2018 Press & Events

December 12, 2018

Upcoming Exhibition: McMillan’s Chernobyl: An Intimation of the Way the World Would End, January 11 – March 31, 2019

McMillan’s Chernobyl features fifty-nine photographs drawn from twenty-five years of fieldwork within the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone. The work lays bare nature’s remarkable capacity to endure and recover from a radiological disaster as pernicious as Chernobyl.

In the wake of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear accident, a thirty-kilometer Exclusion Zone surrounding the irretrievably damaged power plant was created to curtail exposure to radiation. In addition to numerous rural communities that were buried for eternity, the “atom city” of Prypiat, built in 1970 to accommodate some 50,000 residents, including the plant’s workers and their families, was permanently evacuated.

By 1994, the Scottish-born Canadian photographer David McMillan began to explore the Zone in search of images evoking the essence of the tragedy. Inspired by his teenage memories of Nevil Shute’s On the Beach (1957), a disturbing vision of the world post-nuclear war, McMillan found in Prypiat the embodiment of a modern city, full of amenities and still standing, but utterly devoid of human life. In fall 2018, McMillan made his twenty-second journey to the area to bear witness to the inexorable forces of nature reclaiming the abandoned community.

To mark this singular achievement, the Oakland University Art Gallery presents the exhibition McMillan’s Chernobyl: An Intimation of the Way the World Would End (January 11–March 31, 2019). This is the first full-fledged retrospective of this major body of work, now twenty-five years in the making. This exhibition coincides with the publication of McMillan’s monograph Growth and Decay: Prypiat and the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone (Steidl, 2018), which features some two hundred photographs, with an essay by Claude Baillargeon, the exhibition curator and a professor of art history at Oakland University.

To frame the exhibition and its accompanying publication within the larger context of what remains the most catastrophic nuclear accident in human history, an array of public programming and events has been developed to foster reflection and provide perspective. In addition to the customary artist’s and curator’s talks, this program of related events includes an eight-part film series, a community forum organized in partnership with the Ukrainian American Archives and Museum of Detroit, and an interdisciplinary symposium sponsored by the Division of Academic Affairs, which features a keynote address by Alan Wiseman, author of The World Without Us (2007), doubling as the 2019 Varner Vitality Lecture. See attached brochure for further details regarding public programming and events. An e-version is also available at https://issuu.com/ouag/docs/mcmillan. McMillan’s Chernobyl is curated by Claude Baillargeon, Professor of Art History, Oakland University

An artist’s talk by David McMillan, to take place in Wilson Hall Room 124 (one floor below the Oakland University Art Gallery) is scheduled for 5:00 pm on January 11. The exhibition opening will follow, 6:00–8:00 pm.

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November 26, 2018

Senior Thesis Exhibition

November 10, 2018

Who Were They Then Panel

Sunday, November 18 at 2 pm
Who Were They Then Panel AnnouncementMorgan Barrie, Carole Harris, Mel Rosas, Clinton Snider and Bryant Tillman in conversation with Dick Goody

August 28, 2018

Encountering The Rare Book Lecture Series

Rebecca Baumann: “Haunted Pages: Rare Books and Their Ghosts,” Sunday, September 16 at 2 pm; Rebecca Baumann is Head of Public Services at the Lilly Library, Indiana University Bloomington.

Emily Spunaugle: “Book Brawn and Book Smarts: Recovering the Labors of the Book Object, Wednesday,” September 19 at noon; Emily Spunaugle is Assistant Professor and Humanities Librarian at Kresge Library, Oakland University.

Andrea Eis: “Curatorial Talk,” Wednesday, September 26 at noon; Andrea Eis is Professor of Cinema Studies, Department of English, Oakland University.

Click here to view the press release from the event.

May 22, 2018

Upcoming Exhibitions

Oakland University Art Gallery’s Year of Exhibitions

We begin an exciting season in September with Encountering the Rare Book. This exhibition will explore the historical importance, contemporary significance, and tantalizing essences of antiquarian books in the Kresge Library’s Special Collections. These collections include magnificent, unusual, obscure, and rare books, many of which are hundreds of years old, including the Hicks Collection of Books by and about Women (17th to 19th centuries) and the Springer Civil War Collection. A range of immersive, educational activities accompanying the exhibition will include lectures, video presentations, and other special events. Curated by Andrea Eis, the exhibition will be built around the participation of faculty from varied disciplines across the university community and will be accompanied by catalogue. University faculty will choose a book from the Special Collections that speaks to them uniquely – perhaps a book that leads to an unexpected realization, or that delights with an unconventional narrative, or fascinates with its lush materiality. Short commentaries gleaned from the experience of each of the faculty will accompany the books they have chosen. In our digital world, we have fewer and fewer chances to directly encounter the rare, to immerse ourselves in the past through books that are physical manifestations of thought and culture. Encountering the Rare Book will offer these opportunities to its viewers.

In October, Where Were They Then exhibits the art and career trajectory of several Michigan artists. The works on display explore the artists’ personal locales in various disciplines (painting, photography, installation, fiber art). The artists will address change, time, and social connectivity as it pertains to their environment and community. Featuring Morgan Barrie, Carole Harris, Mel Rosas, Clinton Snider, Bryant Tillman.

Two senior thesis exhibitions featuring the work of our studio art and graphic design students will punctuate the year in December and April.

In January 2019 we will be mounting Growth and Decay: The Chernobyl Photographs of David McMillan, curated by Claude Baillargeon. In the wake of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear accident, a thirty-kilometer Exclusion Zone surrounding the irretrievably damaged power plant was created to curtail exposure to radiation. In addition to countless rural communities that were buried for eternity, the modern “atom city” of Pripyat, built to accommodate some 50,000 residents, including the plant’s workers and their families, was permanently evacuated. By 1994, the photographer David McMillan began to explore “The Zone” in search of images evoking the essence of the tragedy. Inspired by his teenage memories of Nevil Shute’s On the Beach (1957), a disturbing vision of the world post-nuclear war, McMillan found in Pripyat the embodiment of an irradiated city still standing but void of human life. He has since spent the last twenty-five years bearing witness to the inexorable forces of nature reclaiming the abandoned area. This is the first retrospective of McMillan’s engrossing photographs to be featured in the United States. It is scheduled to coincide with the publication of a much-anticipated monograph issued by Steidl, the foremost publisher of photobooks worldwide.

April 22, 2018

Art In Dialogue Talk

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March 15, 2018

Bart De Baets Lecture

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March 1, 2018

Art In Dialogue

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January 22, 2018

At Your Service Curator’s Talk by Dick Goody, Wednesday, January 24 at noon.

Featuring the art & design faculty of Oakland University:

Lucas Albrecht, Claude Baillargeon, Maria Smith Bohannon,Bruce Charlesworth, Eugene Clark, Miranda Clark, John Corbin, Susan E. Evans, Amy Feigley-Lee, Grace Frost, Lynn Galbreath, JenClare B. Gawaran, Dick Goody, Tim Gralewski, Trisha Holt, Keegan Kuvach, David Lambert, Alexander Meiser, Martha Mysko, Sinisa Nedelkoski, Eleanor Oakes, Kimmie Parker, Matt Ross, Ryan Standfest, Sally Schluter Tardella, Cody VanderKaay, Rachel Reynolds Zahorsky

January 1, 2018

FALL LECTURE SERIES

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