Focusing on Faculty


Five members of the Art Department show their work at the Colby Museum

The faculty biennial, on view through Dec. 10 at the Colby Museum of Art, features work in a range of media by Art Department faculty members Bevin Engman, Gary Green, Amanda Lilleston, Audrey Shakespear, and Takahiro Suzuki. Shown here is a woodblock print series by Lilleston.
By Bob KeyesPhotography by Gabe Souza
November 20, 2023

A longstanding Colby tradition continues with the 2023 Faculty Biennial at the Colby Museum of Art. On view in the Davis Gallery until Dec. 10, the exhibition features mostly new work from five members of the Art Department faculty.

Artists with work in the exhibition are Professors of Art Bevin Engman and Gary Green, Assistant Professors of Art Amanda Lilleston and Takahiro “Taka” Suzuki, and Visiting Assistant Professor of Art Audrey Shakespear. Collectively, these artists are showing work that covers a range of ideas and media, including painting, photography, printmaking, filmmaking, and sculpture. The exhibition provides a window, however limited, into the studio practices of several faculty members and a glimpse of some of what they are working on and thinking about.

Bevin Engman’s Red Cord Sequence (1-5) consists of oil-on-wood panels.

Bevin Engman, who has taught painting at Colby for more than two decades, is showing a series of small oil-on-wood paintings from her Red Cord Sequence (1-5) that depict various stages of human emotions, actions, and characteristics—fear, rage, resistance, rescue, and grace. The paintings are linked by a small red cord, which appears as a painted object in some panels and as dangling strings of satin in another.

Gary Green is showing recent photos from Long Island Pastoral: Part 3.

Gary Green is showing work from a recent series of black-and-white photographs from Long Island, N.Y., where he grew up. These untitled silver gelatin prints from his series Long Island Pastoral: Part 3 reflect the impressions of an artist returning home, filtered through the perspective of time and change. Green, who joined the Colby faculty in 2007 and became a full professor in 2022, looks at a familiar environment from an objective, observational lens and sees overgrown brush, empty stores, and pot-holed streets.

A detail from Amanda Lilleston’s woodcut print collage Möbius Landscape 1-4.

Amanda Lilleston, who recently received a promotion to assistant professor, created a four-piece woodcut print collage titled Möbius Landscape 1-4. The prints take their name from mathematics, where a Möbius strip refers to a non-orientable, twisting surface. Her prints present themselves as visual riddles, enticing viewers with elegant design and questions about how cyclical changes in our environment mold our experience of time.

Audrey Shakespear’s Re_Formed includes hand-carved sandstone objects and 3D-printed versions of those objects, shown here, that visitors can handle.

Audrey Shakespear’s studio practice centers on classical stone carving and contemporary digital media, where she explores how physical and digital environments shape our view of reality. For Re_Formed, she examines our interaction with and understanding of objects in physical and digital spaces by creating four hand-carved sandstone objects and a web page, accessed through a QR code, that presents digital versions of the originals and reformed digital versions that can be manipulated on screen. Also on view are 3D-printed versions of the hand-carved objects.

A projection on the floor of the Davis Gallery of Taka Suzuki’s video The Sound of True Evil.

Taka Suzuki’s work and studio practice serve as forms of inquiry, with each investigation offering a path toward further uncertainty rather than something certain. Through film, sound installations, and photography, Suzuki engages a variety of senses and emotions. Recently promoted to assistant professor, Suzuki creates work infused with mystery, intrigue, and allure. His short film Electric Moonlight & the Language within the Leaves serves as a modern retelling of a Japanese folktale involving a bamboo cutter and the moon princess.