Fri, June 26, 2009

Long-time artist and Chicagoland arts activist Tom Brand will discuss his work during a July 15 reception and gallery talk highlighting an ongoing exhibition of recently-acquired artwork at Valparaiso University's Brauer Museum of Art.

The July 15 reception will focus on the exhibition "New Acquisitions: Selections from the Brauer Museum's Permanent Collection," on display through Aug. 9. The reception begins at 7 p.m. and is free and open to the public.

Gregg Hertzlieb, director/curator of the Brauer Museum, will discuss the approximately two dozen works, donated to the museum since the beginning of 2008, presented in the exhibition.

Among those works is "The Who Sideshow," a limited edition comic book created in 1966 to publicize the work of a collective of influential Chicago imagists known as the Hairy Who. Brand, a founder of the Chicago Artists' Coalition in 1974 and professional artist for more than 30 years, printed "The Who Sideshow" – as well as other Hairy Who comic books and posters – as owner of Galaxie Press in Chicago.

Brand, whose career as a painter spans more than 30 years, currently lives and works in Beverly Shores and has been active in the Lubeznik Center for the Arts and Area Artists Association.

In addition to "The Who Sideshow," three of Brand's paintings are displayed adjacent to the "New Acquisitions" exhibit. Brand said the paintings combine classical techniques with 21st century forms and shapes.

"The reoccurring themes that provide a unifying motif to the work can be compared to those that are found in music," Brand said. "As in music, the organic interplay of elements within the whole play against one another in a kind of counterpoint."

Hertzlieb said the "New Acquisitions" exhibition reflects the breadth of the Brauer Museum's collection of approximately 3,000 works as well as its large holdings of 19th and 20th century American art and world religious art.

"We are showing a really diverse array of artwork this summer, but the exhibition also is tied together by the quality of all of these pieces," Hertzlieb said. "Every object in this show has a fascinating story to tell, both visually and historically."

Works featured in this summer's exhibition include:

  • Tribal artifacts from New Guinea, including axe heads and ceremonial axes, donated to the museum by a missionary;
  • Black and white nature prints by Michigan photographer and Ansel Adams pupil Howard Bond, whose photographs are held in the permanent collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, National Museum of Art, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and other leading art museums;
  • Paintings by noted Indiana impressionists Frank V. Dudley, most well-known for his depictions of the Indiana Dunes, and Varaldo Cariani, who helped found the Brown County Art Colony in the early 1900s.

More information about the Brauer Museum's current season, including a complete list of exhibition-related events, is available online. The Brauer Museum's summer hours are noon to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. Admission to the museum and all events is free. Group tours may be arranged by calling (219) 465-7926.