January 15, 2015

40 Years/40 Artists

Celebrating the University Museum of Contemporary Art

Throughout the fall, the staff of the University Museum of Contemporary Art eagerly anticipated their mail deliveries. One day they received a painting by the masterful realist Scott Prior ’71 of his sons, Ezra ’09 and Max. Another package held "Chevis II", a powerful colorful photograph of a teenage boy by Dawoud Bey. Another day they opened one of William Wegman’s famous photos of his Weimaraner dogs. Conceptual artist Jenny Holzer donated a black-and-white print titled "Talking Politics."

By the end of the fall semester, the staff had received more than enough important work from renowned artists for an exhibition to mark UMCA’s 40th anniversary and to continue the museum’s mission to inspire future generations of students and researchers. The newly acquired works may be seen at UMCA’s exhibition, “40 Years/40 Artists,” which opens with a public reception on January 21 from 5-7 p.m. and will continue through March 8, 2015.

“We were overwhelmed by the response from artists,” says Museum Director Loretta Yarlow. The UMCA staff had planned to feature the work of 40 artists whose exhibitions at the museum—at crucial moments in their careers—had the effect of opening up dialogue about ideas relevant to contemporary art and society. In the end they exceeded their goal, with 46 donations to the permanent collection.

The University Museum of Contemporary Art (formerly the University Gallery) on the lower level of the Fine Arts Center was created in 1975 to bring the most important contemporary international art to the campus community. For 40 years, artists from all over the world have come to UMCA to participate in its exhibition and education programs. Generations of artists and museum professionals have trained at the museum, while many thousands of students have enhanced their understanding of art in its galleries.

UMCA’s 40th year celebration will continue throughout 2015 with more exhibitions and educational programs, all free of charge.