Artist-in-residence exhibits work that challenges and inspires

by Lucy Turnipseed | 4/16/19 2:05am

Spring 2019 artist-in-residence Daniel Kojo Schrade, a professor of art at Hampshire College who has exhibited all over the globe, is offering Dartmouth students, faculty, staff and community members an extremely fresh show in the Jaffe-Friede Gallery this term. Schrade painted 80 percent of the works on display for his newest series, “:listenings.” 

“I’m really happy to take advantage of the amazing studio space and to have a show here in this very special gallery, which has extremely unique architecture,” Schrade said. 

Joining a rich history of artists who have participated in Dartmouth’s residency program, Schrade brought his perspective — which often focuses on liminality and the unlikely intersections of stories — to a campus that may need a reminder to stop and contemplate these concepts.

“In this time of high-speed imagery, it’s special to have a slow thing like a painting on the wall,” Schrade said. 

The gallery, which Schrade has adopted for the term, is tucked into a side of the Hopkins Center for the Arts oft passed by students. The glass door, however, only shows the tip of the iceberg where Schrade’s work is concerned. 

Approaching the entrance, one is struck by a large painting free-hanging in the center of the space, independent of any walls. The work’s bright, warm colors draw you in, and the bike-riding figure in the painting beckons you to move with the character into the world of Schrade’s art.

“Each piece really has a space to breathe,” Schrade said of the organization of the gallery. The curving walls and sharp angles of the room provide a bit of a challenging area to stage, however, according to Schrade. Yet, the decision to hang the two largest paintings back-to-back, suspended in the center, afforded the works an important level of separation that allows them to each have their own impact. This inventive organization allows students to consider the subject matter’s translation into artistic execution.

“This is an exhibition that visually tries to connect central European poetry and history with African history, digging into the very early crossings with those histories,” Schrade said.

“:listenings” is inspired by the work of a medieval German writer, Wolfram von Eschenbach, whose work Schrade connects with African history. 

In addition to common threads about the in-between spaces of the world, all of Schrade’s series are ongoing. For “:listenings,” which is only one year old, Schrade said, “This is really just the beginning.”  

One of the benefits of the unique art residency program at Dartmouth is that Schrade now has the freedom to experiment with the continuation of the series. As opposed to the traditional artist-in-residence model, where the work an artist produces while on campus ends up being, according to Schrade, “usually very extravagant pieces,” the College’s residency flips the norm on its head. Beginning the term with his pre-made exhibition and a lecture, Schrade is now able to focus on meeting with students and being a guest lecturer in classes. 

Additionally, Schrade is able to create new work and experiment with varying materials. 

While living in Amherst, MA as a professor at Hampshire, Schrade said he has always been aware of Dartmouth and the Hood Museum’s importance within the region as a center of artistry. 

“It’s important if you’re in New England and interested in art … of course it was on my map, always,” Schrade said. 

The artist’s first visit to the Hood was in 2008, very shortly after he first moved to America. It is a “wonderful and generous residency,” Schrade said of the opportunity. 

For students passing by the gallery, Schrade encouraged drop-ins. 

“I hope people will take the extra minute,” said Schrade.