We are pleased to share our year with you through pictures, quotes, and projects. Whether from behind the temporarily closed doors of the Museum or from our makeshift home offices, we have continued to work behind the scenes to be a nimble space addressing the needs of the campus we serve and the art and artists we present.
This year, we mounted a major exhibition of our permanent collection featuring over 200 art works and presented two sound and video exhibitions. We were honored to be one of 47 arts organizations nationwide to receive a grant from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts to help support our exhibitions and programs over the next two years. At the start of the COVID-19 shutdown, we pivoted to online platforms. We created a dedicated website and catalogue to document the 2020 Master of Fine Arts Thesis Exhibition virtually, and we took a look at our own history through an online presentation of past exhibitions that continue to resonate. We hosted 11 artists for public talks and demonstrations and welcomed over 2000 university students from across the disciplines to study our exhibitions and permanent collections both in person and through online platforms.
As we near the close of 2020, a year like no other, we recognize how much we appreciate your participation all year long. Because of you, we are poised for a future filled with active voices seeking pathways for greater connectivity through art—an engaged citizenry of students, faculty, artists, and community—participating in the exchange of ideas and new ways of thinking and learning about our world and the futures we want to see manifested. Together, we are prepared to meet the continued challenges ahead; challenges shared by cultural and educational institutions across the country.
With your support we can move forward with confidence to originate future exhibitions, commission new work, and document and disseminate artists’ projects through print and online platforms.
"It is so fulfilling to support an acclaimed contemporary art museum that is also such an active part of our academic community."
—Susan Van Horn Shipherd ‘64, University Art Museum Donor
“As the physical exhibitions in the Museum had to be suspended, it also gave us time to explore more possibilities: the new digital archive of the Collections system, social media outreach tactics, improving web accessibility, and so on. It was a pleasure to witness our team’s creativity during the pandemic.”—Tzu-Yun Wei, M.F.A. ‘20, Visiting Scholar
February 4 – April 4, 2020
extended August 26 – November 1, 2020
Affinities and Outliers presented a fresh look at the permanent collections. By creating visual conversations between iconic and lesser-known artists, the exhibition sought to challenge established timelines and associations by emphasizing a shared sensibility among artists working across time and media.Supported by the UAlbany Office of the President, Office of the Provost, The University at Albany Foundation, and University Auxiliary Services (UAS), with generous support from John Lowe, Jr.
February 4 – April 4, 2020
extended August 26 – November 1, 2020
An early conceptual audio work by the influential performance, video, and installation artist Vito Acconci. Titled Under-History Lessons (1976), the work is a series of short lessons with the artist portraying both the teacher and the students. From Lesson 1: Let's Believe We're in This Together to the final Lesson 12: Let's be Oppressed, Acconci riffs on the ideological underpinnings of American education and society.Supported by the UAlbany Office of the President, Office of the Provost, The University at Albany Foundation, and University Auxiliary Services (UAS), with generous support from John Lowe, Jr.
February 4 – April 4, 2020
extended August 26 – November 1, 2020
Here she is...v1 (2015), the wall-size installation by the pioneering film and video artist Charles Atlas, is a close-up video portrait of the iconic drag performer Lady Bunny lip-syncing, dancing, and riffing on hot-button political issues.Supported by the UAlbany Office of the President, Office of the Provost, The University at Albany Foundation, and University Auxiliary Services (UAS), with generous support from John Lowe, Jr.
May 1 – May 17, 2020
This year, amidst the COVID-19 crisis and the resulting campus closure, the Museum staff worked closely with graduate students and the Department of Art and Art History to present the 2020 Master of Fine Arts Thesis Exhibition through an expanded catalogue, and virtually through a dedicated website, which remains viewable online. Both of these formats represent the culmination of these students' intensive training and study in studio art practices. Despite unprecedented circumstances, these students participated in their first professional museum experience.
Courtney Bernardo, Sean Corcoran, Maxwell Goodknight, Anthony Jackson (Bugzdale), Erica Kaufman, Ya Li, Arnela Mahmutović, Meghan Mason, Anna Nina Pellicone, Tzu-Yun WeiSupported by the Office of the President, the Office of the Provost, The University at Albany Foundation, the College of Arts and Sciences, and the Ann C. Mataraso Endowment Fund in honor of Professor Emeritus Mark Greenwold.
“I was impressed by the quality of the presentation, as well as the number of resources that are being made available to students via the Museum.”
—Ian Callahan, Ph.D. Candidate, Teaching Assistant, Sociology
In an effort to expand our reach through digital platforms, the Museum team is building a virtual library of presentations to share with classes across disciplines that highlight artwork from our Collections as well as past exhibitions. These presentations have been distributed to over 400 faculty and cover topics ranging from community activism to visual literacy. Museum staff members can meet with classes for virtual presentations, or the presentations can be used as self-directed resources.
“The Museum’s presentation on Art and Activism was rich and timely. Students gained first-hand knowledge about the university's longstanding history of protest and activism through the work of artists exhibited in the Museum. This proved to be an invaluable experience for students.”
—Rakhee Balaram, Assistant Professor of Global Art & Art History, Department of Art and Art History
As part of UAlbany’s First Year Experience program, the Museum hosted Why Museums?, a Freshman Seminar co-taught by Corinna Ripps Schaming, Director and Chief Curator, University Art Museum; Daniel Goodwin, Director of the Studio Art Program, Department of Art and Art History; and Edward Schwarzschild, Director of Creative Writing, Department of English. The seminar met weekly to examine how museums transform our interpretation and construction of contemporary culture.
In a special workshop, artist Tanja Hollander collaborated with students enrolled in Why Museums? to ask, “Is it possible to make a portrait with objects instead of a camera?” Students were asked to gather and mail sixteen personal items to Hollander and to develop text about each item. The project examines ephemera and the narratives attached to objects in our lives. The project can be viewed on the artist’s website: tanjahollander.com/ualbany
Released in May 2020, Teaching and Learning with Museum Exhibitions: An Inter-Institutional Approach is a comprehensive publication supported by a grant from The Teagle Foundation. Documenting the culmination of a three-year collaboration among the University at Albany, Skidmore College, Colgate University, and Hamilton College, this publication demonstrates the many roles that academic museums can serve as both traditional galleries for students and visitors, and as active sites for transforming interdisciplinary higher education.
Our intern and work study programs offer students a wide range of direct museum experience in conducting research, interacting with artists and the public, providing administrative and technical support, crafting language for our social media platforms, creating virtual presentations, and learning about contemporary art. This year, amidst the pandemic, our students demonstrated remarkable resilience as they shifted to working remotely and embarking on new projects.
“The Art Museum education program transformed the way my students conceive of art and the role it plays in gaining a new perspective. The collaboration with the Museum married the course goals of gaining new perspectives, applying analytical thinking, and creating academic writing. I am so appreciative.”
—Susan Detwiler, Lecturer, Writing and Critical Inquiry
What Ralph Ellison and Romare Bearden teach us about art + activism today is an illustrated essay project by Sydney Pennington ‘23, Milton and Sally Avery Social Media and Marketing Intern. The essay centers on a letter from Ralph Ellison written in 1968 to founding Museum Director, Donald Mochon, in which Ellison expresses trepidation on writing his first-ever piece about art for the exhibition Romare Bearden: Paintings and Projections, presented at the University Art Museum that year. In addition to her essay, Pennington developed a presentation to be added to the Museum’s library of presentations. To view the illustrated essay, visit: albany.edu/museum/ellison
“Amidst all the chaos, working on this web story provided me with a source of stability. Reading Ellison’s writing and his description of activism and art from both Romare Bearden’s perspective and his understanding of it helped me find my own form of activism.”
—Sydney Pennington ‘23, Milton and Sally Avery Social Media and Marketing Intern
“A wonderfully expansive learning opportunity for my students.”
—James Osborne, Ph.D. Candidate, Lecturer, Department of English
In September 2020, the Museum launched a new, open-source database for cataloguing the Collections, including the display of images, video, audio, and archival documents. Accessible to both the campus community and the public, the new database plays a key role in advancing scholarship, research, remote learning, and virtual class visits of exhibitions and the permanent collections.
“It was wonderful to situate the current work of my students through the lens of the work of Tim Rollins and K.O.S. This provided my students a contemporary historical context that they would not have otherwise had, particularly during COVID-19, when access to such resources has been so limited.”
—Griffin Lacy, Ph.D. Candidate, Lecturer, Sociology
Past exhibiting artists Daniela Comani and Radamés “Juni” Figueroa generously donated works to the University at Albany Fine Art Collections. With the generous support of Susan Van Horn Shipherd ‘64, Munir and Ellen Jabbur, UAlbany Alumni Association Arts and Culture Committee, and University Art Museum Director’s Fund, the Museum also acquired two works by Colin Chase, featured in the Annual Exhibition by Artists of the Mohawk-Hudson Region. We also received donated works from Adam Brown, Nicole Cherubini and September Gallery, Jennifer Wynne Reeves Trust, Janet Riker and Michael Marston, Mark Schaming, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters. The new additions will be housed in the Collections Study Space and will be available online through our database.
“I took part in the exhibition Courier, where my work It Was Me. Diary 1900-1999 was on display at the University Art Museum in Albany in 2010. I was very happy when I received the catalogue of the exhibition. I loved the cover with the title Courier on top of the image of an old typewriter. I also found that the selection of artists worked very well together, and still fondly remember this exhibition.”—Daniela Comani, University Art Museum Past Exhibiting Artist
This Fall, in collaboration with the New York State Writers Institute and UAlbany Performing Arts Center, we presented the new virtual series Artist to Artist: Addressing This Moment. Each segment brings together a visual artist, a writer, and a performer who have presented at UAlbany in the past, for an informal conversation that speaks to our current challenges. Additional information on the series and links to the conversations can be found at albany.edu/arts/artist-to-artist
Supported by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts
A collaboration between the University Art Museum and the Office of Intercultural Student Engagement. This student-led series hosted by Milton and Sally Avery Social Media and Marketing Intern Sydney Pennington ‘23 and Intercultural Specialist Aya Nakhlawi ‘21 explored topics of art and social justice. The series will continue in the upcoming year.
The University Art Museum collaborated with the UAlbany Alumni Association in presenting past graduates of the UAlbany M.F.A. Program who also have artwork in the University at Albany Fine Art Collections. The Facebook Live series focused on studio visits with artists: Judith Braun ‘83, Brian Cirmo ‘02, Jenny Kemp ‘12, Michael Oatman ‘92, and Ken Ragsdale ‘05.
In Spring 2021, the Museum will open a new Study Gallery. Connected to the Nancy Hyatt Liddle Gallery, this multi-purpose space will expand educational opportunities for students, faculty, and the community through rotating exhibitions and projects based on artworks from the University at Albany Fine Art Collections.
“The University Art Museum in Albany is an important venue for contemporary art upstate. Its exhibitions and public programs explore timely aspects of contemporary culture, and its focus on amplifying the voices of lesser known artists and practices aligns well with the Warhol Foundation’s core values.”
—Rachel Bers, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts Program Director
January 20 – April 3, 2021
Torch ’72/2020, a commissioned project by artist Shane Aslan Selzer, explores the trajectory and lineage of intersectional justice efforts on the UAlbany campus. The project will reactivate UAlbany’s 1972 Torch yearbook, edited by then-student and renowned AIDS activist Ron Simmons.
January 20 – April 3, 2021
Curated by Michael Mosby, i.de.al.is.tic brings together the work of three rising Black artists—Anthony Akinbola, Sean Desiree, and Marcus Leslie Singleton—exploring each artist’s acceptance of imperfection and their relationship to idealism.
April 23 – May 15, 2021
The Master of Fine Arts Thesis Exhibition features work produced by candidates for UAlbany Art Department’s two-year, sixty-credit-hour program of intensive training and study in traditional and contemporary fine art practices. In strict accordance with COVID-19 protocols, the Museum will present the 2021 Master of Fine Arts Thesis Exhibition in the physical museum next May.
August – December 2021
This exhibition will bring together a diverse group of artists whose work directly responds to ideas of wellness, care, and healing. Responding to the urgent need for social and cultural spaces in which one can purposefully pause, connect, and converse, the exhibition will include new commissions and projects that will transform the Museum into an environment in which visitors can experience forms of connection, community, resilience, and action.
“The projects they have designed are very influential in my academics because I can relate them to my area of study and I can also learn even more from what I have already learned in a classroom. There aren’t any words to express my gratitude towards the Museum but all I can say is, I am proud to be working for such a wonderful place.”
—Gabriel Villeda ‘21, Work Study Student
This year we mourned the passing of UAlbany alum Ann Mataraso (1932-2020). Ann was an extraordinary individual, committed artist, and great friend to the Museum. She pursued an M.F.A. degree in Painting at UAlbany beginning at the age of 70, graduating in 2002.
Ann was also one of the Museum’s most generous supporters. The Ann C. Mataraso Endowment Fund, which she created, provides annual financial support to cover the costs associated with, and pertaining to, the installation of the Master of Fine Arts Thesis Exhibition, supporting the work of Fine Arts students each year.
At the request of Ann’s family, those who wish to honor her memory may send a contribution to The Ann C. Mataraso Endowment Fund.
Contributions can be made online, or mailed to The University at Albany Foundation, PO Box 761, Albany, NY 12201. Checks may be made payable to The University at Albany Foundation with “The Ann C. Mataraso Endowment Fund” noted in the memo line.
The following donors have contributed to the University Art Museum from July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2020. These gifts include annual contributions, bequest intentions, and gifts-in-kind.
John M. Sayles Society
($250,000 to $499,999)
*Michael A. Boots
William J. Milne Society
($100,000 to $249,999)
The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts
Adam H. Brown '87
David Perkins Page Society
($10,000 to $24,999)
***Ann C. Mataraso '02
Matthew H. Mataraso, Esq.
($5,000 to $9,999)
John P. Lowe, Jr. '73
($2,500 to $4,999)
American Academy of Arts & Letters
Community Foundation for the Capital Region
Charles A. Forma, Esq. '73
Michael J. Marston
UAlbany Alumni Association
Kathryn Zox '83
($1,000 to $2,499)
Nicole Cherubini and September Gallery
**Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund
Charles M. Liddle, III
Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation
Mark A. Schaming '84
John P. Troiano '83
($500 to $999)
*Marco A. DeThomasis
William B. Hedberg, Ph.D. '90
Barry C. Ross '71
Susan V. Shipherd '64
Mary J. Wyatt-Ross
($250 to $499)
Kim M. Bessette '90
**Biogen Idec Foundation
Edward A. Mayer
($100 to $249)
Brian T. Barlow '18
Anthony J. Casale '69
Theresa G. Casale
Sarah R. Cohen, Ph.D.
Stephen P. Crouchley
Carlsbury W. Gonzalez '79
Candace J. Groudine, Ph.D. '98
Nancy M. Liotta
Nancy Whittle Mitchell '54
Robert R. Mitchell
Judith A. Mysliborski, MD '69
Gloria Shepherd, Esq. '88
Richard W. Southwick '75
Kelly T. Welton '12
Scott K. Welton
Darcie Abbatiello '02
Alana L. Akacki
Maria Evans DeLucia-Evans
Carolyn DiFiori Hopkins '17
Valerie A. DiRocco-Ruskin '95
Peter B. Evans
Deborah L. Forand
Jennifer Wynne Trust
*Individuals whose employers generously matched their gifts
**Employers who have generously matched gifts of their employees
The University Art Museum gratefully acknowledges the continuing support of the Office of the President, Office of the Provost, and The University at Albany Foundation.
When you make a gift to the University Art Museum, you ensure the fiscal health of our organization and allow us to continue our work championing artists, students, and the role of public academic museums in higher education.
Contributions can also be mailed to The University at Albany Foundation, PO Box 761, Albany, NY 12201. Checks may be made payable to The University at Albany Foundation with "University Art Museum" noted in the memo line.
For more information about ways to support the Museum, please visit our website (albany.edu/university-art-museum/support-museum) or contact Michael Boots at 518-225-1229 or MBoots@albany.edu