Artnauts to take art to places of contention, and this anniversary exhibition is a sample of places where they have been and themes they have addressed.

“The Artnauts could not exist without the commitment of the artists in the collective to a common vision of the transformative power of art,” said Rivera. “The Artnauts make their contribution with art that hopefully generates a dialogue with an international community on subjects that are sometimes difficult to raise.”

Krensky, associate department chair of the Art and Art History Department, had the opportunity to travel with Rivera in Chile as part of an Artnauts project, working with mothers who were searching for their children who had mysteriously disappeared during a time of political unrest.

“When I travelled to Chile in 1998, George and I spent an afternoon with the Mothers of the Disappeared, and the meeting changed my life,” said Krensky. “It was from that moment on that I placed a picture of them on my desk to look at every day. I was so moved by what they each had lost — a son, a brother, a father — and yet what remained for them was a deep, deep well of love. They were fierce warriors and stood up to the government to demand the whereabouts and information of the people who had disappeared, but they lived within profound love.”

The 20th anniversary exhibition at the Marriott Library is a retrospective of the traveling works the Artnauts have toured around the globe. The exhibition will be located on level three of the library. The opening reception is open to the public and will be held on Friday, Jan 20, 4-6 p.m. Rivera will speak at 4 p.m.

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