Go Figure
September 28 - January 5, 2020

Current Exhibition

September 28, 2019 – January 5, 2020

Go Figure Exhibition Series

Get Real: Figurative Sculpture by Women (Ferguson Gallery)

The term figurative sculpture has been most associated with historical works created in traditional materials such as bronze or marble, such as the Auguste Rodin’s The Thinker or Michelangelo’s David.  Artists have created sculptures to represent each other and to represent people whom we have lost. Figurative sculpture is not just meant to be contemplated but also to have an effect on the viewer.

Insightful and provocative, this exhibition examines the artistic strategies employed in recreating the human form. The works on view consider how we see ourselves and others, and to think deeply about our common humanity.  We look at the influence of women in today’s arts community and their role in contemporary art.

Work from Chrysler Museum of Art, Hermitage Museum and Gardens, Muscarelle Museum of Art and Hampton University Museum. Artists include Bessie Potter Vonnoh, Elizabeth Catlett, Margaret Foley, Edris Eckhardt, Harriet W. Frishmuth, and Rose Pecos-Sun Rhodes.

Contemporary artists include Betty Branch, Susana Bruzos Barthelemy, Pamela Conyers-Hinson, Jane Jaskevich, Sophie Kahn, Lynne Mills, Julia Rogers, Elise Siegel and Sarah Vaughn.

Girolamo Ciulla (Ranhorne Gallery)

Born in Sicily, Ciulla began to exhibit at the age of 17. In his early 30’s he was drawn, as so many artists are, to Pietrasanta, the Italian village where sculpture has been a dominant industry since the Middle Ages. He still lives and works there today, but his following is worldwide.

The roster of Ciulla’s exhibitions is extensive, and recent entries include shows in Paris, Florence, Seoul, Venice, Rome, London and in the Biennale in Venice. Large-scale works have been installed in churches and public sites in France, Japan, Italy, South Korea, Egypt and Kenya. Ciulla has been commissioned to create work which will be placed in the Newport News Park through the Newport News Public Art Foundation. This exhibition will feature drawings and smaller works that he has created during his career.


What I Keep: Photographs of the New Face of Homelessness and Poverty  (Ascending Gallery)

Photographer Susan Mullally explores ideas of class, race, ownership, value, cultural identification and faith. We collaborated with members of The Church Under the Bridge in Waco, Texas, a non-denominational, multi-cultural Christian church that has been meeting under Interstate 35 for twenty years. Many of the people have had significant disruptions in their lives, experienced periods of homelessness or incarceration, addiction to drugs and alcohol, mental illness or profound poverty and hopelessness. Many are working toward a new measure of stability and accomplishment through the programs and opportunities offered through the church. Other members have more stable lives and are drawn to service at the Church Under the Bridge. Mullally  asks each person what he or she keeps and why it is valued.

Jeanne Goodman: Refugees (Halsey Gallery)

“Most of my work is derived from photographs. Often I will begin by focusing on a single person or element within that photograph, then I let my imagination take over. Where I place a figure on the page, whether it is centered, in a corner, or on the side, influences the feeling evoked in the viewer. My intent is to explore the interaction between the subject and the surrounding space. Just as manipulating a figures placement enhances its psychological dimensions, so too does exaggerating and distorting the image impart a feeling that cannot be conveyed by a realistic representation. By keeping a subject’s physical characteristics vague, for example, I encourage the viewer to complete the figure with his/her own personal vision.”

Go Figure

 January 18, 2020- April 26,2020

The Americas: Indigenous Art of the Ancient and Contemporary

The exhibition will present the diverse and fascinating story of the cultures of North, Central, and South America. The art work of the Americas will illuminate the extraordinary richness of the indigenous art of the western hemisphere. Pieces from a diverse background of cultures, regions, and periods will showcase the profound beauty and creativity and craftsmanship expressed by artists of the American continents.

There will be a concentration on Pre-Columbian art never seen before at PFAC. Pre-Columbian art refers to the visual arts of the indigenous peoples of the America’s before the late 15th century, and encompasses art and artifacts created by such storied cultures as the Olmec, Maya, Inca and Aztec.

 To Honor and Comfort: Native Quilting Traditions

Of the many North American Indian expressive art forms, perhaps one of the least well known is quiltmaking. This exhibition celebrates quilting within diverse communities and pays homage to the artists who have expressed their cultural heritage and creativity through this art. It examines how quilts and quilting-the ceremonies surrounding them, the society of the artists who make them, and the passing on of traditions through quilts- bind neighbors and families within and across generations.

Quiltmaking in Native communities was first learned through contact with Euro-Americans. Native peoples became adept at quilting and began to use quilts for purposes unique to their own cultures. Quilts have been used as bed and shelter coverings, infants’ swing cradles, weather insulation, and as soft places to sit on the ground. In some communities, quilts play important roles in tribal ceremonies, such as in the honoring of individuals and as fund-raisers. Native quilters get their design ideas from many sources. Some quilters use the design motifs of their specific tribe or clan or use patterns and colors reflecting close spiritual ties to the natural world.

This traveling exhibition is a Michigan State University Museum, Michigan Traditional Arts Program activity supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Fund, Jeffrey and Kitty Cole, and the MSU Office of the Provost.

MSU American Indian Pow Wow Portraits: Photographs by Douglas Elbinger

Historically, photographers have made posed, studio portraits of American Indians dressed in traditional clothing. These historical photographs provide an important record of aspects of tribal history. However, these portraits do not always accurately reflect information about the individual or the culture. The photographs within this exhibition offer a rare opportunity to see American Indians dressed in contemporary traditional regalia. Photographer Douglas Elbinger has been recognized as a leading source for the copy and restoration of historic photographs. He has worked with the Smithsonian Institution and the National Archives, as well as many other museums and historic societies across the country.

This exhibition was coordinated by the Michigan Traditional Arts Program at the Michigan State University Museum with the collaboration and support of the MSU Native American Institute; MSU American Heritage Pow Wow Host Committee; Nokomis American Indian Cultural Learning Center; Michigan Festival, Inc. volunteers; Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI); Fellows of the 1993 NMAI/MSU Museum’s American Indian Training Institute at the MSU Museum; Michigan Council for the Arts and Cultural Affairs; Michigan State University Extension Service; Elizabeth Halsted Endowment for Traveling Exhibitions; and Douglas Elbinger of Elbinger Studios, Lansing, Michigan.

 Contemporary Views

The Peninsula Fine Arts Center surveys contemporary Native American artists who use their heritage as part of their artwork.  These artists have utilized traditional Native American art forms but incorporated contemporary culture into their work. Artists include Brodie Sanchez, Nikki Bass, Kevin Clinton, Tokeya Waci U, and Beverly Bear King Moran.