Vicki Myhren Gallery’s “Coming Home” Features Multimedia Alumni Works
The current exhibition at the Vicki Myhren Gallery (VMG) showcases the work of University of Denver’s alumni and former faculty. Titled “Coming Home,” the exhibition signifies returning to DU, a place the artists called home at one point in their lives, and represents the long and prominent history of the School of Art & Art History.
“‘Coming Home’ references the fact that many of these works are stand-ins for their creators, returning to DU for the first time in more than 75 years in some cases,” says Lauren Hartog, assistant to the director of VGM.
“Coming Home” consists of multimedia works acquired by University Art Collections in recent years. The University’s earliest surviving art acquisitions date back to the late nineteenth century, with the acquisition of a landscape painting by Albert Bierstadt, but there was no formal program for care and use of DU’s art holdings until DU hired its first curator in 2005. Now, the University Art Collections houses more than 5,000 objects.
The DU-affiliated artist currently on display at VMG work with mediums such as oil paint, watercolor, solar prints, textile, ceramic and photography. The multi-genre nature of this exhibition creates a sense of unity and inclusivity, inviting the viewer into the School of Art & Art History’s diverse art community.
Featured artists include: Mina Conant (watercolor), Julio de Diego (watercolor), Qwist Joseph (stoneware, acrylic, plexiglass), Vance Kirkland (watercolor, lithograph, oil paint), Bethany Kriegsman (oil paint), Hayes Lyon (lithograph), Duane Michals (photography, gelatin silver prints), William Sanderson (oil paint), Melvin Strawn (solar prints), Allen Tupper True (oil paint) and Margaret Wood (textile).
Although most of the artists showcased in this exhibition are sadly deceased, Joseph and Michals (BA ’53) are two of the living artists who continue to have a relationship with VGM.
“A former visiting ceramic artist in residence, Qwist Joseph’s work in the show was a result of the semester he spent teaching students and creating a body of work. This past summer, VGM featured his work in an online solo exhibition on our website,” Hartog says.
Additionally, photographer and filmmaker Duane Michals received the College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences Alumni Lifetime Achievement Award for 2021 and will be presenting a discussion with associate professor of art Roddy MacInnes on February 3.
The art collections continue to grow at DU, primarily through gifts by alumni and friends of the University.
“This initiative is an exciting ongoing project headed by Geoffrey Shamos and Nessa Kerr, our fabulous Collections Manager. We’re looking forward to a future collection filled with works that represent the School of Art and Art History’s past and present communities,” Hartog says.
Running through February 28, “Coming Home” can be viewed by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org to secure a socially distanced time slot. VGM’s website also features previews of select works in light of difficulties posed for art lovers during the pandemic.