Book and Paper MFAs, Alums, Faculty Combine Talents to Augment Next Arcade Gallery Exhibition

Columbia’s Department of Exhibition and Performance Spaces (DEPS) opens its next Arcade Gallery show January 28, 2013. The exhibition, entitled Marvelous Freedom/Vigilance of Desire, Revisited is unique in its consideration of inter- and cross disciplinary artists through the lens of historical and contemporary Afro-Surrealist sensibilities. Taking its cue from San Francisco-based writer and performer D. Scot Miller’s AfroSurreal Manifesto: Black is the New Black, curator Alexandria Eregbu gathered together the work of Chicago contemporary and emerging artists of color who approach art-making through an Afro-Surrealist lens.

The InterArts academic department’s Book + Paper MFA program adds an additional complex element to the exhibition by combining original work and collaborative efforts of faculty, staff, current MFA, and alumni.

Current graduate MFA student and renowned spoken-word/visual artist Krista Franklin came up with the idea to reprint D. Scot Miller’s AfroSurreal Manifesto at the Center for Book and Paper Arts, and have it be part of the exhibition. She proposed the project to faculty member Clif Meador and CBPA studio technician April Sheridan. Meador immediately set in motion a plan to reprint the interior of the book on the Center’s offset press, with a new cover to be printed on Center’s Windmill letterpress.

The resulting edition has been completely created at CBPA, from prepress through bindery, by InterArts Book and Paper Alumnus Daniel Mellis, staff member April Sheridan, Professor Meador, Krista Franklin, and other InterArts MFAs. The new edition was designed by another CCC alumnus, artist and designer Ben Blount.

Says Franklin, “One of the most exciting aspects of this project is having historical and contemporary artistic methods combining with historical and twenty-first century aspects of the Afro-Surrealist movement. It put both the previous and current work in context, creates a framework for consideration going forward, and makes both meaning and message immediately accessible to the viewer.”

The exhibition opens at the Arcade Gallery on January 28, with an artists’ reception on January 31, from 5:00–8:00 p.m. Artists included in the exhibition are Devin Cain, Krista Franklin, Kenrick McFarlane, Stephen Flemister, Avery r. young, Hannah Rodriguez, Chelsea Sheppard, Michael Tousana, Cecil McDonald, Jr., Christina Long, and Cameron Welch. An additional informational program led by moderator Tempest Hazel entitled What is Afro Surreal?, will take place on Saturday February 9 at the Chicago Cultural Center.

For more information on the exhibition, click here.