SAVANNAH, Ga. - The Savannah College of Art and Design is poised to unveil the newly expanded and re-imagined SCAD Museum of Art, a world-class contemporary art museum designed expressly to elevate art and design education for SCAD students and art lovers around the world. The museum reopens to the public Saturday, Oct. 29, 2011.
"The new SCAD Museum of Art advances SCAD's legacy of exceptional exhibitions, installations, performances, and events," says SCAD president and cofounder Paula Wallace. "Every day, the museum will enrich and expand our students' educational milieu, integrating foundational principles of art and design with the evolving genius of the contemporary art world."
"The inaugural series of exhibitions at the SCAD Museum of Art offers a profound range of visual expression," says SCAD Executive Director of Exhibitions Laurie Farrell. "The decision to invite Bill Viola's The Crossing back to SCAD and commission site-specific work from Kendall Buster illustrates the university's long-standing commitment to showcasing contemporary art in supportive, educational environments."
Over the past decade, the university has hosted a vast array of dynamic art experiences featuring work by Marina Abramović, Nick Cave, Alfredo Jaar, Carrie Mae Weems, Kader Attia, Karim Rashid, and Cao Fei + MAP Office, among others. The new museum advances this legacy, providing students with direct access to work by the most influential artists working today. Inaugural exhibitions at the SCAD Museum of Art include the following:
Bill Viola, The Crossing
With a career spanning more than four decades, Bill Viola is truly a pioneering force in video art. This exhibit, The Crossing, was co‐commissioned by SCAD in 1996 and has since been exhibited around the world. Rich in metaphor and grounded in shared spiritual beliefs of the East and West, this canonical video art celebrates Viola's singular ability to convey complex themes with scale and sound.
Bill Viola holds a B.F.A. in Experimental Studios from Syracuse University. He received a 1989 MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, served as an appointed scholar at the Getty Research Institute in 1998, and was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2000. He is a longtime faculty member of the School of Film/Video at the California Institute of the Arts.
Liza Lou, Let the Light In
Native New Yorker Liza Lou uses ordinary materials - glass, wire, tile - to create extraordinary landscapes that probe our deepest personal and political sensibilities. In Let the Light In, the artist engages themes of containment, labor, and repetition with millions of brilliant glass beads that illuminate the will and sensibility of human workmanship. As she has for much of her career, Lou brings a painter's eye to her sculptural work, examining visual themes from the Pop Art and Neo-Expressionist tradition in unique environments of her own design.
Lou is the recipient of a 2002 MacArthur Foundation Fellowship. Her work has been exhibited in museums and galleries around the world, including The New Museum of Contemporary Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Victoria and Albert Museum, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Santa Monica Museum of Art, the Smithsonian Institution of American Art.
Kendall Buster, New Growth: Stratum Field
Commissioned by SCAD for the debut of the SCAD Museum of Art, New Growth: Stratum Field is a site-specific sculptural installation designed and constructed to converse with the resonant features of museum's new 290-foot south-facing gallery. Recalling the artist's most iconic structural forms, this work explores biological architecture in all its many incarnations.
Kendall Buster earned a B.F.A. from the Corcoran College of Art and Design in Washington, DC and an M.F.A. in Sculpture from Yale University. She also participated in the Whitney Museum's Independent Study Studio Program. Her work, for which she received a 2005 Academy of Arts and Letters Award, has been exhibited throughout the United States, Europe, and Africa. She currently teaches in Virginia Commonwealth University's Department of Sculpture and Extended Media.
Los Angeles native and New York-based visual artist Kehinde Wiley has firmly situated himself within art history's portrait painting tradition. As a contemporary descendent of a long line of portraitists - including Reynolds, Gainsborough, Titian, Ingres, and others - Wiley engages the visual rhetoric of the heroic, powerful, and sublime in his representation of young men of color.
Wiley earned his M.F.A. from Yale University in 2001. His work has been the subject of exhibitions worldwide and is in the permanent collections of numerous museums including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Studio Museum in Harlem; the Denver Art Museum; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; The Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; the High Museum, Atlanta; the Columbus Museum of Art; the Phoenix Art Museum; the Milwaukee Art Museum and the Brooklyn Museum, New York.
In addition to exposing students to the work of lauded visiting artists, the museum will also present rotating exhibitions that feature selections from the Evans Collection of African American Art, the Earle W. Newton Collection of British and American Art, as well as from SCAD's Permanent Collection, which include works by Salvador Dalí, Nicholas Hlobo, Richard Hunt, Willem de Kooning, Annie Leibovitz, Robert Mapplethorpe, Wangechi Mutu, Pablo Picasso, Robert Rauschenberg, Andy Warhol and Carrie Mae Weems. The museum will also feature work in two new dedicated galleries: The Walter O. Evans Center for African American Studies and the André Leon Talley Gallery, which celebrates style and design in its myriad forms. For more information, visit scad.edu/museum.