Feb. 28, 2011—Frederic C. and Jane Hamilton have donated $250,000 to the University of Denver (DU) in order to strengthen the link between DU's School of Art and Art History (SAAH) and the Denver Art Museum (DAM). The program will advance students' understanding of how artists and museums work together to present important international installations to the public. The gift will fund a visiting artist program for five years, two artists per year. Selected artists will prepare an installation at the DAM and also will participate at DU through class projects, guest lectures, demonstrations and workshops.
"We are fortunate to have these two important institutions working to grow the visual arts in our community," said Mr. Hamilton. "It is our hope that this donation further engages students and the public in the creative process of artists working today."
"The University of Denver has a long-standing relationship with the Denver Art Museum – we have closely aligned educational missions," says M.E. Warlick, chair of SAAH. "This is very enriching for our students who want to meet professional artists."
The first Hamilton Visiting Artist is Steina, a video artist, whose work will be featured at the DAM as part of "Blink! Light, Sound and the Moving Image." The museum's first large-scale exhibition devoted entirely to electronic and time-based media, "Blink!" opens March 13. Steina's work has been exhibited extensively both nationally and internationally for more than four decades, and the artist will be in residence and installing her work at DAM between Feb. 14-28. The native-born Icelander now resides in Santa Fe. She will work with students in classes, do critiques and present a performance at DU.
In April, DU and DAM will welcome renowned ceramic artist Walter McConnell, professor and chair of the Division of Ceramic Art at New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University in Alfred, NY. McConnell is known for his unfired, apparitional installations of moist clay housed in plastic enclosures. The artist will be in residence April 4-16. His work will be featured in the DAM exhibition, "Overthrown: Clay Without Limits."
Earlier contributions from the Hamiltons to DU funded the Hamilton Gymnasium in the Ritchie Center and the Hamilton Family Recital Hall in the Robert and Judi Newman Center for the Performing Arts. Frederic Hamilton is Chair of the Board at the DAM and Jane Hamilton is a member of DU's Board of Trustees.