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University Galleries to open two new exhibitions: william cordova and Cecil McDonald, Jr., on view beginning August 16

Cecil McDonald, Jr. Ms. Greta, 2013. Archival pigment print. 30 x 40 inches. Courtesy of the artist.

Imaged of william cordova's work BALSA, 2008. Rephotographed photo of "Machu Picchu" by Martin Chambi (1929), Victor Jara's "Canto Libre" LP (1973), and Herbie Hancock's "Thrust" LP (1974) on custom Bolivian balsa wood shelf. Courtesy of the artist and Artpace, San Antonio.

william cordova, balsa, 2008. Rephotographed photo of “Machu Picchu” by Martin Chambi (1929), Victor Jara’s “Canto Libre” LP (1973), and Herbie Hancock’s “Thrust” LP (1974) on custom Bolivian balsa wood shelf. Courtesy of the artist and Artpace, San Antonio.

University Galleries of Illinois State University is pleased to announce the opening of two new exhibitions on August 16. william cordova: kuntur: sacred geometries and Cecil McDonald, Jr.: In the Company of Black will be on view through October 14, 2018. All events at University Galleries are free and open to the public.

william cordova: kuntur: sacred geometries

kuntur: sacred geometries presents new and recent works by artist, writer, curator, and educator william cordova. Born in Lima, Peru, and now based in Miami, Lima, and New York, the artist engages with time, displacement, and the histories of places and objects. He cites his particular interest in “reframing history and making the invisible visible” as he interweaves evocative materials—such as gold leaf, feathers, Peruvian cacao, and paint chips reclaimed from a famous 1970s graffiti mural— into richly layered works. cordova describes this exhibition as a “synthesis of Andean and Western architecture, sacred geometries, and historical narratives.” Combining research, travel, writing, drawing, photography, and film, he creates an installation inspired, in part, by the Kuntur (The Condor) constellation. Kuntur was one of the Incan Empire’s “dark constellations,” found in areas of darkness within the Milky Way Galaxy. As the artist points out, “constellations give form to imaginary outlines shared by different cultures at different times and geographical locations.” The exhibition and programming are designed to connect cultures and build a stronger sense of community. Read more.

Events and Programming

Public workshop with william cordova
9 a.m. Saturday, August 11
at the Downtown Bloomington Association’s Farmers’ Market

ISU student workshop with william cordova
Time TBD, Wednesday, September 5

Conversation: william cordova, Edra Soto, and Luis Gispert
noon, Thursday, September 6

Exhibition reception
5 to 7 p.m. Friday, September 7

Exhibition tour and workshop co-presented with the Children’s Discovery Museum
1 p.m., Saturday, September 22

Cecil McDonald, Jr.: In the Company of Black

In the Company of Black presents selected photographs from a recent series of the same name by artist and educator Cecil McDonald, Jr., as well as the premiere of a new video. Over the course of seven years, McDonald photographed people he describes as “extraordinarily ordinary.” He explains, “When it comes to Black people, America is fascinated with extreme poles: either showing victims of violence, pain, and poverty (Black misery) or famous athletes and entertainers, and icons of popular culture (Black exceptionalism). This false dichotomy denies Black people the individuality and full spectrum of humanity that is so readily offered to the white population in this country. The photographs I’ve been making ask the question: where are the people who make up the space in between. Here they are, they are important, they must be seen.” The imagery ranges from tender moments between, and with, his daughters, to informal portraits of friends and collaborators that are filled with references to music, art history, and popular culture—including an Artforum magazine featuring a painting by Barkley L. Hendricks on the cover; record albums by Marvin Gaye, Billie Holiday, Miles Davis, and Prince; an exhibition catalogue for Kerry James Marshall; and books about Malcolm X, Aaron Douglas, and the black male in contemporary art.
Read more

Events and Programming

Life, learning, and healing (Candor Arts exhibition at Milner Library)
August 16 – October 14

Exhibition tour and workshop co-presented with the Children’s Discovery Museum
1 p.m. Saturday, August 25

Exhibition reception
5 to 7 p.m. Friday, September 7

Conversation: Cecil McDonald, Jr. and Matt Austin
noon Thursday, October 4

Lecture: Matt Austin (Milner Library)
4 p.m. Thursday, October 4

Workshop: A Day in the Life: Photographing the Familiar
10 a.m., Saturday, October 6

william cordova: kuntur: sacred geometries is sponsored by the Harold K. Sage Foundation and the Illinois State University Foundation Fund, and a Town of Normal Harmon Arts grant. Programs at University Galleries are sponsored in part by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency.

The fall 2018 schedule of exhibition and events and additional information is available on the University Galleries website. Free parking is available in the deck directly above University Galleries after 5:01 p.m. Please contact gallery@ilstu.edu or 309-438-5487 if you need to arrange an accommodation to participate in any events related to these exhibitions.

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