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Before coming to Dartmouth, Kwaii Bell ’16 thought that he was going to become a lawyer. He had planned on majoring in women and gender studies and psychology, hoping to eventually work in law as a gay rights activist. However, after making a documentary in a writing class his freshman year, Bell became fascinated with film and decided to explore the world behind the camera. After taking an editing class his sophomore year, he became a film and media studies major instead.
The Hood Museum of Art’s final exhibitions before its March close for renovation reflect the Hood’s future vision.The museum’s most recent exhibitions include the series “Ice Cuts” by Vermont-based artist Eric Aho, the mixed-media African exhibit “Inventory: New Works and Conversations Around African Art” and “Points of View,” which is curated by two Dartmouth professors, senior curator of collections Katherine Hart said.The Hood will also present an installation on last year’s Nepal earthquake, featuring photographs by Jim Nachtwey and Kevin Brubriski, as part of the three-day summit on Nepal sponsored by the Dickey Center for international understanding, Hart said.“The Hood’s goal is to engage with contemporary art as a leader rather than a follower,” Hood Museum director John Stomberg said.As innovative contemporary shows, “Ice Cuts” and “Inventory”, particularly promote the museum’s ultimate vision, Stomberg said.“Ice Cuts”, inspired by a hole cut in the ice in front of a sauna, largely focuses on contrast, Hart said. Aho reiterates the series’ central motif — the ice cut — in an effort to explore other aspects of composition such as color, texture and positioning. As a result, each painting remains distinctive yet continuous, Hart said.“[Aho’s show] is unusual in that it is so abstract and has become increasingly abstract in many ways,” Hart said.Aho’s collection signifies a “push and pull between abstraction and representation,” which highlights the Hood’s curatorial practice as a whole, Stomberg said.“[Ice Cuts] is an incredibly outward-looking show,” Stomberg said. “It is a show that any major museum could and should be doing right now.”“Inventory,” which contains 31 works ranging from paintings to ceramics to photographs, showcases modern and contemporary African art from the 1960s to the present, Hart said. “Inventory” displays works acquired within the last two-and-a-half years, and seeks to present a more “holistic” view of the arts of Africa, curator of African art Ugochukwu-Smooth Nzewi said.This show indicates the progressive direction in which the Hood’s African art collection will go after the museum’s expansion, Nzewi said. Nzewi wants to obtain more contemporary and modern African works so that the Hood can more actively “engage in current discourses in academia.” At the same time he intends to remain faithful to traditional African art and objects, Nzewi said.“This exhibition, in its more contemporary focus, dovetails the museum’s goals of expansion and thinking towards the future,” Hood curatorial intern Sarah Lund ’16 said.“Inventory” features the notable piece “V12 Laraki” (2013) by artist Eric Van Hove: a replica of a Mercedes Benz engine reassembled with unconventional materials, including leather and precious metals. Nzewi said that this work combines the custom of craftsmanship in North Africa with the industrialization of the West.“This exemplifies the hybridity and cultural dialogue that is central to [Inventory],” Nzewi said.Very few American institutions have access to art from all of the regions in Africa, and it is “distinctive and unusual” that the Hood has such an expansive African collection, Stomberg said. “Inventory” provides a forum to finally “show it off,” Stomberg said.The Hood’s expansion, which will begin this March, will create five new gallery spaces to display the museum’s rich repertoire of both traditional and contemporary art, Stomberg said. It will also create auxiliary object-study rooms so that students can more intimately interact with the works they are studying.The renovations will construct a large vestibule entryway featuring prominent glass doors — one of which will lead into the museum, and the other of which will lead into three additional fully-digitized classroom spaces, exhibitions designer Patrick Dunfey said.“Learning is the biggest part of our daily lives here at Dartmouth,” Dunfey said. “These centers will help to bring teaching [through] interacting with art more to the forefront.”Philosophy professor John Kulvicki said that he regularly brings his students to the Hood as a way to supplement their in-class curriculum. This term, his course “Philosophy and the Arts” considers more conceptually the role that arts and aesthetics play in society, Kulvicki said.“I want my students to become comfortable visiting museums and engaging with physical art so that they can connect it with the more abstract theories and discussions in the classroom,” Kulvicki said.Samantha Abreu ’16, an art history major, said she finds this type of engagement with the Hood’s pieces to be a uniquely valuable experience.“Actually seeing [the art] gives you something tangible,” Abreu said. “It provides you with real-life references to works that you otherwise just see on screen.”Dunfey said that he hopes that the renovations will ultimately allow the museum to become a more accessible and interactive space for everyone on campus.Art history professor Joy Kenseth, who is teaching “Introduction to the History of Art II,” said she almost always curates an exhibition at the Hood in conjunction with the course. She said she appreciates physical interaction with art as a way to present the works in their most “unmediated” form, Kenseth said.“It makes all the difference in the world,” Kenseth said. “Nothing can replace firsthand experience with art. Teaching in the museum is like teaching in Florence and Rome.”Kenseth, along with art history professor Mary Coffey, curated “Points of View” which pairs together seemingly disparate works and portrays them side-by-side. These pairs consist of an early modern piece and a pre-1900 piece such as pop art by Andy Warhol juxtaposed with an engraving by Dutch artist Hendrik Golzius, Kenseth said. For their final assignment, students in their co-taught art history course must analyze the relationships between the pairs, Kenseth said.Stomberg said that he aims to make the Hood a place for both “casual and formal” encounters with art.“If I could I wouldn’t even call it a museum anymore,” Stomberg said. “We need a word that translates into ‘locus of activity and engagement.’”The Hood will officially close for renovations on March 13.
Bineshii Hermes-Roach ’17 first began drawing under the instruction of her father, a high school art teacher, who taught “mini-lessons” to her and her brother when they were children. Starting with simple pencil drawings, Hermes-Roach then moved onto charcoal, ink drawings and watercolor — the first three of the many mediums into which she would eventually expand her work.
Explaining Big Green culture to someone living outside the Dartmouth bubble is never easy. Trippees? Drill? 'Shmob? What the hell is a Foco? Luckily Mindy Kaling, one of our more famous alums (and former cartoonist for The D), is bringing Dartmouth life to the big screen in her TV series, The Mindy Project. While it's true that Mindy Lahiri never attends Dartmouth in the show, we can't help but notice that a few of her experiences perfectly sum up life at Dartmouth:
DakhaBrakha, a world music quartet that will be performing at the Hopkins Center on Wednesday, has a sound that is rooted in traditional Ukrainian folk music, but is not limited by that genre — nor by anything else, it would seem. A surprise hit at music festivals such as Bonnaroo and GlobalFest and winner of the prestigious Sergey Kuryokhin Prize for Contemporary Art in 2010, DakhaBrakha describes itself on its website as an “ethnic chaos” group, a title that fits both its sound and aesthetic.
Dartbeat asks a group of musically inclined students to recommend their favorite song picks of the week. We then share a few of those tracks. Enjoy!
Chris Gallerani ’15 graduated from Dartmouth last spring with a theater major. Gallerini now lives in New York City pursuing a professional career in acting.
A chase film that unfolds with surgical patience, “Carol” (2015) focuses on forbidden lovers restrained by the severe conservatism of the early 1950s. Whereas lesbianism only existed in the interstices of 1950s life, Todd Haynes puts it centerstage in this decadent, nostalgic adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s 1952 romance novel, “The Price of Salt.”
Max Samuels ’15 graduated from Dartmouth last year as a theater and Chinese double major. He is now attending a one-year master of arts program focused exclusively on classical acting at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts.
Marina Massidda ’17 formally began taking art classes at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston when she was in her early teens, following a childhood filled with informal artistic pursuits.
For Dartmouth’s many a cappella groups, the long winter break provides a chance to hit the road and perform for a wider audience. This winter Dartmouth’s a cappella groups travelled all over the United States, from Massachusetts to Florida to Hawaii.
Dust off your figurines and recharge your light sabers because J. J. Abrams has salvaged the Star Wars name from the garbage compactor many believed the brand was destined for after the prequels. After its decade-long dormancy, the Force returns with blasters blazing, providing a much needed special effects facelift while adhering to the time-tested franchise formula.
While the winter term’s gloom and chill could provide ample reason for students to stay indoors, exciting new events at the Hopkins Center provide an even better reason for students to head indoors. This term’s events include performances by visiting artists, theater companies and renown musicians. In January alone, there is a huge variety of artistic performances, workshops and shows that will appeal to a wide palate of tastes and styles.
This term’s Handel Society show in the Spaulding Auditorium at the Hopkins Center will showcase one of George Frideric Handel’s more famous works, “Messiah” (1742).
The Dartmouth College Gospel Choir took on a cloudy day and cold weather to bring together a mix of classical and traditional gospel music to help uplift their audience and bring a message of joy and inspiration to the College at its annual fall concert.
Movies these days are addicted to drugs cartels. So popular in fact, they have become been Netflix-ized into the new series “Narcos” (2015). Too many action thrillers employ some drug kingpin as an antagonist crutch, a cardboard cutout of a classical evil whom the bad-ass good guys can shoot at, chase and kill. “Sicario” (2015) works within this mold, but manages to come out as a crystallized, complex negotiation of border politics injected with pinpoint acting and lush cinematography.
A brother and sister traverse around Europe on a what is supposed to be a fun-filled romp and instead find themselves having to deal with the heartbreaking effects of illness and mortality. “Baltimore Waltz,” which was written by Paula Vogel in 1989, the year after she lost her brother to AIDS, centers on Anna and Carl, a pair of siblings who embark on a hedonistic, yet heart-wrenching, European odyssey. The show, which combines the surreal and the serious, will open at the Hopkins Center this weekend and will mark the directorial debut for Julie Solomon ’17.
It is easy to think only about the actors when thinking about a play, but there is much more involved behind the scenes to make sure all of the parts run smoothly. For the theater department’s main stage production of “Don Juan Comes Back From the War,” almost 40 students played a role in the production team, from sewing the costumes to creating the set.
Ukuleles and Queen Elizabeth II rarely mix, unless Jake Shimabukuro is involved — he performed his songs for her. Shimabukuro, who has been playing the ukulele professionally since the 1990s and became famous for his viral video of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” (1968), performed a range of original songs and covers of popular songs at the Hopkins Center last night.
Inspired by the Telluride short film showcase last Saturday, I decided to compile my favorite animated short films available online and share them.