February 02, 2004

Artist Al Loving to visit SIUC Feb. 9-10

by Paula M. Davenport

CARBONDALE, Ill. --Contemporary African-American artist Al Loving will give a talk on his paintings and collage creations, attend a special reception to open his one-man art exhibition and participate in a panel discussion during a two-day visit to Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Events are free and open to the public.

Loving's lecture will begin at 7 p.m., Monday, Feb. 9, in Parkinson Laboratory's Browne Auditorium.

First recognized as a painter, Loving now engages in the art of collage making. The self-proclaimed "material abstractionist" colors rag paper, tears and cuts it into shapes -- frequently dominated by spirals symbolizing life and growth -- and arranges them as expressive collages.

Immediately after his lecture, he'll visit with guests at an opening reception of "Formal Continuity: Works by Al Loving," at the University Museum, in the north wing of SIUC's Faner Hall.

Visitors may also meet Loving and hear his philosophies at a free 9 a.m. coffee followed by a 10 a.m. panel discussion, "Aesthetic Experience: Artist, Dealer, and Educator," Tuesday, Feb. 10, in the museum's auditorium.

Chicago gallery director Jumaane N'Namdi and SIUC assistant professor of art and design Najjar Abdul-Musawwir will fill out the panel.

Several groups are pooling resources to bring the renowned artist to campus as part of this year's Black History Month celebration.

Numerous galleries handle Loving's works and his creations are part of permanent collections at such prestigious museums as New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art.

The School of Art and Design, which hosts and organizes the Visiting Artists Program, the African American Museum of Southern Illinois, the art history student organization, Black American Studies, Black History Month committee and the museum's student group are among the sponsors of the events.

Major funding is being provided through the Undergraduate Student Government fine arts activity fee.

Expanding cultural outreach programs is among the goals of Southern at 150, the blueprint for the development of the University by the time it celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2019.