January 14 – February 8, 2019
Reception: Thursday, January 17, 6–8 PM
Littman Gallery presents a three-person exhibition of drawings by artists + educators Eleanor Erskine, Lisa Jarrett, & Hugh Merrill. Curated by Safiyah Maurice as the premiere of her curatorial season at Littman + White.
As an artist, Eleanor Erskine uses intuition, reflection, and experimentation to support conceptual material investigations in her studio. She is intrigued with defining and redefining multiple approaches and processes as the field of contemporary art grows more expansive, inclusive and significant as a major contemporary art forum. Her pedagogical aim is to ensure that matriculating Printmaking students at Portland State University develop a deep appreciation for making prints and for the arts in general, and that they build a relationship to their work and an intellectual faculty for creative problem solving that will carry them for a lifetime.
“As both artist and educator I have the opportunity to teach as well as learn. The artist studio and the classroom create an environment for vigorous exchange, but also important is the process of observation and learning to see anew. My goal is to help students translate their experiences and revelations into physical objects that encourage the viewer to make personal connections between art and the cultural goals of the community.”
Eleanor H. Erskine was born in Barrington, Illinois. She attended the Chicago Art Institute her senior year of high school, continuing on to earn a BFA in Painting/Printmaking from the Kansas City Art Institute in1981, and earned her MFA in Printmaking, with special focus in Sculpture from the Cranbrook Academy of Art in 1988. She has taught at the Maine College of Art; the Kansas City Art Institute; the Chautaugua Institute; Penland School of Crafts; and Portland State University. Her works have been exhibited at the Mark Woolley Gallery; Museum of Contemporary Art in Washington D.C.; Nelson Atkins Museum; Portland Institute of Contemporary Art (PICA); and the Marylhurst Art Gym. She is recognized locally, nationally, internationally and her work is held in major private and public collections including the California State University Museum; Portland Art Museum; Spencer Museum of Art; Hallmark Corporation; New York Public Library; Downey Museum of Art; University of Iowa Museum of Art; and in Canada, Africa, Japan and South Korea.
Lisa Jarrett is an artist and educator. She is Assistant Professor of Community and Context Arts at Portland State University. Her intersectional practice considers the politics of difference within a variety of settings including: schools, landscapes, fictions, racial imaginaries, studios, communities, museums, galleries, walls, mountains, mirrors, floors, rivers, and lenses. She exists and makes socially engaged work within the African Diaspora. She recently discovered that her primary medium is questions.
Hugh Merrill is an artist/educator, writer and community arts activists. In 1985 he had a one-person exhibition at the Nelson Atkins Museum, and his work is in the collections of over 50 major museums such as the Museum of Modern Art New York, Kemper Museum KC, Cranbrook Museum and the National Museum of Poland. In 1996 he collaborated with French artist Christian Boltanski on the city-wide community arts project Our City Ourselves for the Kemper Museum. He was the past president of the Southern Graphics Council International and is a long time professor at the Kansas City Art Institute. He developed Chameleon Arts and Youth Development into a resource for disenfranchised youth communities providing over 1 million dollars in community arts and youth development programming in the past 20 years. Merrill was selected as one of 42 international artists for Richard Noyce’s book Printmaking At the Edge published in 2006. He has been awarded grants including an NEA grant, Melon Foundation, a Yaddo Fellowship, and the Distinguished Education Award from the Southern Graphics Council International 2007. In 2008 he was invited by the Nelson Atkins Museum to curate Print Lovers at Thirty. In September of 2009 his retrospective Divergent Consistencies, was exhibited by the Leedy-Voulkos Art Center. He has written Divergent Consistencies: 40 years of studio and community artwork, Shared Visions: Thoughts and Experiences in Social Arts Practice 2014, Preaching to the Choir: thoughts on contemporary printmaking. His book of poetry Nomadic, published by west 39 West Press 2016 And the zine Whiteout Journey of Privilege 2018.
Hugh Merrill is a printmaker, educator, writer, community artist, and poet . As an artist/athlete, playing soccer at the Maryland Institute College of Art and Yale School of Art he received his BFA and MFA. He has taught Printmaking at the Kansas City art Institute forever (1976----). He was awarded the Southern Graphics Councils Distinguish Teaching award in 2007. Merrill is a past President of the Jewish Museum of Kansas City and the Southern Graphics Council International.
Hugh Merrill is an artist, poet, educator, writer, and the former Director of Chameleon Arts Agency, a not for profit that facilitates community and public art projects in Kansas City. His artwork and prints are in over 50 Museums internationally including the Museum of Modern Art New York. He was awarded a 2013 National Endowment to the Arts grant for his ArtWorker project at the Spiva Center for the Arts in Joplin Missouri. He has taught at the Kansas City Art Institute for over 40 years. More importantly he was from the deep south and his journey has taken him to the far left. He has traveled to Kenya, Philippines, China, Australia, Mexico, Cuba and through Central America. He survived Cancer in 2017 and continues to exhibit travel and work in community.