Art from Archive: Work by Lewis Watts and Pablo Delano

Exhibit Opens Oct. 12 at Trinity College with Panel Discussion

Porto Rican Boys in Their Sunday Dress (1900),
Pablo Delano, 2017

Hartford, Connecticut, October 9, 2017 –

WHAT: Trinity College announces the opening of an exhibit, Art from Archive:
Work by Lewis Watts and Pablo Delano
, highlighting the work of two photographers/visual artists who have created works of art based on historical materials. Both artists have chosen to represent historical artifacts or images at a scale dramatically larger than the original, provoking the viewer to consider, both individually and comparatively, aspects of Black and Puerto Rican history within the structural societal framework of the United States of America. The exhibition also invites discussion about the roles of appropriation and of commodification within contemporary art, as well as, more broadly, the function and relevance of historical archives in today’s society.

 

WHEN:

Panel Discussion:     Thursday, October 12, 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Opening Reception:     Thursday, October 12, 4:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

 


Twelve Years a Slave, Solomon Northrup (1856),
Lewis Watts, 2017
 Exhibition Dates:     October 12 – December 9, 2017

        Gallery hours are 1:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

The gallery will be closed Sundays and from November 21 through November 25 during Thanksgiving week.

 

WHERE:

Widener Gallery at the Austin Arts Center, Trinity College, 300 Summit Street, Hartford

For directions and a map of the Trinity College campus, please click here.

 

PANELISTS:

Frank Mitchell, Ph.D., Executive Director, the Amistad Center for Art & Culture - Moderator

Hilda Lloréns, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Anthropology, University of Rhode Island

Lewis Watts, Emeritus Professor, University of California, Santa Cruz

Pablo Delano, Professor of Fine Arts, Trinity College

 

Background:

Photographers/visual artists Lewis Watts and Pablo Delano each developed independently a remarkably similar working methodology for interpreting personally meaningful archival imagery. Watts’s project grew out of a residency at the Amistad Center for Art and Culture at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, during which he had access to the Amistad’s extensive collection of rare books, manuscripts and publications relating to African American history. Delano utilized comparable historical materials to source images depicting the U.S. colonial occupation of Puerto Rico from the 1898 invasion through the mid-20th century.

Both artists have chosen to represent specific artifacts or images at a scale dramatically larger than the original. The exhibition provokes the viewer to consider, both individually and comparatively, aspects of Black and Puerto Rican history within the structural societal framework of the United States of America.

Art from Archive: Work by Lewis Watts and Pablo Delano is curated by Trinity College Fine Art Curator Felice Caivano and Frank Mitchell, Ph.D, director of the Amistad Center for Art and Culture at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art. “For the exhibition Art from Archive: Work by Lewis Watts and Pablo Delano, both artists approached material that vacillates between celebratory and derogatory, emboldened by an optimistic belief in the viewers’ ability to discern intent,” said Mitchell.

The photographs of Watts and of Delano have been widely exhibited at prominent venues throughout the U.S. and abroad. Both artists also have had long careers as art professors. Watts retired from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and previously taught at the University of California, Berkeley. Delano teaches at Trinity College.

Watts has exhibited at and is in the collections of The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Citè de La Musique, Paris, France; The Ogden Museum of Southern Art, New Orleans; The Oakland Museum of California; and the Amistad Center for Art and Culture at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, among others. He is currently working on two photographic projects, “The Black Presence in France,” and another on migration throughout Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, which is an extension of his earlier work on the Great African American migration in the 20th century. Watts is the co-author of Harlem of the West: The San Francisco Fillmore Jazz Era (2006, 2017) and New Orleans Suite: Music and Culture in Transition (UC Press, 2013).

Delano’s photographs have been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions throughout the U.S., Latin America, Europe, and Australia. He has created permanent, site-specific works of public art for the Ellis Island Immigration Museum and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. Delano’s books include In Trinidad: Photographs by Pablo Delano (Ian Randle Publishers, 2008) and Faces of America (Smithsonian Institution Press, 1992).  He has also produced photographs for several books on Puerto Rican folk art by the art historian Teodoro Vidal. Delano is also the creator and curator of a conceptual artwork, The Museum of the Old Colony, that derives its name from a U.S. brand of soft drink named Old Colony, popular in Puerto Rico since the 1950s.

Art from Archive is produced by the Trinity College Department of Fine Arts and the Amistad Center for Art and Culture at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, with additional Trinity College sponsorship from the Center for Urban and Global Studies Arts Fund, the Office of the Dean of the Faculty, the Department of History, the Office of Multicultural Affairs, and the Center for Caribbean Studies. The exhibition is presented in affiliation with the Trinity College program Bridging Divides: Higher Education’s Role in Advancing Understanding and Promoting a Just Society.

 

For more information, please contact Tracy Quigley, administrative assistant, Department of Fine Arts, at (860) 297-5232.