Artists’ Talk for Conjuring Presence – Nov. 15

Join us for a virtual celebration at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, November 15 for the exhibit “Conjuring Presence” and hear from BFA and MFA artists at Mason and beyond! This discussion will be moderated by exhibit curator, artist, and Mason faculty Jessica Kallista. Register now via Zoom. Learn more about the exhibit here.

Special Event on Nov 16: The Iron Curtain

On Tuesday, November 16, Mason Libraries and Mason OLLI (the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at George Mason University) will host “The Iron Curtain,” a virtual event, from 3:30-5 p.m. This event is open to the Mason community, but registration is required – please register here to reserve your spot, and a Zoom link will be sent to you prior to the event.

A panel of selected OLLI members will discuss the pivotal years of the Cold War and their pervasive influence on American culture. The panel will be moderated by Samuel Clowes Huneke, assistant professor in the Department of History & Art History at Mason. The event will be recorded and added to the Special Collections Research Center’s (SCRC) Oral History Program collection.

“The Iron Curtain” marks the fifth annual special oral history collaboration between SCRC and OLLI. The program is funded by a Special Project Grant awarded to the University Libraries by OLLI Mason.

An associated exhibition, Looking Over Our Shoulder: The Cold War in American Culture, is now on view in the Libraries’ Special Collections Research Center (SCRC) exhibition space on the second floor of the Fenwick Library on Mason’s Fairfax campus. A corresponding digital exhibit is also available online. Read more here.

New exhibition in Fenwick Gallery,“Conjuring Presence,” featuring Mason students, faculty, alumni

Fenwick Gallery at George Mason University is pleased to host “Conjuring Presence,” an exhibition of visual art and poetry featuring Mason students, faculty, and alumni. The exhibition will run in Fenwick Gallery and online from October 20 through December 11, with a literary reading and an artists’ panel to be announced at a later date.

Curated by Mason faculty member and artist Jessica Kallista, “Conjuring Presence” asks both artists and audience to think critically and examine many manifestations of presence: What does it mean to join our creativity as we co-sense and conspire together for the sake of enlivening our imaginations and our communities? What does it mean to become mindful of the need to work against erasure when we understand who is not present and why? Who decides whether some people are or are not allowed to be present to occupy spaces in the arts and academia? How do we acknowledge the past, work for a just future, and still ground ourselves in the present? How might we work to conjure presence? 

The artists and poets featured in “Conjuring Presence” were paired and asked to consider these questions throughout the collaborative process. In doing the work of considering, questioning, and challenging the status quo with radical honesty and presence of mind, together they embrace the power to envision, freedom dream, and co-create otherwise worlds into existence.

This exhibition is co-curated by Heather Green (Asst. Professor, School of Art) and Stephanie Grimm (Art and Art History Librarian and Fenwick Gallery Manager), with exhibit support from Chen Bi (Fenwick Gallery Graduate Assistant). Exhibition support is generously provided by the University Libraries, School of Art, and Creative Writing Program at Mason.

“Conjuring Presence” will be on display in Fenwick Gallery and online. Fenwick Gallery is located in Fenwick Library on Mason’s Fairfax campus. The gallery is open during Library business hours; see the Library’s website at http://library.gmu.edu for the most accurate and up-to-date information.

For more information on this exhibition at Fenwick Gallery, contact Stephanie Grimm, Art and Art History Librarian, at sgrimm4@gmu.edu.

New exhibition on the Cold War in American Culture

Looking Over Our Shoulder: The Cold War in American Culture is now on view in the Libraries’ Special Collections Research Center (SCRC) exhibition space. A corresponding digital exhibit is also available online.

High School students practice “duck and cover” technique. Oliver F. Atkins photograph collection, C0036, Box 54, Folder 118, Special Collections Research Center.

In Looking Over Our Shoulder, members of the SCRC team have selected examples from the Libraries’ special collections that illustrate aspects of American life during the Cold War from a variety of angles, through manuscripts, photographs, publications, material culture, and other items. From concerns about the spread of Communism, the threat of atomic warfare, and the Space Race to architecture, fashion, art, film, theatre, novels, and even home décor, the exhibit demonstrates the pervasiveness of the Cold War era on every aspect of American life.

With each exhibit curated by SCRC, Bob Vay (technology and exhibitions archivist) tries to link the history to the lived experience here at Mason. For Looking Over Our Shoulder, he curated a case focused on “The Cold War as A Source of Dissent at George Mason College/University” and highlighted some of the protests in the 1960s. In addition to his work in creating the corresponding digital exhibit, Vay will be sharing a series of blog posts about the current exhibition on the Special Collections Research Center blog. His introduction to the exhibit is available here, and his exploration of “The Ever Present Fear of Atomic Attack & Atomic Energy” is available here.

On Tuesday, November 16, 2021, SCRC will be partnering with the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at George Mason University (Mason OLLI) to host “The Iron Curtain,” a virtual event where Professor Samuel Clowes Huneke will moderate a panel of select OLLI members regarding the history of the Iron Curtain and their individual experiences. This event is made possible by an OLLI Mason Special Project Grant awarded to the Libraries. The discussion will be recorded and added to SCRC’s Oral History Program collection.

SCRC collections are available for use by students, faculty, researchers, and others for research or instructional use. In addition to the items featured in the current exhibit, SCRC holds other related collections to the Cold War as well as many other subject areas. For more information SCRC and their collecting areas, visit their collections site.

Graduate Research Connections – workshops for grad students 10/28 & 10/29

Build your productivity, research, and writing skills at GRADReCon: Graduate Research Connections! A smorgasbord of workshops on topics essential to your success at Mason, GRADReCon is a partnership of Graduate Student Life, University Libraries and other key university programs and services for graduate students. Join us online, Thursday, October 28 and Friday, October 29. Registration, schedule, and more available at https://infoguides.gmu.edu/gradrecon.