The Common Studio

Friday, September 5, 2014 - 8:54am

Image from the Amherst College Archives Flickr

In August 2013, Amherst College acquired one of the most comprehensive collections of books by Native American Indian authors ever assembled by a private collector. This collection, from Pablo Eisenberg, consists of about 1,500 books that include poetry, fiction, history, philosophy, and many other works. Even texts by some of the first Native American Indian writers to be published in their lifetimes, such as Samson Occom, William Apess, and Elias Boudinot, are a part of this vast collection. The Robert Frost Library seeks to show as much as possible of the history of Native American writing and philosophy in their exhibit: The Younghee Kim-Wait Pablo Eisenberg Native American Literature Collection.

artist: Emeka Ogboh

Friday, March 7, 2014 - 9:45am

Lagos, Nigeria is growing fast but travels slow. The city, which is Africa’s largest, has doubled in population within the past seventeen years, crowding its roads and bridges with many millions of people – too many for the city's recent infrastructure investments to keep up. Traffic jams, called go-slows, ensue. But while Danfos, the yellow minibuses that are public transportation in Lagos, tend to get stuck, its passengers don’t. While buses crawl, Lagosians move: playing street music, revving engines, hawking products, shouting directions and taking phone calls.

 

Curated by Pamela Russell and Sheila Flaherty-Jones

Monday, February 10, 2014 - 5:52pm

Sidney Waugh was a twentieth-century sculptor best known for architectural and large-scale works on the one hand, and for smaller designs for glass and medallions on the other. As lead creative artist at Steuben Glass in New York, he elevated glass to a fine art medium, while also designing many public and private monuments on the East Coast of the United States. Waugh worked in a style typical of the 1930s and 1940s that owed much to the Art Deco aesthetic, emphasizing symmetry and simple, linear forms.

Friday, January 10, 2014 - 11:35am

 

Today we’re delighted to feature this close-up of a gorgeous recent acquisition by the Mead Art Museum at Amherst College.

Made in Italy of Carrara marble in the third quarter of the 2nd century CE, this ancient Roman sarcophagus features sea nymphs riding on the backs of sea centaurs while cupids fly overhead. It has “exceptional visual impact,” says Pamela Russell, the Mead’s head of education, “due to its impressive scale, lively marine subject, and pleasing symmetrical composition.”

Curated by Jeff Bergman

Friday, December 13, 2013 - 11:47am

Our relationship with maps has changed drastically in the last ten years, from the pinpoint ease of Google Maps to global positioning systems rendering us a blinking blue beacon on a grid of streets. Rarely are we explorers in the completed cartography of our planet. Visual artist Martha Willette Lewis has given us new, unreal spaces to explore by combining diagrammatic drawings, biological systems, and topographical forms.

artist: Lauri Lyons

Friday, August 9, 2013 - 4:45pm

Curated by Alicia Lubowski-Jahn

Although the photographer Lauri Lyons calls New York home, she is ever on the move through her creative projects. Her current body of work spans Africa, Australia, Brazil, Mexico, Europe, and the United States, and has connected the globe through African diaspora and identity formation themes. Often pictures and languages within her portrait photography evoke origins that are both ancestral and geographic. She is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of the photojournalism magazine NOMADS, which is also dedicated to the peripatetic state. 

artist: Jeremiah Dine

Friday, July 12, 2013 - 2:11pm

Curated by Jeff Bergman

Jeremiah Dine records moments of brisk movement, still unreflective silence, and unstinting labor with equanimity. The images that sit obligingly still now are the distillation of activity by the artist and the subject. Dine uses his lens to interpret the field of view and render the whole image from minute elements linked by chance and purpose. Each fragment flattens, and what is left becomes the single instance worthy of illumination. Each image is now interpreted for viewing as RAW file. In the past, the practice of printing an image signaled a work’s finality. With Dine and many other contemporary photographers, an image’s final state can be digital—it need not be printed and exhibited. Of thousands of images and the wide range of themes that Jeremiah Dine records, certainly not all could be reviewed in one exhibition. These images were chosen because they exemplify a single moment of candid street photography.

artist: Noah Schenk

Friday, July 5, 2013 - 3:01pm

Curated by Amy Sande-Friedman and Sylvia Li

Conceptual artist Noah Schenk collects unwanted artifacts and prioritizes squandered moments of daily life: he archives our litter, objects that are available everywhere but seen by very few. Litter Study relocates these everyday items to a specific geography. In “One Block of Litter: Muncie, IN,” Schenk assembles every piece of litter from one square city block. “Collected, Mapped, and Tagged” zooms in even closer, tying each object to its exact geographic coordinates. Each piece is a portrait embodying a place and the lives represented by plastic containers and paper.

Friday, April 26, 2013 - 8:45am

Curated by Julia Cooke

Twenty-four searchlights, all high-powered, were set on rooftops around Philadelphia’s Benjamin Franklin Parkway last September and October. They were programmed, however, to avoid shining their spotlights on any physical objects: no buildings, no naked windows, no trees. Instead, they glimmered straight up into the sky: twenty-four columns of light responding — here solid, there faint, twitching and beating and sweeping across the sky together, then separating — to the voices of Philadelphia residents.

artist: Steve Bull

Tuesday, May 14, 2013 - 4:58am

New media artist Steve Bull creates augmented reality installations by adding three-dimensional graphics and sound via global positioning satellites onto real life places. The result can only be seen through a free Junaio browser downloaded to smartphones or tablets. Using the browser as a window, the viewer wanders through the augmented reality construct in any direction. Touching the object, the viewer can hear an associated audio recording. The browser can also be used to capture a still image of this combined world of the virtual and real.

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