Monday, September 30, 2013

Berlind Symposium will examine link between war and art

An upcoming symposium at the Maier Museum of Art at Randolph College offers the chance to learn how artists embrace and reflect on their Vietnamese heritage.

Anne Wilkes Tucker ’67
The 22nd annual Helen Clark Berlind Symposium will begin Saturday, Oct. 5, at 1 p.m. Three artists who have art featured in the 102nd Annual Exhibition: Contemporary Vietnamerican Art will be present to discuss their work. Anne Wilkes Tucker ’67, the well-known curator of the exhibition WAR/PHOTOGRAPHY, will deliver the keynote address. Tucker has served as the curator of photography for the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

Attending artists include Binh Danh, whose works in the exhibition include Vietnam War-era photographs printed on leaves and daguerreotypes of scenes in Yosemite National Park; Pipo Nguyen-duy, who has two photograph series represented in the exhibition; Thomas Thuấn Ðặng Vũ, creator of several abstract paintings depicting elements from his childhood in communist Vietnam. Each artist will present a talk about his work.

Bin Danh, Waiting
Tucker, a member of the Randolph College Board of Trustees, will discuss the concept of war photography, which she studied for more than 10 years while preparing an exhibition with thousands of photographs from combat and the aftermath of war. “This exhibition has three photographers, making it strong in photography,” said Martha Johnson, director of the Maier Museum of Art at Randolph College. “It will be interesting to see what Anne has to say about how the experience of war is reflected in their work.”

Johnson also hopes people will engage in conversation with the artists and learn about how their art expresses the impact of war but arrives at deeper meanings. “It would be good for people to see that one can experience something as horrific as the Vietnam War and still be able to be very creative and expressive, and have a keen sense of the beauty in the world,” Johnson said. “I think that’s a really hopeful message.”

This Berlind Symposium was founded by friends of Helen Clark Berlind ’58 and always addresses themes relevant to the annual exhibition. “Its purpose is to extend the educational impact of the annual exhibition,” Johnson said. “There is a much richer benefit to the students to have scholars and artists come to deepen the interpretation of the exhibition.”

Find the detailed schedule for the 2013 Berlind Symposium here.