Reception & Curator’s Talk Tonight!

Our Comics, Ourselves is officially underway! Join us as we host artists, writers, comics shop owners, and the exhibition’s curators throughout the month of September and early October. All are welcome to join us this evening for:

Curator’s Talk, Opening Reception, and Print Shop Jam
Friday, September 14, 6:00pm
Fenwick Library Main Reading Room / Mason School of Art

Jan Descartes (she/her) and Monica McKelvey Johnson (she/her) will give a curator’s talk on the latest iteration of the traveling exhibition, Our Comics, Ourselves, which originated at Interference Archive in Brooklyn, NY. Focusing on themes of authorship and identity, they will talk about the major works on view, and discuss the process of organizing Our Comics, Ourselves through their method of feminist curating. The presentation will be followed by an open discussion.

Event to be followed by an opening reception and comics and printmaking jam at the Mason School of Art, beginning at 7:30pm.

A sign language interpreter will be present at this event.

This presentation is part of Our Comics, Ourselves: Identity, Expression, and Representation in Comic Art, on display now through October 6 at Fenwick Gallery. Visit http://fenwickgallery.gmu.edu/exhibits/our-comics-ourselves/ for more details.

About the curators: Jan Descartes is a Brooklyn-based artist, educator and curator. She is a graduate of Syracuse University (BA), Carnegie Melon University (MFA) and anticipated graduate of CUNY Graduate Center, with a degree focus on Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies (MLS). She currently co-curates the Our Comics, Ourselves exhibition with Monica McKelvey Johnson, which focuses on identity and representation. Through her artistic, academic and professional life, art and accessibility has been a major theme, culminating in her current thesis regarding trauma and memory in public aesthetic spaces. Jan is co-creator and artist for the webcomic Heartland Comic, where personal memoir and identity politics meet comix. She is currently involved with planning/organizing outreach projects in NYC, where she hopes to facilitate DIY comic-making as an accessible means to explore personal experience and resistance in the everyday. She also lives with a sweet dog and an angry cat.

Monica McKelvey Johnson is a comic artist, writer, and curator living in Brooklyn. She is a graduate of San Francisco State University (BA), and CUNY Hunter College’s Integrated Media Arts Program (MFA). She authored the web comic The Adventures of Dorrit Little, a story about the average student debtor in the United States today, and founded the student debtor support group, EDU Debtors Union. She writes about comics from an intersectional feminist perspective for The Rumpus and The Comics Journal, and has co-organized several exhibitions at Interference Archive—including Our Comics, Ourselves,Take Back the Fight: Resisting Sexual Violence from the Ground Up, and an upcoming exhibition focusing on Deaf culture. She is a practitioner of “feminist curation,” a methodology she continues to develop with Jan Descartes.

New Exhibition: Our Comics, Ourselves

Fenwick Gallery is pleased to host Our Comics, Ourselves, an exhibition highlighting themes of identity, expression, and representation in comic books and graphic novels. The exhibition runs August 21, 2017 through October 6, 2017, with an opening reception and curator’s talk on Friday, September 15.

Our Comics, Ourselves features comic books, graphic novels, DIY comics, and various comics paraphernalia primarily from the United States, from 1945 to present. The works range from autobiographical to sheer fantasy, and explore feminism, abortion, racism, cultural identity, social activism, labor unions, veterans of war, sexual abuse, student debt, immigration, public health, civil rights, gender and sexual identity, and more. Our Comics, Ourselves presents the graphic stories that describe the complexity and diversity of our collective experience, and examines the social and historical contexts within which they emerged.

Our Comics, Ourselves is on display in Fenwick Gallery and the Special Collections Research Center in Fenwick Library. In conjunction with this exhibition, Fenwick Library and various Mason departments Mason are hosting a series of presentations, workshops, and readings to further the discussion about the exhibition and its associated themes. More information will be available on the Fenwick Gallery website as events are scheduled.

This exhibition is organized and made possible by Jan Descartes and Monica McKelvey Johnson of Interference Archive in NYC, and supported by many Mason faculty partners and departments, including Stephanie Grimm, Art and Art History Librarian, University Libraries; Christopher Kardambikis, Assistant Professor of Printmaking, School of Art; Angela Hattery, Professor and Director, Women & Gender Studies; Mika’il Petin, Professor, African and African American Studies.

Travel the Globe with Special Collections

Summer is approaching and travel plans have been made! Special Collections Research Center holds many images and books that represent great travel destinations in the United States and around the world. The current exhibit, Around the World in (Almost) Eighty Days: Traveling the Globe with Special Collections, features wonderful selections from SCRC holdings, and they might even help those who are still trying to figure out where to travel in the upcoming months. The exhibit runs from June 5 through mid-August. Join us at a reception on June 15 from 3 to 4:30 p.m., Special Collections Research Center, 2400 Fenwick. Hope to see you there – Bon Voyage!

For more information, please contact Brittney Falter, bfalter@gmu.edu

 

Gilbert & Sullivan Exhibition Opening

The University Libraries is excited to announce the opening of a major Gilbert & Sullivan exhibition, “Oh, Joy Unbounded…”: A Celebration of Gilbert & Sullivan, featuring items from the David and Annabelle Stone Gilbert & Sullivan Collection.

The Mason community is invited to join us for an exhibition opening celebration from 3:30 to 5 p.m. on Thursday, March 30 in the Libraries’ Special Collections Research Center on the second floor of Fenwick Library (Room 2400). The program will open with remarks by Rick Davis, Dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts, and will include a tour of the exhibition by David Stone, who we have to thank for amassing this stunning collection of Gilbert & Sullivan memorabilia.

Three galleries in Fenwick Library are dedicated to displaying items from the Stones’ remarkable collection, which will be on view through May. The exhibition is part of a larger celebration of the famous duo, which the Libraries and the College of Visual and Performing Arts are coordinating at Mason. In addition to the exhibition, there will be performances and a scholarly forum. Additional information about the exhibition may be found here, and tickets for performances and the forum may be purchased here.