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Shaking things up at the ASU School of Art faculty show

Anthony Pessler, "Icon with Wolf and Young Hart," 2012, oil and gold on panel.
November 18, 2013

Every two years, the ASU Art Museum hosts an exhibition by faculty members in the prestigious ASU School of Art, one of five schools in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts.     

This year, the Faculty Biennial is full of firsts. It is the first time the Biennial has consisted of three shows in three venues – the ASU Art Museum, the Harry Wood Gallery and the Night Gallery – the first time it has included work from professors’ student days and the first time there will be a separate, curated show with larger works by faculty. There will also be presentations of new research by School of Art faculty members throughout November.

“When I see the work of the faculty assembled together, I’m humbled by the talent in evidence,” said Adriene Jenik, director of the ASU School of Art. “It is especially exciting to have the opportunity this year to showcase faculty artwork and scholarship in more than one venue and context. From the luncheon research talks through the curated bodies of new work in the Night Gallery, students and community members are sure to be challenged and inspired to pursue their own visions.”

The show at the ASU Art Museum runs through Dec. 1 and features single works from faculty across the School of Art. The biennial show has a long tradition at ASU and is a unique opportunity to become familiar with a broad range of work from a world-class faculty. 

“It is a joy to work with the School of Art faculty,” said Gordon Knox, director of the ASU Art Museum, “and it is always a glorious surprise to see the breadth and depth of the artistic production that this remarkable collection of artists produce.”

New this year is the addition of two shows: one at the Night Gallery and one at the Harry Wood Gallery at the School of Art.

The exhibition at the Night Gallery at Tempe Marketplace – also open through Dec. 1 – provides a more in-depth look at work from a few of the faculty, selected by Julio Cesar Morales, the ­­­­­new curator at the ASU Art Museum.

Morales set out to curate the exhibition by meeting with faculty and responding to the work he saw. “I had excellent conversations about the content of everyone’s work and what really inspires them and how that reflects cultural values that we are questioning,” he said.

Morales, who was a curator in San Francisco before coming to ASU, was not surprised by the great strength he found in the work of ASU’s art faculty. “Part of the reason I decided to take the position at the museum,” he said, “is that when I came to interview and visit, I saw all the amazing energy that is happening here and the great new work that faculty such as Rogelio Gutierrez, Erika Lynne Hanson and Jill Mason are producing."

The exhibition, titled “Mirror People,” features new and previously unseen video, installation, painting, fiber, works on paper and photography by Peter Bugg, Binh Danh, Angela Ellsworth, Rogelio Gutierrez, Erika Lynne Hanson, Mary Hood, Jill Marie Mason, Aaron Rothman, Gregory Sale and Forrest Solis.

The other new addition is a show titled “Back in the Day,” that featured faculty work from their graduate school days. The exhibition was held at the Harry Wood Gallery at the ASU School of Art building, Oct. 16-25.

Betsy Schneider, a professor of photography and a recent recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, was excited about having some of her early work exhibited.

“It’s a chance to see work that is, in my case quite literally, dusty. I’ll dust it off for the show,” Schneider said. “I also think that young artists often have an energy and rawness, and one of the great things about being a professor is that you continue to be exposed to that energy.”             

In addition to the shows, there will also be a series of presentations of new research by some of the School of Art academic faculty as part of the Friday Lunch Talk Series at the ASU Art Museum.

Presentations will be by Nancy Serwint, associate professor of art history, on Nov. 1; Mary Stokrocki, professor of art education, on Nov. 8; and Claudia Mesch, associate professor of art history, on Dec. 6.

The Friday Lunch Talk Series is free and open to the public with lunch provided, although RSVPs are requested. If you plan on attending, RSVP by 5 p.m. on the Wednesday prior to the Friday talk to: or 480.965.2873

All exhibitions, lectures and openings are free and open to the public.