by Chris Wilson
Concordia’s Marxhausen Gallery of Art is a source of motivation for Concordia’s art department, a resource for students of art history and a place for displaying the work of students on campus.
The gallery hosts about eight shows a year. It includes traveling art shows, student work and the permanent collection, which contains prints and multiples, original works that are editioned and signed by the artists, glass and ceramic ware, and non-western artifacts.
The collection is comprised of over 450 prints and pieces of art. More than 300 artists are represented in the collection.
A number of prints and works come from Concordia professors and alumni, including past professors Gerald Brommer, Reinhold Marxhausen, and Richard Weigmann and alum Arthur Geisert.
The next show will present work by Japanese artist Akira Ikezoe.
In 2013, the gallery began inviting multiple artists, art critics and historians to curate exhibitions with pieces drawn from Concordia’s permanent collection. Marxhausen director Jim Bockelman has curated multiple exhibitions since 2000.
“[Curating] brings in a fresh set of eyes to see the collection organized into different themes,” Bockelman said. “Bringing in emerging arts professionals expands the scope of the Marxhausen Gallery by forging new relationships with arts professionals from various affiliations across Nebraska.”
This year, former New York art critic Robert Mahoney curated the permanent collection displayed in the gallery from Oct. 5 to Nov. 4, entitled “The Picture… Thoughts of Portraiture and Representation from Concordia’s Permanent Collection of Art.”
In his curator’s statement, Mahoney wrote, “wherever you are – in modern, postmodern, or contemporary art – you might be surprised to find a portrait of a person lurking underneath, and that contemporary art in a way, though it often appears to eschew portraiture, remains firmly committed to capturing the picture of….”
The gallery does as much for art students on campus as it does for outside artists. Eva Lube, a junior studying graphic design, said that the gallery is a great way for her to experience art outside of the classroom. Students can also get an inside look on how a show is curated.
“It is great because they bring in artists that we wouldn’t otherwise get to come in contact with, ask questions and get experience from,” Lube said. “[A student show] gives you a chance to showcase your artwork to the Concordia community and beyond. It allows you to get feedback from people other than art students and professors.”