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Simmons College Trustman Art Gallery Presents "Simmons Collects: Celebrating Women Artists"

BOSTON (March 29, 2011) — Simmons College presents "Simmons Collects: Celebrating Women Artists," paintings, mixed media, works on paper, and photographs by contemporary women artists, April 28 - June 3 at the Simmons College Trustman Art Gallery, fourth floor, Main College Building, 300 The Fenway, in Boston. A panel discussion, "Women, Power, and the Arts," will precede the opening of the exhibit in the Linda K. Paresky Conference Center, Simmons College, from 6:00 - 7:30 p.m., May 3.
 
"Women, Power, and the Arts," features Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Institute of Contemporary Art Barbara Lee '67, Boston Center for the Arts Executive Director Veronique LeMelle, art historian and The City University of New York Distinguished Professor Gail Levin '69, National Museum of Women in the Arts Chief Curator Jordana Pomeroy, and artist and MacArthur Fellow Anna Schuleit. Simmons Department of Art and Music Assistant Professor Joyce Cohen will moderate the panel, followed by the Trustman reception, and a book signing by Gail Levin of her recently published Lee Krasner: A Biography.  

The exhibit is free and open to the public. The May 3 panel, reception, and book signing require pre-registration and a ticket. For the Simmons community, tickets are complimentary and registration may be made through the www.simmons.edu/trustman website. For the public and MA-NMWA members, tickets are $20 for advance registration and $25 at the door, and are available through the MA-NMWA website. This panel is co-hosted by the Massachusetts State Committee of the National Museum of Women in the Arts and the Simmons Institute for Leadership and Change.

Curated by Gallery Director Michele Cohen, "Simmons Collects: Celebrating Women Artists" culminates a year of Trustman exhibitions highlighting the work of women artists. The exhibition brings together diverse artworks drawn from the College's extensive permanent collection, begun in earnest in 1967 with the establishment of the Lyle K. Bush fund. Efforts to develop the collection solidified under the leadership of Professor Emeritus Robert Oppenheim, appointed in 1975 as collection curator, and the first director of the Trustman Art Gallery, which opened in 1982. The creation of the Marion Stiebel Sicilano Fund several years later helped sustain the effort. In keeping with the mission of Simmons College to educate and advance the careers of women, both the Trustman Art Gallery and the College have consistently supported the work of contemporary women artists, many from New England.

The "Simmons Collects: Celebrating Women Artists" exhibition also showcases two recent gifts by Simmons professors in the Department of Art and Music. In 2010 Professor Emerita Alicia Faxon and Joyce Cohen, with her husband Allan, presented several significant artworks to the College in honor of Robert Oppenheim's retirement. "After living with these artworks in our home for many years, we now love imagining them in and around Simmons," Professor Cohen said. "We also love the idea of honoring Bob Oppenheim's many years of support for women artists and women students."

On view in stairwells, corridors, and department offices, this exhibition juxtaposes works that have become part of the College's learning environment with those displayed in the gallery. Highlights include an etching by Kaethe Kollwitz, photographs by Carrie Mae Weems, Lynne Cohen, and Shelburne Thurber, and drawings by Heide Fasnacht and Rona Pondick. In many works, artists experiment with mixed-media overlays or unorthodox materials, such as Esther Solondz's two portraits, ephemeral images created from iron filings and water.

Coupled with the exhibition, students in the Arts Administration senior seminar have recorded podcasts about individual works by women artists in the collection, inaugurating the Trustman's audio program. Visitors can access audio clips on their mobile phones as they explore the collection on campus.

Trustman Gallery hours are 10:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. The gallery is free, open to the public and wheelchair accessible. For more information, contact Marcia Lomedico at 617-521-2268 or visit the Trustman Art Gallery website.

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