Anna-Catherine Kueng ~ Assistant Editor
On January 28, 2019 the Daura Gallery opened for the spring semester with three new exhibitions, poetry by Dr. Chidsey Dickson and a reception.
According to an email sent by Barbara Rothermel, Director of the Daura Gallery, the exhibitions are Simultanes: Sonia Delaunay, Art, Color, Fashion; In Memory of My Feelings: Homage to Poet Frank O’Hara, and Biodiversity & Species Extinction.
Simultanes features Sonia Delaunay’s (1885-1979) artistic contributions and over 20 examples of her work will be a part of the exhibition. Savannah Bower, Theatre Department Costume Designer, created a sample dress that will also be featured. The email describes Delaunay as one who “sought ways to bring modern art out of the confines of traditional easel painting…by exploring color theory through textile and fashion design that continues to influence today’s fashion designers.”
The second exhibition, In Memory of My Feelings, was co-curated by Professor of English, Dr. Chidsey Dickson. It will be on display until April 15, 2019 as well. Frank O’Hara, according to the email, was “an art critic, curator at the Museum of Modern Art, and leader of the New York School of poets.” O’Hara died in 1996, after being hit by a vehicle. As a result, according to the email, “the Museum of Modern Art published In Memory of My Feelings in 1967, featuring works by artists of the New York School reflecting a selection of his poems.”
“I think O’Hara was a poet that wrote because it was just part of the fabric and routine of his life. He was not writing in order to get published and admired. He had to write. It was how he processed the things that he loved, whether that was people or trees in New York, or a person. It was his practice. He was so loved by everyone that when he died, his sudden disappearance made people feel his absence,” said Dickson.
As Dickson mentioned, O’Hara was well-loved and loved others well, as many of his poems featured were odes to people in his life, such as “Having A Coke With You,” which was dedicated to his boyfriend.
“[The exhibit’s theme] could fall under the idea of how do we pay tribute to those things and people that we admire? It is the rhetoric of praise really and we need that now in this time and our culture. We have a lot of division. That does not have to be a bad thing, but it is a good idea that we are spending some time giving a forum to what it is that we admire and love about the places that we live. O’Hara loved New York and he loved the people in it,” said Dickson.
Biodiversity & Species Extinction was curated by Matthew Geiger, who is a senior biology major with a minor in museum studies. According to Geiger, the exhibit will “feature antique prints of various species of animals and have certificates of authenticity to attest their origins.”
“Biodiversity is vital for all life. We tend to think of keeping the pandas alive because they are pretty, and they certainly are. But on the bigger picture, each species occupies a niche in its ecosystem, and the loss of species (currently at 1000 times the natural rate) will result and have resulted in ecosystems changing. As we drive larger animals to extinction, only those that can compete or benefit from us will survive, such as termites, rats, and deer, which are smaller than, say, a rhino or buffalo,” explained Geiger.
Biodiversity & Species Extinction will be on display until February 15, 2019. The Daura Gallery is opened from 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. during weekdays for people that are interested in seeing the new exhibits.
“The Daura Gallery brings to the University of Lynchburg an opportunity to test out your analytical skills on interesting exhibits. We do not have a huge collection, but we have an interesting collection. The Daura Gallery exists to bring traveling exhibits to our school,” said Dickson.