As the 28th season of Fanfare gets underway, the SLU Contemporary Art Gallery presents “Signs of Our Times: Text Based Art in the 21st Century,” running from October 9 through November 11.
Dale Newkirk, the curator of the Contemporary Art Gallery and a member of the visual arts faculty, developed the idea for the show from the ground up.
“This show was curated by me. This was not a show that existed before. It came out of the graphic design faculty wanting to do a graphic design show and then became a show more about text and how artists and designers use text in order to extend the content of their work.”
The show features 13 artists from around the country in addition to an artist from Mexico City.
“The Gallery organizes an exhibition for Fanfare and I try to make it the major event of my exhibition season,” Newkirk said. “So usually I curate the biggest show during the Fanfare event series. Some of these pieces are on loan from collectors and museums. It’s the most complicated show I’ve put on this year. And it will be good for the students because some of the work is different from what they would normally think of as art. There’s no images, there’s just words. And it’s a mix of graphic design as well as fine art, so that will have a broad interest among students.”
Fanfare, Hammond’s “month-long celebration of the arts,” is a collaboration of Southeastern and the Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts and highlights visual and performing artists throughout the month, in addition to hosting and sponsoring “Then and Now” lectures with Southeastern faculty members.
Roy Blackwood, the interim director of Columbia and Fanfare, was one of three founders of the Fanfare program and said that the partnership between Fanfare and the Gallery has existed since the beginning of Fanfare.
“The Gallery has been an integral part of Fanfare since the very beginning,” he said. “It’s always been a part of Fanfare.”