For Immediate Release: January 5, 2012
Art and Sport Intersect at Providence College: Campus-wide Programs Honor Black History Month and 40 Years of Women’s Sports at PC
Providence, R.I. — Providence College and its departments of art and art history, and athletics will host a two-month showcase of exhibits, lectures, and programs focusing on sport and art entitled SPORT:ART, from January 26 through March 29, 2012. The project will explore the significance and relationship of art and sport through media and fine arts, while examining gender, race, and cultural identities.
SPORT:ART is an unprecedented collaboration among departments across campus promoting student involvement and diversity, combined with bringing new audiences to the world of art.
In conjunction with SPORT:ART, the College will recognize the achievements of African- Americans throughout the month of February, which is Black History Month. Exhibitions, special lectures, and receptions will pay tribute to the extraordinary contributions of distinguished African- Americans in U.S. history.
Another significant milestone to be celebrated in conjunction with SPORT:ART is the 40th anniversary of PC Women’s Athletics. The College will commemorate PC women in sports through a variety of presentations and premier events in March, Women’s History Month.
The idea for SPORT:ART originated with Catherine Little Bert ’77, a member of the College’s Board of Trustees, along with Dr. Joan R. Branham, department chair and professor of art history, Dr. Deborah J. Johnson, professor of art history and women’s studies, and Robert G. Driscoll Jr., director of athletics. Bert, a former PC athlete and a Providence art gallery owner, envisioned a project that would “reach across campus,” a spirited partnership between art and art history and the athletics program, her two great loves.
“Student-athletes have a unique experience on the college campus and it is through imagery that we share and gain insight into their contributions to the broader college community,” Bert said. “Looking at an artist’s image-making, we see the individual athlete in a myriad of conditions - success, failure, exhaustion - a complete range of the competitive spirit.”
Johnson says SPORT:ART will engage body, mind, and spirit with exhibitions, public painting projects, and lectures. “We will raise consciousness about the links between art and sport, the formation of racial and gender identity through art and sport, and the place of athletics on our campus and in the American imagination, in general,” she said.
Branham adds, “We hope to enhance interdisciplinarity on campus with cross-pollinated programs that raise critical awareness of how visual imagery—from the traditional arts to modern media—acts as a powerful force in constructing and manipulating identities. If the public becomes aware of nothing more than the fact that many art and art history majors at PC are also athletes, then this in itself is a worthwhile revelation.”
Among the highlights of PC’s SPORT:ART:
January 26: Gallery Night Providence at Smith Center for the Arts (a city-wide celebration of the visual arts); A special preview of its 2012 season at the PC SPORT:ART exhibition will kick off with two art and photography exhibits:
a.) January 26 – March 22: Joe Norman Lithographs at the Reilly Art Gallery, Smith Center for the Arts; Out at Home! The Negro Baseball League metaphorizes the banning of black athletes in the mainstream quintessential American sport, baseball, and depicts struggle and enslavement in the sport. Norman’s works are powerful statements of how racism has sullied the game, as they reveal social content fluently rendered by an accomplished, aesthetic hand.
b.) January 26 – March 22: Student Sports Photography Exhibition at the Hunt-Cavanagh Gallery, Hunt-Cavanagh Hall; Photography students of Dr. Eric Sung, assistant professor of art and a former professional sports photographer, will present their photo documentation of PC athletics. The students were given unprecedented access to varsity teams on campus.
For more information on the Gallery Night Providence preview, please contact Catherine Bert: at firstname.lastname@example.org and for the exhibits contact: Sara Young, PC gallery art curator, at email@example.com.
A number of other discussion panels—sponsored by Art and Art History, Athletics, the Balfour Center for Multicultural Activities, Black Studies, the Center for Teaching Excellence, the School of Arts and Sciences, and Women’s Studies—will take place throughout February and March. For more information, see: www.providence.edu/sportart2012.