UNH Art Gallery

UNH Art Gallery Rings in the New Year with Japanese Woodblock Prints and Alumni Sculptures

By Lori Gula
UNH News Bureau

January 3, 2003

DURHAM, N.H. -- The Art Gallery at the University of New Hampshire welcomes 2003 with two new exhibits, a collection of Japanese woodblock prints and the works of six alumni sculptors.

Ukiyo-e: Japanese Woodblock Prints from the Collection runs from Jan. 23 to April 16, 2003. An Eye on Alumni: Six Sculptors runs from Jan. 23 to March 13, 2003. A reception previewing each exhibit will be held Wednesday, Jan. 22, from 5-7 p.m.

Ukiyo-e: Japanese Woodblock Prints from the Collection

"Kabuki Actor" woodblock print, 8-1/2 x 6 in.

Download Photo

The Japanese word ukiyo-e, or "pictures of the floating world," refers to the beautifully colored woodblock prints that depict scenes from everyday life in the 18th and 19th centuries. "Ukiyo-e prints are among the most revered and sought after works of Japanese art, and The Art Gallery is extremely fortunate to have within our collection almost 200 Japanese woodblock prints that were purchased in the 1970s," says Vicki Wright, exhibition curator and gallery director.

An Eye on Alumni: Six Sculptors

An Eye on Alumni focuses on the talents of six alumni sculptors who have mastered their craft. The exhibition brings these sculptors back to their artistic roots while celebrating the success they have achieved in their careers.

Gary Ambrose (B.F.A., 1974) works with tree branches and stones, shaping and refining them into graceful and elegant yet organic versions of themselves. "My creative process begins with hiking and climbing in the western mountains of Maine and sailing to coastal islands. I seek to be in motion in the vocabulary of landscape," Ambrose says.

Bill Brayton's (B.F.A., 1980) pieces are born of more industrial materials -- steel, concrete, enamel, and wood. "The relationships between form, line, and space found through the act of drawing have set the stage for subsequent investigations in sculpture and digital animation," Brayton says.

Arthur Ganson (B.F.A., 1978) produces "machines" that capture motion as art. Ganson, who never studied engineering, designs by intuition. "Had I studied engineering, I may not have had the freedom to design such impractical machines," Ganson says.

Brenda Garand (B.F.A., 1981) is a sculptor whose pieces are made from steel and fabric. "Ideas of aggression and protection, what is hidden and revealed, frailty and strength are conveyed through linear and planar elements made out of wire, fabric, steel, and roofing paper," Garand says.

Christopher Gowell (B.F.A., 1974) is a classically trained figure sculptor whose pieces draw on medieval, classical, and baroque traditions. "My personal artistic quest is to become the best figure sculptor in terms of technical expertise and anatomical knowledge, and to imbue my work with mystery, passion, and magic," she says.

Gary Haven Smith (B.F.A., 1973) is best known for his carved stone sculptures, but in recent years has begun to produce sculptural mixed-media paintings. "The bottom line is the art needs to communicate something, maybe just a little bit, to make someone look at things a little differently, to pause, to wonder," he says.
The following programs are part of the ArtBreak Series, which runs Wednesdays, noon to 1 p.m. in The Art Gallery, unless otherwise noted:

  • Jan. 29: Slide Lecture, "Behind the Scenes: An Introduction to the Life and Culture of 19th Century Japan," by Janabeth Reitter, Japanese Program, instructor of languages, literatures, and cultures. Room A219.
  • Feb. 5: Slide Lecture by exhibiting artist Christopher Gowell. Room A219.
  • Feb. 12: Slide Lecture by exhibiting artist Gary Haven Smith. Room A219.
  • Feb. 19: Video: The Tale of Genji, from the book written by Lady Murasaki in the 11th century. This video was produced by the Films for the Humanities & Sciences.
  • Feb. 26: Performance: Scenes from The Increased Difficulty of Concentration by Vaclav Havel, performed by Mask & Dagger.
  • March 5: Gallery Talk by Vicki Wright, director of The Art Gallery and curator of Ukiyo-e: Japanese Woodblock Prints from the Collection.
  • March 12: Concert: "Turning Up Stones: A Retrospective," performed by David Ripley, professor of music. Accompanied by the UNH Chamber Singers and John Hunter on bass.

The UNH Art Gallery is at the Paul Creative Arts Center, 30 College Road, Durham. Hours are Monday through Wednesday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Thursday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; and Saturday and Sunday, 1-5 p.m. The Art Gallery is closed Fridays, university holidays, and during exhibition changes, including March 14-23. Admission is free. School and other groups are welcome. Tours are free with advance reservation. Call 862-3713 to schedule.

News Editors:

A more detailed description of the artists and exhibits is available in our Media Facts Sheet, or by contacting Lori Gula at 862-0574 or lori.gula@unh.edu.

Color slides are available from Amanda Tappan, education and publicity coordinator, The Art Gallery, at 862-3712 or art.gallery@unh.edu.

The following photos are available to download:

Kunisada and Hiroshige. "Kabuki Actor"
woodblock print, 14 1/8 x 9 3/4 in.

Harunobu. "Courtesan", c. 1770
woodblock print, 8 1/2 x 6 in.

Christopher Gowell, Our Lady of the Plants, 2002. Copper-faced Forton mg.

Brenda Garand, Marsouin, 2000. Steel and fabric, 26" x 62" x 58".

William Brayton, s1222000, 2000. Steel, concrete, and enamel.

Back to UNH News Bureau