Yale Professor to Discuss Historic Vision for Photography Nov. 9 at Ohio Wesleyan
DELAWARE – Yale University professor Laura Wexler, Ph.D., will discuss “Frederick Douglass, Photography, and the Image of the Nation: A Vision of Justice from Abolition to Black Lives Matter” in a free presentation at Ohio Wesleyan University. Wexler will speak at 7 p.m. Nov. 9 in Beeghly Library, 43 Rowland Ave., Delaware.
Wexler is the co-director of Yale’s Public Humanities Program and a professor of American Studies, of Film and Media Studies, and of Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies. She holds an affiliate position in Yale’s Ethnicity, Race, and Migration Program, and she is the founder and director of the university’s Photographic Memory Workshop.
In the 1860s, Frederick Douglass gave several public lectures about the importance of the then-new invention of photography. In his landmark essay “Pictures and Progress,” he outlined the role he hoped photography would play in fostering a more democratic society after the Civil War.
Wexler’s presentation links his critical thought with present-day issues, including African American control of representation and the Black Lives Matter movement.
Wexler centers her scholarship and teaching on photography and visual culture. Her many publications include the award-winning book “Tender Violence: Domestic Visions in an Age of U.S. Imperialism” and the essay “A More Perfect Likeness: Frederick Douglass and the Image of the Nation,” featured in the book “Pictures and Progress: Early Photography and the Making of African American Identity.”
Currently, Wexler is teaching a graduate seminar in the Digital Humanities, developed with support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and a seminar on American Public Sculpture, developed in cooperation with the Smithsonian American Art Museum.
Wexler’s presentation represents Ohio Wesleyan’s 2017 Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar Lecture. Founded in 1776, Phi Beta Kappa is the nation’s oldest academic honor society. It has chapters at 286 institutions, including Ohio Wesleyan. Its mission is to champion education in the liberal arts and sciences, to recognize academic excellence, and to foster freedom of thought and expression. Learn more at www.pbk.org.
Student Performers, Choreographers to Present ‘Orchesis 17/18’ on Nov. 10-11
They’ll be dancing in the lobby, the aisles, the aerial catwalk – and on the stage – when Ohio Wesleyan University presents “The Time It Takes – Orchesis 17/18” in three performances Nov. 10-11.
Chappelear Drama Center will be transformed into “a site-responsive work that challenges the conventions of stage spaces and the perception of personal versus public spaces” during the contemporary dance performance, said Rashana Perks Smith, artistic director and visiting assistant professor in the Ohio Wesleyan Department of Theatre & Dance.
Smith said the hour-long show will feature 16 dancers, four actors, and eight choreographers. The dance theatre performance is the work of student choreographers Hayley Glessner, Haley Jacobson, Isaac Kochman, Kimberly McCalmont, Rachael Sheets, and Savannah Travis, created in collaboration with Smith and guest artist Erik Abbott-Main, a performer and choreographer who founded his own movement arts company in New York City.
To create the immersive experience, Smith said, the performers explore different viewpoints of “home,” examining the spaces inside Chappelear Drama Center and translating their discoveries into movement. Informing their work, she said, are questions such as: “How does changing one’s perception of space and place affect our sense of agency as performers and how accessible we make our work to our audiences? How does it affect our sense of time as we navigate through these spaces together as performers and audience members alike?”
In her role, Smith delicately shapes the work for continuity and provides additional choreographic material for the performers. Having worked extensively in site-specific/site-responsive works with her own dance company, Motor Dance, Smith brings 10 years of experience to the project.
Guest artist Abbott-Main adds immersive theatre experience drawn his current work with the Punchdrunk company in the Off-Broadway production “Sleep No More” and in previous works with Third Rail Projects’ “The Grand Paradise” and “Then She Fell,” and with Anatomaie Occulti’s “Sweeney Todd.”
Ohio Wesleyan’s Department of Theatre & Dance will present “The Time It Takes – Orchesis 17/18” on Nov. 10 at 8 p.m. and Nov. 12 at both 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. in Chappelear Drama Center, 45 Rowland Ave., Delaware. A public reception will follow each evening performance.
Tickets are $10 for general admission and $5 for senior citizens, Ohio Wesleyan employees, or non-OWU students with valid student IDs. Tickets are free for OWU students with valid university IDs. The Nov.10 performance also will be free for Ohio Wesleyan faculty and staff. To reserve tickets, call (740) 368-3855.
Learn more about Orchesis and the OWU Department of Theatre & Dance at www.owu.edu/TheatreAndDance.
Precious Objects currently on view
What is your most precious object? The item you’ve had a long time, that means the most, and that you couldn’t or wouldn’t replace if it were lost?
Cleveland visual artist Charles J. “Chuck” Mintz has created an ever-expanding photography exhibition that asks people those questions. He then photographs them with their “Precious Objects” and obtains hand-written notes explaining their item’s significance. Examples include Loli’s letters from the mother she never knew and Muriel’s red hat that always ensured her husband would find her in a crowd.
Mintz’s “Precious Objects” exhibit is on display now through Dec. 14 at Ohio Wesleyan University’s Richard M. Ross Art Museum, 60 S. Sandusky St., Delaware. An opening reception was Oct. 29 at the museum.
For the local exhibit, Mintz — winner of two Ohio Arts Council grants — came to Delaware and took photographs of several local residents, including Joe Diamond, Linda Shearer, and Sally Leber, Ohio Wesleyan’s director of community service learning.
In her photo, Leber poses with a life-size, wooden artist’s mannequin. In explaining her precious item, Leber says: “He stands obvious and ever-present as a reminder of some lessons learned and values held: the importance of being flexible; the value of being able to approach situations from a different angles; the wisdom of being willing to adjust one’s point of view.”
As part of its “Precious Objects” exhibit, the Ross Art Museum is inviting people to share photographs of themselves with their most treasured items via Instagram and the museum’s Facebook page, www.facebook.com/RossArtMuseum. Be sure to tag the museum’s Instagram account @The Ross Art Museum and to use the hashtags #preciousrossobject and #rossartmuseum with all posts.
During the academic year, Ohio Wesleyan’s Ross Art Museum is open Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Thursday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. The museum is handicapaccessible and admission is always free. Call 740-368-3606 or visit www.owu.edu/ross for more information.
Founded in 1842, Ohio Wesleyan University is one of the nation’s premier liberal arts universities. Located in Delaware, Ohio, the private university offers more than 90 undergraduate majors and competes in 23 NCAA Division III varsity sports. Through Ohio Wesleyan’s signature OWU Connection program, students integrate knowledge across disciplines, build a diverse and global perspective, and apply their knowledge in real-world settings. Ohio Wesleyan is featured in the book “Colleges That Change Lives” and included in the U.S. News & World Report and Princeton Review “best colleges” lists. Learn more at www.owu.edu.