Lee Faculty Showcase Art Collection

Monday, October 19, 2020 - by Merritt Jenkins, Lee University
Image of Barry Moser's “Self Portrait as Mad Hatter” from Bradley Wilson's collection
Image of Barry Moser's “Self Portrait as Mad Hatter” from Bradley Wilson's collection

Lee University is hosting an art exhibition featuring a private collection of works from various Lee art professors. The exhibition is on display in the Squires Library Art Gallery through October.

The exhibition presents a diverse art collection with artwork ranging from the 18th century to today, from abstraction to realism, and from artists of various backgrounds. Faculty contributing to the showcase are Durinda Cheek, Mary Mathias-Dickerson, Olive Durrant, Rondall Reynoso, John Simmons, and Bradley Wilson.

The exhibition will feature artwork in a variety of different mediums, such as functional and sculptural ceramics, glass, assemblage, mixed media, oil painting, acrylic painting, watercolor, drawing, and embroidery.


“Students are excited to see what kind of work each professor has collected,” said Professor Mathias-Dickerson. “It's fascinating to see the range of artwork presented in this show.”

From Ms. Mathias-Dickerson’s collection: “From Tuba City” is a small acrylic painting on canvas by Shonto Begay. Born in a hogan and raised in the Navajo Nation, Begay's work captures the striking beauties of a traditional Navajo upbringing and the harsh realities of modern reservation life.

“Naked Eye” is an oil painting over monotype on heavy paper, also from Ms. Mathias-Dickerson’s collection, by Nana Ekow Maison. Silhouetted human figures interact with symbols, anchored within a neatly defined pictorial space expressed with colorful dots of paint, similar to pointillism. Mr. Maison grew up in Ghana, Africa, and is a member of the Fante tribe. His artwork is created from a fundamental desire to convey his thoughts and feelings through visible formats that employ both spiritual impressions and realistic symbols.

From Mr. Reynoso's collection: “Momento Mori” is a ceramic piece by Chris Kelly, a native Clevelander, who is the art chair at Piedmont College in Georgia. 

Mr. Reynoso also shared an etching from the 18th century by printmaker Giovanni Baptista Piranesi. The Metropolitan Museum in New York City owns the same print.

From Mr. Wilson's collection: An original wood engraving by internationally-known illustrator Barry Moser titled, “Self-Portrait as the Mad Hatter.” Born in Chattanooga in 1940, some of Mr. Moser's most celebrated work has been his illustrations for Lewis Carroll's “Alice's Adventures in Wonderland” and “Through the Looking Glass,” each of which consisted of more than a hundred prints.

The gallery is open Monday–Thursday, 8 a.m. to midnight; Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday, noon to 8 p.m.; and Sunday, 1 p.m. to midnight. Due to COVID-19, a health screening check will be performed upon entry, and masks are required throughout the building.

 “From Tuba City” by Shonto Begay from Mary Mathias-Dickerson’s collection
“From Tuba City” by Shonto Begay from Mary Mathias-Dickerson’s collection

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