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UA Museum of Art's Lecture Series returns for spring

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The University of Arizona Museum of Art has brought back its lecture series for the spring, kicking things off with a discussion about Frohawk Two Feathers’  exhibition “What is the color, when black is burned? The Gold War. Part Two.”

Kevin Byrne, a UA assistant professor of theater studies, gave the first lecture of the series, focusing on the historical and racial themes seen throughout Frohawk Two Feathers’ work. 

“I really want people to use my lecture to appreciate the works of art more fully and to return to the artwork and be able to experience it new or to deepen their appreciation for it,” Byrne said.

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Byrne said he hopes that his lecture, as well as the upcoming ones, are able to show the audience the deeper meaning behind the artwork, teaching them about new ideas and perspectives. 

“I hope that they come here, they learn a little bit of something about how I’m thinking about these pieces, and then they can go back to the work and see something a little bit deeper,” Byrne said. 

The UA Museum of Art lecture series was first introduced to the museum in the fall and will be continued once a month throughout the spring semester. According to Chelsea Farrar, the curator of community engagement for the museum, the series offers alternative avenues for understanding a work of art or exhibition.

“I had an art educator years ago describe to me that an artwork is never done,” Farrar said. “So [it’s] this idea that every time you go into a museum, even though you’ve seen that work of art five times, you’ve had experiences, you’ve read books, you’ve seen movies that bring you another interpretation of that work. The story is never finished.”

Next month’s series, “Vegetal Eroticism: Imagining Our Botanical Relations,” will be centered around the exhibition, “Botanical Relations.” Joela Jacobs, a UA assistant professor of German Studies, will lead the lecture.

“As a co-curator for ‘Botanical Relations,’ she will be offering a little bit more insight on the works of art and how they chose them,” Farrar said. “There is some longer text with those works of art, so they will show why they chose those particular works to offer more expanded interpretations.” 

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In March, the lecture series switches things up and combines its usual lecture with the exhibition “6&6.” This is a collaboration between six artists and six scientists, wherein they are paired together to foster cross-pollination in research methods. 

According to Farrar, this lecture will discuss the scientific and the artistic interpretation as well as the collaboration between the pairs, providing an interesting perspective of the exhibition. 

Finally, the spring lecture series closes out with Stephanie Troutman examining race and gender in art. In “The White Female Gaze: A Black Feminist Perspective on Identity, Affect and Representation,” Troutman will reflect on how art represents race relations among woman, using the UA Museum of Art exhibition “F***nism.” 

“Bringing Troutman in allows us to expand and kind of problematize the limitation of what we were able to say with our collection,” Farrar said.  

Aside from learning about all the different ways to interpret art, the spring lecture series allows students to become more involved with the UA Museum of Art  and looks to inspire them to take advantage of what the museum has to offer.

“The exhibits that they have here at the museum are wonderful, they are exciting, and they are kind of bonkers sometimes, and the student population has access to that for free,” Byrne said. “I’d love to see students participating in the museum and recognize that this place is here and what it can offer to the student population on campus.”


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