Friday, September 10, 2010

Just A Rumor by Anna Schuleit at UMass Amherst

I had the distinct pleasure today of attending a reception in honor of the artist, Anna Schuleit, and her "Just A Rumor," a dramatic painting, which was painted upside down on a wall of the Fine Arts Center at UMass Amherst, with a reflection in the campus pond. Anna Schuleit was featured today in the Wall Street Journal, and since she was a Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University the year after I was one, this was an event that I did not want to miss. Plus, it is so intriguing to try and figure out whose face she painted upside down! Can you guess?

The above photos were taken at the event, and include several of Anna Schuleit, of her painting, the reflections in the pond, and of some of the guests.

What I most appreciated, besides this dramatic public painting, and its changing reflection, was when Schuleit spoke about why paintings are so important and how they help us to stop and to slow down in this era of decreasing attention spans and moving images on computer screens. The late afternoon was cloudy and there was a slight wind, which created waves in the pond, so the reflection of the painting, which was completed by Schuleit only an hour before, moved soothingly with the waves.

Schuleit, whose work has garnered her, besides a Radcliffe Fellowship, a MacArthur genius grant of $500,000, will be in residence at UMass Amherst this term. She joked that she might want to study nursing during this period.

It was special that our Provost, Dr. James Staros, showed up to this event, as well as my Dean at the Isenberg School, Dr. Mark Fuller, and even our wonderful state representative, Ellen Story.