"Mexico B14" (detail) 1952 by Robert McChesney


Growing West: Exploring Art & Agriculture
March 15 - May 7, 2016

Growing West is organized by students from the USU Spring 2016 Honors Think Tank course and visually recounts the historical narrative that drove Americans and European immigrants to settle the American West as homesteaders and farmers. The exhibition includes a range of artworks from NEHMA’s collection and incorporates both historical and current perspectives on themes such as food production, gender roles, labor issues, irrigation systems, and the mechanization of farming practices.

This exhibition is made possible through the work of USU Honors Think Tank Professor Joyce Kinkead along with her students working with NEHMA’s Curatorial staff and through the support of the USU Honors Program led by Professor Kris Miller. Support provided by Anderson Seed and Garden and Caffe Ibis.

A Matter of Taste: Art, Kitsch, and Culture
January 23 - May 7, 2016
A Matter of Taste
explores the complex relationship between art, kitsch, and culture. While a gift shop may seem the more likely place to find kitsch in a museum, A Matter of Taste turns this expectation upside down. Showcasing a wide range of kitsch, kitsch-like, or kitsch-inspired objects dating from the 20th and 21st centuries, this exhibition reveals the permeable and porous boundaries between fine art, kitsch, and popular culture.

Including artworks from NEHMA's collection, such as works by Frank McEntire, Jean Lowe, Richard Pettibone, and Jeffrey Vallance, the exhibit also includes reproductions of famous paintings and loaned objects, such as works from the LDS Church History Library, original paintings from Thomas Kinkade's estate, and an installation about 'turbofolk' to provide an international perspective. Each work may be characterized as art or as kitsch, as challenging our understanding of art, or even playing with definitions of art.

Interactive areas are also part of this exhibition, including the Kitsch Exchange where visitors can bring an object for display in the museum and take an object that someone else has left, celebrating the necessity of shared experiences for kitsch to exist. While the exhibit seeks to challenge preconceived notions about art or even the art museum, it also reminds us to retain a sense of humor. Please join us, learn with us, and have fun with us!

This exhibition was curated by Rebecca Dunham, NEHMA Curator of Collections and Exhibitions; Katie Lee Koven, NEHMA Executive Director; and Dr. David Wall, Assistant Professor of Art History in the USU Department of Art + Design.

Vision and Persistence: 30 Years of Ceramic Excellence at Utah State University
February 2 - March 2, 2016
Vision and Persistence is a survey of works created by over 50 artists connected to the ceramics program in the Department of Art + Design at Utah State University over the last 30 years. The ceramics program at USU is internationally recognized for a commitment to excellence rather than a particular look or style, and its alumni have established careers at locales across the nation and around the world. Vision and Persistence showcases a cross section of this alumni community and furthers the legacy of the USU ceramics program.

Vision and Persistence is co-organized by Rebecca A. Dunham, Curator of Collections and Exhibitions at the Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art (NEHMA) and Todd Hayes, Ceramics Studio Coordinator for the Department of Art + Design at USU. NEHMA is the first venue for Vision and Persistence; the exhibition will travel and be displayed concurrently with the 50th anniversary conference of the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA) in Kansas City, Missouri, from March 16-19, 2016.

Abstraction and the Dreaming: Aboriginal Paintings from Australia's Western Desert (1971-Present)
Sept. 12 - December 12, 2015

Abstraction and the Dreaming includes more than fifty artworks by 34 artists spanning the emergence of painting at an Aboriginal settlement called Papunya in the early 1970s to the present day. The early "Papunya boards" created in 1971-1972 are descendants of mark-making that dates to well over one hundred centuries ago and are the beginning of the Western Desert art movement. With fewer than 600 in existence, the "Papunya boards" have a singular status within the history of Australian Aboriginal art. Because some of these designs were associated with sacred male-only ceremonies, women were not allowed to participate in art-making.

Over time, Papunya artists moved away from the use of symbols toward greater abstraction. The scale of artworks on canvas grew and women began painting, using a markedly more gestural and vibrant style than their male counterparts. Today, these works are interpreted and experienced as contemporary abstract paintings, stimulating a rich dialogue about indigenous art in the contemporary art world.

Works for this exhibition have been loaned from four significant collections: John and Barbara Wilkerson, New York, NY (John is an alumni of Utah State University); Dennis and Debra Scholl, Miami, FL; Julie Harvey, Sun Valley, ID; and Stephen Luczo, San Francisco, CA.
Guest Curated by Margo Smith, Ph.D., director and curator of Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection at the University of Virginia. This exhibition is supported in part by the Tanner Trust of Utah State University.

ARTsySTEM: The Changing Climates of the Arts & Sciences
March 19 - August 1, 2015

The Arts and STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) share a necessity for undertaking imaginative inquiry of what we perceive as truth and beauty. This exhibition highlights these endeavors in showcasing work that has both cursory and direct symbiotic relationships between the Arts and Sciences.

Artists featured in this exhibition range from being inspired by science, such as Mark Dion and printmaker Taiga Chiba, to those who engage in direct scientific analysis within a branch of STEM, as exampled by Allison Kudla. In offering this diversity of relationships between the Arts and Sciences through a selection of works suggesting different definitions and paradigms of the connectivity among these fields, we start to get a sense of the similar yet diverging streams of intention in the Arts and Sciences along with their shared methodologies and intuitions about order and disorder.

This exhibition is co-curated by Assistant Professor Mark Lee Koven, in the USU Department of Art and Design, and Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art Assistant Curator Adriane Dalton. This exhibition is presented in conjunction with the Obert C. Tanner lecture series: ARTsysTEM organized by Mark Lee Koven. ARTsySTEM is a new, semester-long program at USU integrating Art and Design with branches of STEM.

The Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection: 50 Works for 50 States
March 19 - August 1, 2015

Dorothy and Herbert Vogel, a librarian and a postman of modest means, began acquiring works by contemporary artists in the 1960s. Over the next forty years the couple amassed a vast, diverse collection of contemporary art. The collection, which includes almost five thousand pieces by roughly two hundred artists, focuses on conceptual, minimalist, and post-minimalist art. In 1992 the Vogel's transferred their collection to the National Gallery of Art (NGA) in Washington, D.C. However, due to the continuing growth of the collection, in 2008 the Vogel's and the NGA announced the dispersal of 2,500 works by 177 artists to museums throughout the country to heighten public awareness of contemporary art and artists. The Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art is the beneficiary of this generous gift to the state of Utah.

The Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection presents a full installation of the complete Vogel gift to the state of Utah for the first time. The exhibition includes work by Lynda Benglis, Richard Tuttle, Lucio Pozzi, Cheryl Laemmle, Richard Nonas and many others. The works are varied in style and medium, but presented as a whole they demonstrate the multitude of expressions within contemporary art.

ReImagine ARTsySTEM: Expanding Ideas of Artistic Response to Our Environment
June 9 - July 23, 2015

ReImagine ArtsySTEM presents works from the NEHMA permanent collection that build upon the theme of individual responses to the environment as presented in the other exhibition, ARTsySTEM: The Changing Climates of the Arts and Sciences on view in another gallery. Visitors of all ages can engage in the artistic processes of collecting, arranging, and re-imagining through this unique participatory exhibition and education space.

Crafting a Continuum: Rethinking Contemporary Craft
January 23 - April 18, 2015

Including over 60 three-dimensional objects from the Arizona State University Art Museum's permanent collection and recent acquisitions, as well as works by many of the major and emerging figures in contemporary crafts, this exhibition and its accompanying catalog provide an international perspective on modern and contemporary crafts highlighting innovative experimentation with this ancient medium. Crafting a Continuum: Rethinking Contemporary Craft is organized by the Arizona State University Art Museum and Ceramics Research Center, Tempe, Arizona, and curated by Associate Director and Senior Curator Heather Sealy Lineberry and Curator of Ceramics Peter Held with assistance from Windgate Curatorial Fellow Elizabeth Kozlowski.

Black Mountain College: Shaping Craft + Design
August 25, 2014 - February 28, 2015

Featuring a selection of works by Black Mountain College (BMC) faculty and students, Black Mountain College: Shaping Craft + Design explores the role and influence of the college on the fields of studio craft and design from the middle of the 20th century through today. Black Mountain College (1933 - 1957) was an experimental liberal arts college located in the rural mountains of North Carolina. The College was not designated as an "art school" as we understand them today, but from the beginning, the centrality of the arts at BMC offered students and faculty an array of opportunities to collaborate and explore various disciplines. This traveling exhibition was originally organized by the Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center and is adapted to incorporate works from the NEHMA permanent collection, demonstrating the national influence of the College. This exhibition is made possible by support from the Windgate Charitable Foundation, the Utah Division of Arts and Museums, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Caine College of the Arts at Utah State University.

Relational Forms: Robert Bliss and Anna Campbell Bliss
August 25, 2014 - February 28, 2015

Relational Forms highlights select furniture pieces designed by architect, Robert Bliss presented with intricate, two-dimensional artwork by Anna Campbell Bliss. The Bliss' moved to Salt Lake City, Utah in 1963 and have been influential figures in the art and design communities throughout the country. Robert Bliss was educated at Black Mountain College and MIT. He had a successful career as an architect in Minnesota before moving to Salt Lake City where he worked at the University of Utah as head of the Department of Architecture and later as Dean of the Graduate School of Architecture. Robert's concern for architectural education, city planning, and preserving the environment continues to this day as he participates in local and national committees dedicated to historic building preservation and maintaining the constructed heritage of local communities. Robert's furniture reflects modern designs emphasizing practicality without compromising a minimalist style.

Anna Campbell Bliss earned degrees from Wellesley College and Harvard studying math, art history, and architecture. Her paintings and prints displayed in this exhibition show a bridge of connection between these subjects and the more contemporary influence of computer science. Her precise screen-prints show her fascination with the complex relationships of color, geometry, pattern, and repetition. This exhibition is only the second time the work of this couple has been shown together, and it is presented in conjunction with Black Mountain College: Shaping Craft + Design displayed in the Caine Gallery.

On the Road: Envisioning the Landscape of Kerouac's America
October 21, 2014 - January 12, 2015

Featuring photographs from the permanent collection, this series aims to assist students in envisioning American cities and landscapes as Sal Paradise, Jack Kerouac's protagonist in his Beat novel On the Road, may have seen them. This selection of photos is created in conjunction with the USU fall 2014 course, History 3770: Contemporary America, 1945 - Present taught by Dr. Victoria Grieve.

Enchanted Modernities: Mysticism, Landscape, and the American West
April 14 - December 10, 2014

With artworks from the NEHMA permanent collection and works on loan from a number of museums and private collectors, this exhibition explores the role of the American West as a site for rebirth and enchantment, specifically through artists and composers who explored the visionary interpretations of the landscape in visual or musical forms inspired by Theosophical ideas. Curated by a group of international scholars, selected works convey local and regional connections to Theosophically-inspired artists and musicians while also placing them within the international network of enchanted culture that flourished in the early 20th century.

So what is Theosophy? While its roots go back thousands of years, beginning from the 1500s forward, it has generally been associated with the practices of using knowledge and observations of nature and one's self as a way to understand the divinity in nature both physically and metaphysically.

Nobody Goes Home Sad: Photographs of the Six Gallery Poets 1956-2000
January 23 - March 14, 2014

Nobody Goes Home Sad includes historical photographs by Walter Lehrman and John Suiter showing intimate portraits of trailblazing poets and authors from the Beat generation of the 1950s. Some of the poets featured in this exhibition are Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, Gary Snyder, Michael McClure, and Philip Whalen. These men are shown in rare photographs attending parties, sitting for impromptu portrait paintings, and giving public readings of their work. Collaborating with the Special Collections and Archives Department in the USU Merrill-Cazier Library, the art museum presents a number of black and white photos that give a glimpse into the life of these great figures of 20th century literature. Also included in the exhibition are original publications of work by these men and background information on their lives and inspiration.

Female + Form
July 1, 2013 - March 14, 2014

A selection of artworks from the NEHMA permanent collection embraces a diverse range of forms and showcases work by important women artists. Rather than representing a certain artistic style or focusing on specific subjects depicted by women, this exhibition features a variety of styles and subjects. Included are representations of the female form, critiques of the objectification of the female body, and experiments with total abstraction. Highlights include posters by the Guerilla Girls, an installation piece by Ilene Segalove, photography from the second wave of feminism, and minimalist drawings and paintings.

LUX-Light and Space Art from the Museum Collection
August 28, 2012 - March 14, 2014

Throughout the 20th century, primarily in the 1960s and 1970s, artists have used light as a medium or subject matter. Several large pieces in this exhibition focus on artists featured in the Pacific Standard Time exhibitions from Los Angeles who are considered to be the leaders of the light and space art movement of the 1970s. The artists in this exhibition bring up philosophical issues about how the brain perceives the world, and these artworks expand the ideas of what materials are actually considered to be art. At the same time, the works installed in LUX create enchanting experiences of color, shadow, and shape that can surely entertain all ages. The exhibition also includes one of the most significant artworks in the museum's collection: a Plexiglas disc installation by Robert Irwin.

Friends of the Landscape: Harrison Groutage and Associates
March 18, 2013 - January 31, 2014

Located in the Study Center drawers, this exhibition is composed of work by Harrison Groutage, Everett Thorpe, and Gaell Lindstrom. On February 5 of 2013, Harrison Groutage passed away at age 87 of kidney failure. Those who knew him said he was adventurous and saw beauty in everything. Friends of the Landscape is partially a commemoration of him and his artistic legacy at Utah State University. All three of these artists are former USU faculty and are known for their emotive paintings of Utah terrain. The Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art is proud to hold this fine collection of creative and beautiful landscapes. Tied together by their love of Utah scenery as well as art education, Groutage's, Thorpe's, and Lindstrom's works complement each other and emphasize the inner complexity of a simple landscape.

New Acquisitions 2013
June 21 - December 10, 2013

Nine works of art are displayed in the upper gallery from a 2013 donation to the art museum by the late Joe Austin. These artworks are avante garde pieces from the 1970s and 1980s by artists working in the Los Angeles area and include an early painting by Lari Pittman.
Beginning in 2005, Joe Austin gave a number of important works to the Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art. He died in March 2013 in Los Angeles at the age of 74. Mr. Austin donated modern and contemporary artworks by Alison Saar, Charles Gaines, Dewain Valentine, and Peter Shire among others. A graduate of Harvard Law School, he was a successful attorney and a passionate supporter of the visual arts throughout his life. This exhibition shows the various works of art Mr. Austin had throughout his Los Angeles home and represent a unified visual style that is colorful and unexpected. To learn more about this important benefactor, see his obituary in the L.A. Times by clicking on this link: Joe Austin Obituary.

Industrial Ethos: Photography by Chris Dunker
February 1 - May 4, 2013

Northern Utah-based photographer, Chris Dunker presents 21 selections of his work in the exhibition Industrial Ethos. These photographs address the culture of industry and how industry appears over time. Dunker's fascination with urban decay provides a dystopian look at the modern, optimistic attitude of industry and manufacturing that has marked the progress and historical significance of northern Utah. Also included in the exhibition are antique books and photographs from Dunker's personal collection that document some of the earliest industrial breakthroughs such as steam turbines and generators. Certain industries, local to Cache Valley and the northern Utah region, are featured in this exhibition including ICON Health and Fitness, Thermo Fisher, Nucor Steel, and Sirtec Plastics.

ideas: an exhibition
January 22 - May 4, 2013

USU students in the Fall 2012 course, Art History 5730: The Art Museum were offered the opportunity to learn from and collaborate with the curator of the Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art to explore the meanings of Conceptual Art. This workshop-style course engaged the students in the history of the Conceptual Art movement on the west coast that began in the 1960s and continued into the 1990s. The students had reading assignments, group discussions, and even a hands-on investigation of certain art objects in the museum's collection. This exhibition is the result of the students' research and creative cooperation to present the wide array of Conceptual Art forms and meanings by including artwork from a variety of conceptual artists who created art primarily as an outlet for their ideas. The exhibition illustrates enlightening juxtapositions of conceptual artwork that have never been seen together. A catalog is available with the exhibition that contains each student's research and an in-depth analysis for most of the pieces on display. During the exhibition opening, the students involved in the curatorial process spoke about the artworks they researched and about conceptual art in general.

“Conceptual Art rarely resembles traditional art objects,” museum curator Deb Banerjee noted. "Conceptual artists often felt their idea would come first and then the form or media would follow that best fit their idea."

Adventures in the West
August 30 - December 10, 2012

Shown in conjunction with the 11th Biennial Jack London Society Symposium held in Logan, Utah and co-sponsored by the USU Department of English and the USU Special Collections Department in the Merrill - Cazier Library, Adventures in the West features majestic landscape photographs by American photo giants such as Ansel Adams and Brett Weston. The symposium was held October 4-6, 2012, but this exhibition is on display in the museum's upper gallery throughout the entire fall 2012 semester. The exhibition explores the rugged, historical, and dangerous qualities of the western world portrayed in Jack London's writing. Certain drawings and photographs in this exhibition are on display in the museum for the first time, and they help explore literary themes of naturalism, courage, modern American values, and man's precarious relationship to his natural environment.

Fragments of Terror: Drawings by Jim Starrett
January 16 - June 11, 2012

Jim Starrett is an L.A.-based artist who explores concepts of religion, heritage, and the clash of differing historical interpretations. Fragments of Terror provides a rare opportunity to introduce many significant works by this artist to the USU community. With 27 paintings and drawings on display, this exhibition shows how Starrett's works, "...vibrate with such cool passion, such fiery ice, that they seem at once both hard products of a systematic rationality, of an almost mechanical design, and works of extraordinary emotional resonance...", - Patrick E. White.

Sisyphe by Jean-Pierre Hébert
October 2011 - February 2013

This mysterious installation is a recent acquisition for the art museum. Sisyphe creates numerous geometric drawings in a frame of sand through the use of a moving, metal ball. The drawings are created by a magnetic motorized apparatus connected to a computer which controls the movement of the ball. Both mesmerizing and modern, this installation explores the boundless possibilities of combining art and technology.

Bang! Thwack! Plop!
Comics: an Influence on Contemporary Art

June 14, 2011 - July 28, 2012

Art and comics have a complex relationship. This exhibition explores that relationship by featuring the intersection of comics and art with specific attention on how certain themes and stylistic forms have crossed over from the genre of comics into the world of visual art. Many professional artists have drawn and/or published comics and even worked in a cartoon style while others have used actual comics as material for their assemblages or collages. The exploding popularity of comics, mostly through animation and graphic novels, shows us that the graphic, or comic, impulse has become a compelling means of artistic communication. Bang! Thwack! Plop! points toward a growing interdisciplinary trend in the arts that allows for a flow of ideas between media and form, creating a liberation of high art. This exhibition opened in mid June of 2011 and is on display in the museum's upper gallery with the official opening reception held on October 31st, 2011.

New Acquisitions
June 14 - December 6, 2011

In order to highlight a selection of the museum's recently acquired artwork, a new exhibition was made available in the summer of 2011 named New Acquisitions featuring 6 new artworks in the west gallery marking their first time on display in the museum. This small exhibition includes photography, sculpture, drawings, and painting including a waterfall mural and a seductive, enlarged shoe. This exhibition provides a great opportunity to see what kinds of art, and what kinds of artists, are currently gaining business and recognition in the professional art world. Instead of traveling to Los Angeles or New York City, you can see some important artworks right here.

Passacaglia: A Spotlight on Sculpture
January 16 - May 10, 2011

As a celebration of this distinctive feature on USU campus, the Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art presents an exhibition about this sculpture; its history, innovation, construction, and creation. This exhibition includes schematic drawings, a model of the sculpture, and installation photographs by distinguished architectural photographer, Grant Mudford. This exhibition is in the museum's Study Center gallery and  is displayed in conjunction with the first annual Celebrate the Arts Week for Utah State University's new Caine College of the Arts.

2008 - 2010 Exhibitions

EcoVisionaries: Designs for Living on Earth
August 31, 2010 - May 9, 2011

Whether they are radical or practical ideas, many artists have envisioned alternative ways of living. EcoVisionaries includes socially engaged artists (the Harrisons and Ant Farm) who seek out and propose radical concepts of living that avoid damaging the natural world. By using unusual materials, or unusual methods, the works displayed for this exhibition create innovations that reduce the impact of humans or preserve natural environments.

Evidence and Artifacts: Particle Matter 2.5
August 31, 2010 - January 11, 2011

The photos in this exhibition are part of USU professor Christopher M. Gauthiér’s series, Evidence and Artifacts: Particle Matter 2.5 which explores the air quality in Cache Valley. Gauthiér’s photographs were made in the midst of ice, fog, and inversion, a natural and man-made regional weather phenomenon in which beauty and toxicity combine. "Development, manufacturing, transportation, pollution, and agriculture all contribute to the growing problem of air quality," Gauthiér said. Through his photography, Gauthiér documents both the cause and effect of the growing air pollution problem in Cache Valley during the coldest days of the year, giving special attention to the issue of particulate matter.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) defines particulate matter, also known as particle pollution or PM, as a mixture of extremely small particles and liquid droplets. And, the EPA continues, the size of particles is directly linked to their potential for causing health problems. Exposure to such particles can affect both the lungs and heart. Small particles less than 10 micrometers in diameter pose the greatest problems because they can get deep into lungs, and some even into the bloodstream, according to the EPA website.   

Uses of the Real, Part 2
July 2009 - August 2010

The Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art at Utah State University has received a major gift of 31 new works from the Kathryn C. Wanlass Foundation and Marie Eccles Caine Foundation. The new works are on display as part of the revamped exhibition Uses of the Real, Part 2, an exhibition that explores what constitutes art in today’s world.

Newly remodeled gallery spaces have also allowed the museum staff to bring out the collection in a way not experienced before. Walls have been knocked down and new display fixtures have been installed to allow approximately 500 more objects to be put on display, including more than 100 photographs and 250 ceramic works usually kept in storage and inaccessible to the public.

“We hope the next time our visitors walk through the galleries they will be as delighted as we are because many of their favorite objects are now out of storage and available to enjoy,” said museum director Victoria Rowe Berry. The newly revised and newly installed exhibition of Uses of the Real, Part 2 includes many new contemporary artists who explore the themes of postmodernism and reality. Artists in the exhibition take objects from the everyday world and transform them into art. From vintage upholstery fabric to a sparkling skeleton or chunks of cement to discarded musical instruments, museum visitors can see a wide variety of images and ideas.

Department of Art Distinguished Alumni Exhibition
March 23 - April 25, 2009

The USU Department of Art Project Gallery, a newly named gallery space in the Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art, presents a new art exhibition featuring work by seven distinguished alumni from Utah State University. This exhibition is the final event in a year-long celebration marking the 100th anniversary of the university’s Department of Art.

Sponsored by the USU Department of Art and the Caine School of the Arts, the Department of Art Distinguished Alumni Exhibition opens March 23 and continues through April 25. "The artists and scholars with work in the exhibition represent continuity from one century to another and span 30 years of education in studio and scholarly disciplines," said Art Department Head Carolyn Cardenas.

"What makes this alumnus show so remarkable is that everyone included in the exhibition has parlayed his or her student experiences into a successful professional career," Cardenas said. "I believe that these extraordinary individuals have in common a solid foundation in the arts that was perpetrated through the Art Department at USU. The faculty members here are still committed to developing excellence in the practice, teaching, and scholarship of the visual arts."

The artists included in the exhibition were chosen by current faculty in the Department of Art and include Heather Ferrell (art history and photography, BFA '94), Brad Schwieger (ceramics, MFA '84), Scott Rockwood (graphic design, BFA '75), Jon Rappleye (painting, BFA '92), Steve Smith (photography, BFA '86), Abigail Knowlton Israelsen (printmaking, BFA '00), and Shelia Nadimi (sculpture, MFA '95). The show is also co-curated by Heather Ferrell.

Women's Work: Contemporary Women Printmakers from the Collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and His Family Foundation
September 15, 2008 - March 1, 2009

Women's Work features the work of contemporary women printmakers from the collection of Jordan D. Schnitzer and his family foundation. Included in the exhibition are 56 prints by a number of contemporary women artists, including Anni Albers, Louise Nevelson, Louise Bourgeois, Barbara Kruger, Bridget Riley, Kiki Smith, Judy Pfaff, Pat Steir, and Kara Walker, among others. The exhibition presents a wide variety of themes explored by contemporary women printmakers over the past 35 years, including abstraction, humor and satire, politics, race, gender, and the environment.

Eden Revisited:  The Ceramic Art of Kurt Weiser 
September 30 - December 21, 2008

Organized by Arizona State University's Art Museum and Ceramics Research Center, Eden Revisited: The Ceramic Art of Kurt Weiser is the first major mid-career survey exhibition on the ceramic work of Kurt Weiser. In the hands of Kurt Weiser, (b. 1950) the centuries-old tradition of China paint on porcelain is given new life. Weiser’s sumptuous, provocative teapots and jars, resplendent with lush jungle scenes, can be both alluring and unsettling. Detailed depictions of tropical splendor become wayward reveries as radiant colors and subtle distortions transform classic porcelain vessels. Weiser is a Regents' Professor in the Arizona State University's Herberger College of the Arts and maintains a studio in Tempe, Arizona. An unassuming genius, the artist is known for his technical mastery and inventive pottery forms. This hallmark exhibition comprises 40 ceramic sculptures and spans 30 years of creative excellence. Peter Held, curator of ceramics, curated the exhibition. A catalog accompanies the exhibition and is available for purchase in the museum lobby.

Weiser’s signature China-painted porcelain vessels constitute a groundbreaking development in the vessel tradition. The emotional content of the work focuses on the nature of desire, tenderly in and out of harmony with nature, providing a rich narrative with lush imagery. Weiser received his BFA in 1972 and his MFA from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor in 1976. From 1977 to 1988 he was resident director of the famed Archie Bray Foundation for the Ceramic Arts located in Helena, Montana. He was also honored as a Fellow of the American Craft Council in 2003. Weiser's work can be found in the collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Victoria and Albert Museum, London; Carnegie Institute, Museum of Art, Pittsburgh; National Museum of American Art, and the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. among others.


September 2008

The Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art continues to display the exciting, electronic, musical installation, Klompen which it acquired last year through generous support from the Marie Eccles Caine Foundation. Klompen, is a sculptural installation consisting of 96 Dutch wooden clogs that play a different rhythmic pattern each time the sculpture is activated. This sound sculpture is created by Seattle-based artist, Trimpin.

Uses of the Real
Originality, Conditional Objects, Action/Documentation, and Contemplation

January 2008 - April 2011

Contemporary art can be baffling. Artists sometimes take objects from the everyday world and transform them into art. But what makes an object art? Is it originality, genuineness, authorship, or is it context? USU museum staff and guest curators select works from the museum’s permanent collection that provoke the question "What makes it art?" Panel discussions and viewer participation projects will be sponsored during the exhibition through 2009. The museum’s major works of art will remain on display throughout the exhibition, but you won’t want to miss seeing the changes that will be occurring in the galleries as the museum explores with viewers the questions associated with what makes art "real" art!

Traces - Montana's Frontier Revisited
Photography by Richard Buswell

March 25 - May 10, 2008

Richard Buswell's work displayed in this exhibition contains photographs of hidden Montana ghost towns and isolated sites of early western settlement. Through photographs of personal possessions and eroding structures, Dr. Buswell tells tales of nature’s reclamation of frontier sites. His new work explores abstract patterns seen in landscapes and everyday objects. This exhibition is accompanied by an exhibition catalog published by The University of Montana Press with an essay by Julian Cox, Curator of Photography at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, Georgia.

Sight & Sound: A Visual Metaphor
September 2005 - July 2008

Sight & Sound consists of selected paintings and sculptures from the museum’s permanent collection that provide a glimpse of the simultaneous revolutions in art and music that occurred during the 20th century. Viewers can experience art with the added enhancement of music to gain an understanding of the liberation from traditional forms that transformed both modern art and culture. Located in two major galleries of the museum, this exhibition features listening posts where visitors can hear selections of music by 20th century composers such as Edgard Varèse, Luciano Berio, John Cage, George Antheil, and Terry Riley. These selections were chosen by USU musicologist Dr. Eric Smigel to demonstrate the new ideas of space, time, and the depiction of the new world of technology in art and music.

Abstracting the Land: Southwest Transcendentalism
November 2007 - May 3, 2008

A selection of curated artwork from the permanent collection focuses on painters working in New Mexico in the 1930s called the Transcendental Painting Group. This historic group established themselves as artists who strove to define their art beyond the traditions of landscape, still life, and figurative imagery. The artwork selected for this exhibition exemplifies these artists’ explorations of the southwestern landscape, expressions of the sublime, and a universal shared sense of values in the human experience. The group’s founding manifesto states the group’s intention to, "carry painting beyond the appearance of the physical world through new concepts of space, color, light, and design to imaginative realms that are idealistic and spiritual."

Picturing Faith: Religious America in Government Photography, 1935 - 1943
February 5 - June 28, 2008

Picturing Faith is a unique series of photographs showing the place of religion in American society through the lens of some of America's most well known photographers such as Walker Evans, Dorothea Lange, and Gordon Parks. This exhibition is co-sponsored by the Religious Studies Program in the USU Department of History and the Mountain West Center for Regional Studies.

Older Exhibitions

Maryann Webster - AquaGenesis
October 25, 2005 - June 29, 2006

Ms. Webster sculpts living things that come from the sea to make strong statements about nature and the environment. By casting real objects in porcelain and assembling them in twisted, distorted, and exaggerated forms, she suggests the environmental damage and chemical pollution she feels is "irrevocably altering nature." Webster's sculptural forms are reminiscent of Bernard Palissy, a French ceramicist from the 1600s.

Semina Culture: Wallace Berman & His Circle
January 10 - March 15, 2006

Organized by writers and independent curators Michael Duncan and Kristine McKenna along with the Santa Monica Museum of Art, this exhibition offers an extraordinary snapshot of the post-war arts underground in Southern California. This snapshot offers a groundbreaking scholarly exploration of the individuals and communities Wallace Berman gathered around him as they worked, lived, created, played, and above all, collaborated.

The Singing Posters by Allen Ruppersberg
January - March, 2006

Allen Ruppersberg's latest installation, The Singing Posters, is an homage to Allen Ginsberg and his famous poem, Howl (1955-1956). When Ruppersberg, who teaches at UCLA, discovered that his students had never heard of Howl, he conceived The Singing Posters as a way to introduce that important work to a new generation. For this installation, Ruppersberg translated the poem into phonetic spellings and reintegrated them into the original text. The "new" text is printed on approximately 200 vibrantly colored commercial advertising posters installed floor to ceiling on the gallery walls.