2018-2019 List Gallery Exhibition Schedule
Piece Together: The Quilts of Mary Lee Bendolph
Exhibitions in List Gallery and McCabe Library
September 6—October 28, 2018
Mary Lee Bendolph's extraordinary quilts have been compared to the literature of Toni Morrison, jazz classics, and masterworks of modern art. Recognized with a 2015 National Heritage Fellowship from the National Endowment of the Arts, she has been profiled in numerous essays including the 1999 Los Angeles Times Pulitzer Prize-winning article "Crossing Over". In 2017, she and her daughter, Essie Bendolph Pettway, were the focus of Maris Curran's documentary film, While I yet Live, Together with other quilters in the historically black community of Gee's Bend, Alabama, she has been honored through touring museum exhibitions and her quilts have been collected by distinguished institutions, including the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Piece Together: The Quilts of Mary Lee Bendolph,was organized by the Mount Holyoke College Art Museum, South Hadley, Massachusetts and was made possible by The Pierre and Tana Matisse Foundation and the gifts of individual donors in support of the Mount Holyoke College Art Museum's Diverse Voices lnitiative. The exhibition was adapted for two venues at Swarthmore College by List Gallery Director Andrea Packard. The List Gallery will feature a selection of quilts made between the late 1970s and 2010 and several prints made in 2005. McCabe Library's upper atrium will feature several quilts by Mary Lee Bendolph alongside works by her mother, Aolar Mosely, and her daughter, Essie Bendolph Pettway—three generations of women who responded to the legacy of slavery and Jim Crow with remarkable faith, resilience, and creativity.
Funding for the exhibition at Swarthmore College and the accompanying public events and catalog were made possible by the William J. Cooper Foundation. Additional support was provided by the Department of Art and Art History and Swarthmore College Libraries.
Thursday, September 20
Mary Lee Bendolph and the Quilts of Gee's Bend
4:30-5:30 p.m., Lang Performing Arts Center Cinema
Introductory remarks by Andrea Packard, List Gallery director
Film Screening: While I yet Live, directed by Maris Curran, a 15-minute documentary profiling Gee's Bend quilters Mary Lee Bendolph and Essie Bendolph Pettway
- Rubin Bendolph Jr., son of Mary Lee Bendolph family quilt curator
- Essie Bendolph Pettway, quilter and daughter of Mary Lee Bendolph
- Maris Curran, Independent film director
- Hannah W. Blunt, Associate Curator at Mount Holyoke College Art Museum
- Celebration with additional visitors from Gee's Bend
Opening Reception for Piece Together: The Quilts of Mary Lee Bendolph
Thursday, September 20 5:30-7:00 p.m., List Gallery, Lang Performing Arts Center
An 82-page exhibition catalog will be available.
Friday, September 21
Gee's Bend: Personal Narratives and Artistic Legacies
A Symposium on the Importance of Documenting Oral Histories
10 a.m.—Noon, Scheuer Room, Kohlberg Hall
- Members of Mary Lee Bendolph family and Gee's Bend residents including Essie Bendolph Pettway and Rubin Bendolph Jr.
- Yixuan (Maisie) Luo ’19 and Catherine Williams ’19, Swarthmore College Humanities Grant recipients who conducted oral history interviews in Gee's Bend
- Ellen M. Alvord, Weatherbie Curator of Education and Academic Programs for Mount Holyoke College Art Museum
Thursday, October 23, 4:30-6:00 p.m.
Responses to Gee's Bend
Public Reception and Curators' Talk
McCabe Library Atrium
Installed concurrently with Piece Together: The Quilts of Mary Lee Bendolph, Responses to Gee's Bend features works by 17 artists who were inspired by the aesthetic legacy of Gee's Bend and created works specifically for McCabe Library's space. The exhibition was curated by Andrea Packard, List Gallery director; Alicia Ruley-Nock, independent quilt maker; and Susan Dreher, Visual and Digital Initiatives Librarian. Selected from numerous applicants from across the United States, the artists featured in Responses to Gee's Bend demonstrate a wide range of approaches, techniques, and thematic concerns. Participating artists are: Betty Leacraft, Michael Olszewski, Allyson Allen, Cassandra Stancil Gunkel, Chawne Kimber, Christina Johnson, Denise Roberts, Jas Mardis, Juanda Gikandi, Katie Baldwin, Melissa Maddonni Haims, Polly Dressler Bech, Rachael Dorr, Sheryl Kessler, Victoria Findlay Wolfe, and Maisie Luo.Responses to Gee's Bend will also feature WPA-era documentary photographs and contemporary contextual materials including excerpts from interviews with Gee's Bend residents conducted by Swarthmore students Maisie Luo and Catherine Williams.
Robin Mandel: Chorus and Hold Still
Robin Mandel's artistic practice combines sculpture, video projections, and collaborations with musicians. Harmonizing traditional craftsmanship with innovative technology, Mandel challenges conventional notions about time, light, sound, and motion. Swarthmore College is pleased to present both Chorus, a five-day series of sound and video projections designed for Swarthmore's north campus, and Hold Still, a List Gallery exhibition featuring a selection of multi-media sculptures and projections. These free and public events as well as an exhibition catalog were made possible by a Promise Grant from the William J. Cooper Foundation, which supports projects, lectures and performances by individuals who show promise of distinguished achievement.
After graduating from Swarthmore in 1997, Mandel received an M.F.A. from Rhode Island School of Design in 2005. Since then, he has exhibited his art in more than fifty exhibitions, including at the DeCordova Museum, Lincoln, MA.; the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts, Grand Rapids, MI, and the Wassaic Project, New York. He has also exhibited in Montreal, Venice, Barcelona, and Jerusalem. He is the recipient of more than a dozen awards, including grants from the Rhode Island Council on the Arts and the St. Botolph Club Foundation, Boston and residencies at the MacDowell Colony, the Fine Arts Work Center, and Anderson Ranch Arts Center. He has taught art at the Rhode Island School of Design; the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Maine College of Art; and Colby College. Currently, he is Assistant Professor of Art at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
Outdoor video projections and performance
Swarthmore College North Campus Commons near Science Center
Projections: November 5 - 8, 7:00 - 8:00 p.m. each night
Performance: November 9, 7:30 - 7:50 p.m.
Incorporating video, sound, and live performances by student musicians, Chorus consists of a series of projections and a performance that will take place over five nights in the outdoor commons area bordered by the Science Center, Beardsley Hall, Kohlberg Hall, and Martin Hall. Over the course of the first four consecutive nights, large projected video images of singers will appear on the architectural surfaces of the north campus. Each night, the projection will successively evolve from a solo into a duet, trio, and quartet. On the fifth and final night of Mandel's series, he will produce a live performance to accompany the video projections.
List Gallery exhibition: November 8–December 15
Thursday November 8
Artist's Lecture, Lang Performing Arts Center Cinema, 4:30-5:30 p.m.
Public reception, List Gallery, 5:30–7:00 p.m.
The List Gallery will feature a selection of recent sculptures and video projections by multi-media artist Robin Mandel. A key work in the exhibition, Siren (2016), explores relationships between breath, sound, music. Mandel recorded singers using rotating cameras and displays the footage by using a device he designed to rotate projectors. The variable motion of both the recordings and the projectors results in an unsteady equilibrium—a visual vibrato. As in many of Mandel's works, simultaneous projections alternate between motion and stillness; disjunction and harmony.
Senior Thesis Exhibition Series
Dates to be announced.
Alumni Weekend Exhibition
Artists/details to be announced.