The Hillstrom Museum of Art at Gustavus is presenting its latest exhibition, Alumni Invitational Art Exhibition: Ars Longa, Academia Brevis through next Friday, Jan. 28.
This exhibit features 63 recent artworks by past Gustavus studio art majors ranging from the class of 2009 back to the class of 1951—the earliest year students could graduate with the major. All of the nearly 500 past studio art majors from the College were invited to participate. Many of the participants continue to be active in art since leaving Gustavus.
The exhibition’s Latin subtitle refers to the first lines of an aphorism by the Greek physician Hippocrates, Ars longa, vita brevis, which suggests that art endures even though life is brief. The exhibition’s variant, Ars Longa, Academia Brevis suggests that art endures even though one’s college career is brief.
Classics Professor Will Freiert helped come up with the title. “Students have just four years at Gustavus, but even after those four years, art endures,” Director of the Museum of Art Don Myers said.
He went on to explain that Gustavus has a history of alumni shows like the current exhibition. “We contacted all of the studio art graduates from 1951 forward. It was a lot of hard work—we sent invitations to nearly 500 people. It was a pretty involved administrative task, which Associate Director of Advancement Services Ron Timmerman gave us a lot of assistance with. We had to track who responded to our invitation and who was going to participate. Artwork was being shipped to us that came from all over and involved a lot of mechanics.”
The other exhibit space on campus, the Schaefer Gallery housed in the Fine Arts Building, is showcasing art by Liz Miller. Miller is inspired by systems that contain examples of simultaneous order and chaos, mixed media drawings and installations that reference biology, natural disasters and computer imagery.
“She is a highly regarded installation artist I brought in to install a piece of work to coincide with my [January Interim] class,” Professor of Art and Art History Nicole Hoiland said. “My 3-Dimensional drawing students are creating work and filling the gallery in anticipation of the gallery closing next week. The whole Gustavus campus is invited to a reception next Thursday, Jan. 27 from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.”
The Hillstrom Museum’s regular hours are weekdays 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and weekends 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. Myers highly encourages students to stop by, if only for just five minutes. “It would be great for people to recognize the rich tradition of art at Gustavus,” Myers said. “The art, coming from 1951 and onward till now, is a long period of time. Seeing what Gustavus has nurtured in this duration and seeing the individual works is just engaging works. I hope that everyone will take advantage of how easy it is to come to the museum, which is right under [the Market Place]. We encourage people to pop in—this experience can be reinvigorating and energizing—and this resource is right at our feet.”