Purdue Galleries presents “Platforms” painting exhibit

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue Galleries begins the new year with exhibitions of large-scale paintings and equine images from the permanent collection.

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Purdue Galleries presents an exhibition of paintings that respond to the contemporary challenges facing minorities in the United States. In the context of the Langston Hughes poem A Dream Deferred and the Lorraine Hansberry play A Raisin in the Sun, Patrick Earl Hammie (Champaign, Illinois) explores the tension between power and vulnerability as he re-imagines the modern male.

In the Stewart Center Gallery, Champaign, Illinois artist Patrick Earl Hammie presents a series of paintings that respond to the contemporary challenges facing minorities in the United States. “Patrick Earl Hammie: Platforms” will be on display from Monday (Jan. 11) to Feb. 21.

The Hammie exhibit is presented in conjunction with a presentation of “A Raisin in the Sun” at Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette and the Purdue Black Cultural Center.

In the context of the Langston Hughes poem “A Dream Deferred” and Lorraine Hansberry’s play “A Raisin in the Sun,” Hammie explores the tension between power and vulnerability as he re-imagines the modern male. Drawing from his history as a son, a male and an African-American struggling to synthesize past adversity and acclimatize to present realities, Hammie’s portraits symbolize his shadow-selves and visualize the effort to reconcile inner duality and transcend typical masculine ideals.

Hammie says, “Inspiration and intention in these works stem from the continued visible acts of aggression, forcible colonization and relocation, discrimination, xenophobia, sexism and war seen throughout the world and at home. These masculine traits are present and thrive through all ethnicities, sexes and social classes and sit at the core of these and many debated issues. One perpetuation of this conduct is the image of the hyper masculine black male that valorizes behaviors such as strength, power, dominance and control, many times to the degradation of women. Artists in the 1960s and 70s channeled Harlem Renaissance artists and writers such as Langston Hughes to present the world with images of contemporary African-Americans that were confident, iconic, and complex. These artists were confronting the deferred dreams of minority artists before them while challenging the status quo. Forty years later, we still see the effects of these masculine traits and search for personal and collective identity. I enter this conversation to keep a light on the roots of these effects and share a personal effort to transcend these traits and re-imagine a new balance.”

Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette will present A Raisin in the Sun at the historic Monon Depot Theatre from Jan. 19 to Feb. 14. For more information, visit www.lafayettecivic.org

Purdue Galleries will host a Meet the Artist reception from 5-6:30 p.m., Jan. 21 in Stewart Center Gallery. Hammie will make comments about his work at 5:30 p.m.

Purdue Black Cultural Center will host a panel discussion at 3 p.m., Jan. 22, with Hammie; Steven Koehler, Managing Director of Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette and director of “A Raisin in the Sun;” as well as cast members from the play.

In the Robert L. Ringel Gallery, a new selection of works from the Purdue Galleries’ permanent collection celebrates the recent installation of a Deborah Butterfield sculpture titled “Silver Bow” near Yue-Kong Pao Hall of Visual and Performing Arts. The 1,700-pound life-size horse sculpture, originally sculpted of branches and sticks and then cast in bronze, was commissioned specifically for Purdue and funded by the Florence H. Lonsford Endowment, which is restricted to purchasing artwork. The Ringel Gallery exhibit features a variety of equine imagery from the Galleries collection and will be on display from Jan. 19 to May 28.

The Stewart Center Gallery and the Robert L. Ringel Gallery – both managed by Purdue Galleries – are open 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday through Saturday; 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Thursdays; and 1-5 p.m. on Sundays. All exhibits organized by Purdue Galleries are free and open to the public.

For class and group visits, contact Mary Ann Anderson at Purdue Galleries at 765-496-7899.

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