Brandeis faculty and staff show off their artistry and style

View the colorful and funky collection of artwork created by Brandeis community members whose artistic endeavors are sometimes behind the scenes.

Photos/Mike Lovett

A colorful, chic and whimsical mix of artwork created by the faculty and staff of Brandeis University is prominently on display at the Dreitzer Gallery inside the Spingold Theatre until November 13, 2016.

The bi-annual JustArts Faculty/Staff exhibition, which opened on Thursday, October 13, features installations from dozens of painters, sculptors, photographers, videographers and craftspeople scattered across academic and administrative departments at Brandeis.

“Overall, this artwork is super eclectic, highly visual and there’s a lot of photography and paintings of places,” said Ingrid Schorr, the exhibition’s director. “I think these are artists who have their eyes wide open, who appreciate their surroundings.”

Artists were permitted to submit up to five pieces in any media for display in the gallery.

At the exhibition’s opening reception, Health: Science, Society and Policy administrator Kathryn Powell sang, accompanied by her partner Roberto Mighty on guitar, while visitors ate finger food and mingled with one another and the artists, who described their inspiration and process for designing each of their pieces.

“The genesis of this exhibition is that I knew that people here were making art in their spare time,” added Schorr, who launched the Faculty/Staff Exhibition in 2008. “I just put out the call and this enormous amount of people responded. It’s so exciting to know what people were thinking about and how they made their ideas into things.”

One of the gallery’s most talked-about works belonged to Julie Seeger, an academic administrator in the Philosophy department. Her piece – a sculpture called, “Dreidel of Democracy: Weighted down by a Basket of Deplorables,” is roughly three feet high and made of wood and colorful paper.

The sculpture is a dreidel-shaped piñata featuring a headshot of Presidential candidates Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, Gary Johnson and Jill Stein on each of its sides. The dreidel rests on top of a basket filled with tiny monsters – a nod to Clinton’s now-famous “deplorables” line on the campaign trail.

“I realized that I was being influenced by the debates I was watching and the idea evolved,” Seeger added. “There’s a lot to interpret from it. The instability of our democracy – I was just a little worried of its vulnerability – the idea of democracy being weighted down, not supported by a basket of deplorables, I thought it would be funny.”

Schorr was pleased with both the variety of artwork as well as the spirit in which it was created and shared with the Brandeis community.

Each piece – whether a steampunk stuffed animal, or an over-the-top yet elegant hat designed for the Kentucky Derby, or a work that depicts anything from a beautiful landscape to a hot-button political issue – uniquely fits into the exhibition.

“It’s so incredibly generous of these artists to bring their work here and let us see it,” Schorr said. “People come to Brandeis and know that this is a place where you can think and express yourself.”

Categories: Arts, General

Return to the BrandeisNOW homepage