Works of Paper/Works on Paper exhibit in Bird Library

Paper Art: Works of Paper/Works on Paper is currently on view on the sphere4th floor, Bird Library. This display presents a sampling of materials from the Syracuse University Libraries related to the varied and creative ways paper has served as a mainstay in the visual arts, both as a support for the graphic arts and as a medium on its own. Several original works by Syracuse University Libraries’ staff members are included. The display will remain up through the spring 2014 semester.




Paintings by Edam Alvarado on display in the Biblio Gallery

Curtis - oil on canvasA collection of paintings by Edam Alvarado called With in is featured in the Biblio Gallery on the 4th floor of Bird Library. Alvarado is a sophomore painting major in the College of Visual and Performing Arts at SU.

In reflecting on his work, Alvarado says:

The exhibition “With in” embraces the inner representation of three particular life stories. In the process of making figurative art, I started to have opposing ideas as to what is most important to depict about someone who has had an interesting life. I decided to try to understand these inspiring personalities and realized that what is most worthy of capturing is their perception of themselves. Their inner evaluations are most worthy of being shown because we could never know what this person has done in his life or what life has done to this person. It is through the abstraction of the background, the richness of the colors and the clean or dirty brush strokes we might understand how they feel about their lives and their life decisions.

The exhibit will be on display through March 2014.

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

Libraries’ spring exhibition explores The Archive in Motion

AIM_lib-news-slider_200x200pxSyracuse University Libraries’ spring exhibition, The Archive in Motion, opened with a reception on Thursday, January 30 at 6 p.m. in the Special Collections gallery on Bird Library’s sixth floor.

The Archive in Motion is an exploration of movement through the materials held by the Special Collections Research Center at Syracuse University Libraries. Organized around a set of interlinked themes, the exhibition encompasses rare books, manuscripts, photographs, and original artworks spanning the fifteenth through twentieth centuries.

From Albert Einstein’s original handwritten research paper “On Rotationally Symmetric Stationary Gravitational Fields,” through stunning photographs of ballet dancers Paul Draper and George Skibine, to pochoir prints hand-painted by Native Americans, this exhibition not only explores the representation of movement, but it reveals the archive as something that is itself always in motion.

Preceding the reception at 5 p.m., Zeynep Çelik Alexander, an architectural historian and assistant professor in the Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design at University of Toronto, presented the lecture, A Minor History of Non-Reading. The lecture was held in the Peter Graham Scholarly Commons on the first floor of Bird Library.

Works by Sam Van Aken on display in Ortwine Gallery

zinia spiralAn exhibition of prints by VPA professor Sam Van Aken is currently on view in the Ortwine Gallery on the sixth floor of Bird Library. The exhibition is free and open to the public.  Regular exhibition hours are Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 9 a.m.–5 p.m. and Tuesday and Thursday, 9 a.m.–7 p.m.

Sam Van Aken’s project entitled New Edens utilizes the process of grafting to literally and metaphorically alter plant life to create new hybridized forms of both art and nature. Included in this body of work is Grafted Seed Packets, where seed and flower packets have been cut, spliced, and altered to amalgamate species. The implications of Van Aken’s New Edens project include issues of genetic engineering, biodiversity versus food monoculture, and, ultimately, the symbiosis of humankind’s relation to nature.

Sharon Corwin has written in Currents 2 (Colby College Museum of Art):

There is a blatant sexuality to the hybrids, especially evident in the combination of an apple and a strawberry. And yet while Van Aken’s mutant fruit might elicit laughter, it is also quite horrifying in the context of our genetically modified world.

Combining sophisticated technology with traditional modes of art-making, Sam Van Aken’s projects cross boundaries between artistic genres, including performance, installation, video, photography, and sculpture. With each body of work, he selects practices and new perspectives that provide a kinesthetic perception of objects and a visceral charge.

Paintings by Paul Weiner on display in the Biblio Gallery

WeinerA collection of paintings by Paul Weiner called Illness and Expression is featured in the Biblio Gallery on the 4th floor of Bird Library. Weiner, who hails from Aurora, Colorado, is a double major in painting and political science.

In reflecting on his work, Weiner says:

How does the aesthetic of abstraction change when the artist’s brain is suffering from a chemical imbalance?

My recent series of artwork explores the connection between mental illness and the aesthetic manifestation thereof. As someone who suffers from a severe anxiety disorder, I have been on many regimens of prescription drugs to control chemical imbalances in my brain. This artwork was created throughout the steps of my withdrawal from anti-anxiety medication. As my medication depleted and my anxiety level rose, I found myself creating more inventive ways of applying paint to canvas. Such a trend suggests that, while anxiety may be an extremely disturbing issue in my own life, it also provides much of my creative inspiration.

These artworks also comment on current political issues involving mental illness and violence by portraying mental illnesses in a positive context. The mentally ill are often viewed in a violent light as a result of recent media surrounding mass-shootings and gun control. However, the vast majority of mentally ill people, such as myself, will never commit murder, much less mass murder. Whether or not they are willing to reveal it, mentally ill people surround you everyday; we are your classmates, friends, neighbors, and family.

I hope that this work can dispel the recent, violent connotation of mental illness just for a moment so that viewers may respond to the positive creative potential linked to some of these illnesses.”

The exhibit will be on display through late October 2013.

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