Irish-Inspired Art Exhibit to Spotlight Fulbright Program
Wandering Boundaries, an exhibition featuring work by artists and recent Fulbright Scholars Joan Phillips and Erin Treacy will open at the OU School of Art & Art History on February 20, 2013. The exhibition will be on display through March 7 at the School of Art & Art History’s Lightwell Gallery. An opening reception will be held on Friday, Feb. 22 from 6-8 p.m. and is free and open to the public. The exhibition will also feature a collaborative piece by Irish artist Lesley Wingfield and Atlanta-based dancer Amelia Reiser.
Joan Phillips and Erin Treacy are recent Fulbright Scholars and both received grants to travel, live, and work in the Republic of Ireland in order to enrich their work as professional artists. This two-person exhibition aims to highlight Ireland’s influence on each artist and bring focus to Fulbright opportunities for OU faculty and students.
“The show’s title, Wandering Boundaries, refers to the landscape of Ireland; full of fences, walls, roads, and paths that wander and weave continuously,” said Phillips. “These form boundaries of sorts for sheep, cattle, horses and people, but also form boundaries of history and division and geography. Bringing the artists’ perspective to this topography, as well as finding the connections in our own experiences locally, infuses the art.”
Joan Phillips is an artist and Art Therapy Instructor at the University of Oklahoma School of Art & Art History. Her work utilizes snapshots taken both in Ireland and in the Norman area, shown in juxtaposition and blown up in size, examining the relationship between content and perspective that travel brings. In describing her work Phillips states, “the images dialogue with each other and invite me to think about what I see when I travel, whether I am on my daily drive to work or an international trip. They express the concept that in our travels, near and far, we somehow seek out and find the already known.”
Similarly, Erin Treacy’s paintings explore the physical environment in Ireland through abstract exploration of the boundaries, lines, fences, ridges and other concrete aspects of the terrain, which evoke the mysterious and unspoken essence of Ireland. Treacy is from New York and the Fulbright Program Adviser at the Maryland Institute College of Art. She spent her Fulbright experience living and painting in the Burren, an area of Western Ireland where the striking landscape is both unforgiving and inviting.
Wandering Boundaries will also feature a collaborative piece by Irish visual artist Lesley Wingfield and Atlanta contemporary dance/choreographer Amelia Reiser. Reiser, daughter of Joan Phillips, accompanied Phillips on her Fulbright trip. While in Ireland, Reiser studied and collaborated with numerous dancers and artists. Waters and the Wild (Come Away) is a short film created in Athlone, Ireland in 2011.
The artists hope their show will bring attention to Ireland and the Fulbright Scholar Program. The Council for International Exchange of Scholars website describes this program as the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government. It is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and those of other countries. Recipients of Fulbright grants are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential in their fields. The Program operates in over 155 countries worldwide. Since 1946 the Fulbright Program has given approximately 300,000 students, scholars, teachers, artists, and scientists the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns.
The opportunity for students and faculty to study abroad is an important focus. Education Abroad at OU has a mission of sending students on safe, academically relevant and personally transformative study abroad opportunities. The programs offered through OU fulfill this mission and Fulbright awards expand such opportunities.
This exhibition is partially funded by the OU Center for Research Program Development and Enrichment and the School of Art and Art History.
The Lightwell Gallery is located on the second floor of the School of Art & Art History at 520 Parrington Oval in the OU Arts District. Gallery hours are from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday and closed on weekends and OU holidays. The University of Oklahoma is an equal opportunity institution.
Where: University of Oklahoma
Address: 660 Parrington Oval