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, 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 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.
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 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.
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.
The Art Historian in the Auction House
Sandy Ma ’08 draws on her art history degree in a dynamic, global career at Phillips
Dissecting Hollywood from the Inside Out
Sociologist Jun Fang applies his expertise in social relations to a popular course about the film industry
Gordon Center for Creative and Performing Arts Opens to Accolades
Large and enthusiastic audiences have attended a variety of initial performances and events
Gordon Center for Creative and Performing Arts Officially Opens
New center represents capstone to hundreds of millions of dollars of investments in the arts
Bringing Art History to Life
Professor of Art Véronique Plesch looks back on three decades at Colby