August 17, 2004

Museum to host 'Life Long Art' exhibition

by Paula M. Davenport

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Creative works by two exceptionally gifted, older artists will be on display in the upcoming "Life Long Art" exhibition at the University Museum, on the campus of Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

The museum rings in its fall season with a special reception from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 20. The museum is located in the north wing of Faner Hall. Admission is free.

Visitors will see a dozen arresting, insightful portraits of homeless men and women in Florida -- by 85-year-old professor emeritusElsa Kula. Her exhibition, "The Others Among Us: Portraits of the Homeless" will be up through Sept. 30. And she'll be the guest of honor at the opening reception.

Just down the hall, oil paintings and woodcuts by Herbert L. Fink -- a prolific artist, former SIUC administrator and art professor now living in Maine -- will be on view through Dec. 11 in the museum's Hall of Art.

Kula came to SIUC in 1957 to teach in what was then a newly established design department. Among the highlights of her tenure here, she says, was working to establish a design development program in Bangkok, Thailand, a joint venture between the University and the Thai government.Here's a closer look at the individual artists and their shows:

A 1938 graduate of the Pratt Institute, Kula studied under Moholy-Nagy and Gyorgy Kepes at the School of Design in Chicago. She married classmate Davis Pratt in 1942.

They both joined the Chicago design school's faculty. He taught product design and she taught visual communication.

Kula was among revered artists invited to become a member of the "27 designers of Chicago" and earned numerous awards for graphic designs.

This exhibition features drawings of homeless people she met through her work with the Gainesville, Fla.-based B'nai Israel Synagogue's Social Actions Committee.

Her etching "Tree of Life," which resides in the museum's permanent collection, will also be on display.

"Ms. Kula looks forward to greeting old friends and making new ones at the reception in her honor," said Dona Bachman, University Museum director.

Fink is perhaps best known for his highly detailed, black and white landscape drawings, many depicting recognizable Southern Illinois locales.

Various pieces by the now 80-something Fink have graced exhibition halls around the country, belong in collections of 19 musuems and have won awards from the Ford Foundation, Tiffany Foundation and helped him land a Guggenheim Fellowship.

He earned a bachelor of fine arts degree from the Rhode Island School of Design and a master of fine arts from Yale University.Fink taught art at the University from 1961 to 1992. During that time he variously chaired the art department and held several administrative positions.

William Snyder, a museum exhibits designer; Elizabeth Dalton, a student in museum studies, and Kay Pick Zivkovich, associate professor of art; worked together to curate the show.

The museum will re-open after summer break on Friday, Aug. 20, and will observe the following hours of operation throughout fall semester: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays and 1-4 p.m. Saturdays through Mondays.

Please note the museum will be closed Sept. 6, Nov. 11 and Nov. 20-28.

Enhancing cultural outreach efforts is among the goals of Southern at 150: Building Excellence Through Commitment, the blueprint for the development of the University by the time it celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2019.