Libraries’ spring exhibition: You Are Here: Expanding the Concept of Place

Syracuse University Libraries’ spring exhibition, You Are Here: Expanding the Concept of Place, opens with a reception on April 20 from 4:30-6 p.m. in the gallery on the sixth floor of Bird Library.

Through a selection of rare books, pamphlets, maps, manuscripts, photographs, and other artifacts from Special Collections, this exhibition re-frames common notions and accepted definitions of what ‘place’ can be by connecting specifically to the Syracuse community: as in the geographical relevance of the Erie Canal, the conceptual destination of the Underground Railroad, or the student experience specific to Syracuse University.

The exhibit and reception is presented in collaboration with and partially sponsored by the Syracuse University Humanities Center as a part of the 2016 Syracuse Symposium on Place. It will remain on view through mid-August.

Also on view at the Goldstein Faculty Center, the Crouse Hinds Administrative building, and the Joseph I. Lubin House in New York City, is The Lost Spaces of Syracuse University, an exhibition exploring the evolution of Syracuse University’s many buildings and spaces over our 147-year history. From the University’s early years in an office building in downtown Syracuse, to the campus boom of the post-World War II era, and the current development of the Campus Framework, each of these periods of change has added to the list of the University’s “lost buildings.” This exhibition of materials and photographs from the University Archives showcases the legacy of some of these lost spaces.

In conjunction with the Libraries’ exhibit opening, Dr. Brice Nordquist (Writing Program) and Dr. Emily Stokes-Rees (Museum Studies) will present the results of their Delmas-funded Special Collections Research Center Faculty Fellows projects. In its inaugural year, the program provides stipends to selected faculty who incorporate the use of special collections in their classes and enable their students to handle, analyze, and interpret SCRC’s rich primary source materials.

Students in Nordquist’s Rhetorics of Futurity: Utopia, Sci-Fi and City Planning course engaged with materials from SU’s collections of utopian, science fiction, and city planning materials. Students in Stokes-Rees’s Ethnographic Curatorship course had a hands-on curatorial experience with plastics collections and developed a new installation for the Plastics Pioneers Reading Room, located on the sixth floor of Bird Library.

In the Biblio Gallery: Museum Views by Jack Honeysett

Jack Honeysett is a British artist and current MFA candidate in the sculpture program in the College of Visual and Performing Arts. He employs photography, video, sculpture, and performance in a practice with the recurring theme of history, subtly questioning the prevailing use of history and narrative as a means of legitimizing and reinforcing stereotypes.

Museum Views is a photographic series created while Honeysett attended VPA’s Turner Semester residency in LA. Funded through a gift from SU VPA alumna and Advisory Council member Marylyn Turner Klaus ’56 G’57, the Turner Semester is a residency program for MFA students. The program allows the students to experience the arts of the West Coast and to live and work in San Pedro (the Los Angeles Harbor area) during the fall and spring semesters.

The composition of the photos draws attention not only to the pieces on display within the museum, but also to the display systems and the relationships between pieces created through the curation of the space. The experience of the space is presented as equal to the museum objects and the sense of art history which they imbue.

The pieces are hung in groups of three. The image on the right sets up the emphasis of the series, directing the viewer’s eye to the museum display. The other images expand on this and playfully explore the relationships between the viewer, display method, and piece. Installing this series in a library context is an experiment to see what parallels may be drawn between both museum and library’s role of cataloguing knowledge.

For more information about exhibiting in the Biblio Gallery, contact Ann Skiold at or see the Biblio Gallery website.

“Suspicious Suspension”: new Biblio Gallery show by visual artist Hesam Fetrati opens September 9

Hesam_Fetrati-Stationary-Train-sliderA series of pen and ink drawings by Hesam Fetrati will open in the Biblio Gallery on the 4th floor of Bird Library on September 9.  Born in Tehran, Iran in 1981, Fetrati is currently a doctor of visual art candidate at Griffith University in Australia.

Artist statement:

 “The collective series of artwork “Suspicious Suspension” is my interpretation of the distress caused through the common, harmful, and global activity of displacement. This exhibit contains three series: Severed Roots, Blindness, and Suspension. This body of work addresses contemporary issues of diaspora, hope, despair, and the hopelessness associated with the act of displacement. The severed trees, decomposing fish, and abandoned suitcases are my repeated stereotypes. They highlight the harmful acts of separation, distress, dilution, and loss of people who have been cut off and forced from their cultural heritage, their motherland, and their geographic place. I use satire in these drawings to comment on issues of forced migration. The three series start with a narrative form into which I weave my understanding of the mental states of mind and physical hardships endured on the journey from one state of mind/place to another. My drawings seek to give voice to the ‘speechless’ members of society – the refugee, the displaced, and those who, like myself, are transitioning from one culture/place into another. I see myself as part of this situation and at the same time I try to position myself outside of it in order to look at it more objectively. In an effort to avoid repetitive imagery, which would just show the Dickensian life of displaced people and victimise them, I have pursued a balance of subliminal narratives and hidden text. I have tried to avoid making a series of work to reflect the anger and compassion of the victim and the viewer. Instead, I reflect more on the context surrounding the situation and allow the viewer to pass their own judgment on the activity. I have chosen to use black ink on paper and limited edition print for this series in reference to an ancient mode of communication and broadcasting.”

The exhibit will be up until mid-spring 2017.

For more information about exhibiting in the Biblio Gallery, contact Ann Skiold at or see the Biblio Gallery website.


Libraries exhibit: Campaigns & Collectibles

A new display entitled Campaigns & Collectibles is now on view on the fourth floor of Bird Library. The exhibit features materials related to American presidential campaigns, elections, and inaugurations, including books, recordings, and videos, as well as campaign buttons, tokens, medals, ribbons, and other vintage objects.  Items on display are from Syracuse University Libraries collections or on loan from Libraries’ staff.

This exhibit was curated by Ed Gokey, a staff member in the Libraries’ Access & Resource Sharing Department. It will be available through the fall semester.

In the Biblio Gallery: Exhibition by Taylor Davis-Van Atta

WWGII10An exhibit by Taylor Davis-Van Atta gathering the work of four under-represented artists from around the world is currently on display in the Biblio Gallery on the 4th floor of Bird Library. Davis-Van Atta is currently pursuing an MSLIS in the School of Information Studies at SU and is the founding publisher and co-editor of Music & Literature.

In describing the exhibition, Davis-Van Atta says:

The artwork exhibited here first appeared in Music & Literature, an international arts and humanities journal devoted to celebrating and promoting the work of under-represented artists from around the world. This exhibition gathers the work of four artists—American poet Mary Ruefle, Croatian author Dubravka Ugrešić, British contrabassist Barry Guy, and German artist Max Neumann—who are primarily known for their musical or literary creations, but here we are offered the opportunity to examine their creative lives from a fresh perspective, from which we might discover the thought underpinning their more public works.

The exhibit will be on display through the end of May.

For more information about exhibiting in the Biblio Gallery, contact Ann Skiold at or see the Biblio Gallery website.