Rutherford Library: three exhibits in two dimensions – curious arts

January’s been a bit dreary, but at Rutherford Library, the University of Alberta’s Humanities and Social Sciences library, three exhibits have brightened the month. You might say flat is the new black.

The exhibits contain woodcuts and lithographs, quilts and conference posters. Like the quilts on display, the exhibits viewed together are a sampler; they offer a snapshot of a variety of creative and intellectual work happening on campus.

Third State showing in the Rutherford South Foyer, is a student print exhibit organized by third-year students Michael McInnis, Jacob Dutton, and Ashna Jacob. Ashna writes, “The exhibition features prints created by BFA, BDes and BA students currently in their third year and/or taking 400-level printmaking classes. The name ‘Third State’ comes from the printmaking term ‘State Proof.’ A state proof is a test to see how the image will look, and a print may have many ‘states’ before its final form is printed in an edition. A proof in its third state refers to a print in its third stage of production, which is a reflection of the development of third year printmaking students.”

Third State. Rutherford South Foyer.

Third State. Rutherford South Foyer.

Third State includes prints created with techniques such as silkscreen, woodcut, collagraph, linocut, etching, stone and plate lithography, digital, and more. Ashna, Jacob, and Michael organized this exhibition to put their work before the public, and, as Ashna observes, “to gain the valuable experience of putting together, applying for, and participating in a group show.”

Quilts from Humanities 101 are on display in the Rutherford Galleria by the entrance to Rutherford North. Jay Friesen, a PhD student and one of Humanities 101’s coordinators, explains: “Humanities 101 is a free, non-credit university-level course that operates out of Community Service-Learning at the University of Alberta. The course is offered to ensure access to education in situations where barriers might otherwise exist, and to create a community where students can foster critical thinking skills for everyday life. Every semester there is a class that runs at the university, as well as one which operates out of a women’s shelter.”

Humanities 101 Quilt Detail. Rutherford Galleria.

Humanities 101 Quilt Detail. Rutherford Galleria.

Each semester, Humanities 101 students focus on a different theme. In Fall 2015, the students took “communities” as their theme. For their year-end project, Jay says, “each member of the class created 6-inch squares representing the theme in their own way, which was sewn into our community quilts.”

It’s important for students to have a voice, a presence, in the library, and in Rutherford, this has always been the top priority of our exhibition program. With Third State and Quilts from Humanities 101 we get to see students from different programs creating different work, all taking the significant, sometimes challenging, step of sharing this work with the public.

Recent Work Librarians

Recent Work Librarians’ Posters. Rutherford Galleria.

Recent Work: Librarians’ Posters, 2014-2015 is also showing in the Rutherford Galleria. The first exhibit of its kind on campus, it assembles conference posters presented by University of Alberta librarians. Bahaa Harmouche, a student in the MDes program, designed the accompanying nameplates. Topics draw from both research and practice, and touch on evidence-based practice, design aesthetics and emotion, disability and accessibility, awareness-raising, scholarly publishing in nursing, our Personal Librarian pilot, and Hydra North, our Hydra Digital Asset Management System project. University of Alberta librarians’ work is diverse and often on the leading edge, and these posters illuminate that fact.

It is always free to view exhibits on the main floor of Rutherford Library. Everyone is welcome. For more details on Rutherford’s exhibition program, feel free to contact me directly.

Photos: Sarah Polkinghorne

Third State: Student Print Show and Recent Work: Librarians’ Posters 2014-2015 run until January 29.

The Quilts of Humanities 101 are on display until February 29

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