Spirituality and Defiance Highlight New Rollins Museum Exhibits

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On the heels of a landmark fall season that included “Beyond the Medici,” Rollins Museum of Art will kick off the new year with three exhibits featuring pieces from its extensive collection.

“Silent Protest: Perspectives on War and Disability” Jan. 20 – April 7

A portrait of activist Greta Thunberg by photographer Hellen van Meene will be part of the “Silent Protest” exhibit. Image courtesy of: Rollins Museum of Art

In his 2019 book Deaf Republic, poet Ilya Kaminsky explores the trauma of war on those living with a disability. The exhibit illustrates themes of violence, uncertainty, communication, and resiliency by exhibiting excerpts from the book alongside pieces from multiple artistic perspectives and mediums.

“We wanted to feature a selection of works from the collection that address themes of war, disability, and resilience either directly or in a metaphorical way,” said Rollins Museum Curator Gisela Carbonell. “The works will be in dialogue with each other as well as with quotes from Kaminsky’s book throughout the gallery, inviting the viewers to read, look, and reflect.”

“Transformations: Spirituality, Ritual, and Society” Jan. 20 – May 12

The diversity and harmony of the subjects in Freedom of Worship, by Hank Willis Thomas and Emily Shur, embody the idea behind “Transformations.” Image courtesy of: Rollins Museum of Art

The exhibit explores the role of faith in art through works from the 14th century through the contemporary era. The collection includes 10 examples from the museum archives that have never been exhibited. Rollins Museum Director Ena Heller said narrowing down selections for the 28-piece exhibit proved to be a difficult task.

“I wanted to do this exhibition because of my previous experience as director of the Museum of Biblical Art in New York,” she said. “I wanted to see how it plays out within our collection here, especially because of our very strong collection of contemporary art.”

“What’s New: Recent Acquisitions” Jan. 20 – May 12

The color screenprint Desahuciar by Manuel Hernández Acevedo is among the museum’s newly acquired pieces. Image courtesy of: Rollins Museum of Art

The Rollins Museum collection continues to expand through gifts and purchases that reflect its teaching mission. “What’s New” is a permanent exhibit that features a rotating selection of recently added works, reflecting a commitment to diverse media from a range of time periods and artists. The new rotation will feature works by Kenneth Noland, Annette Rawlings, and Chuck Webster.

The exhibits will join “American Visions: Recent Additions to the Collection” and “The Voice of the People: Freedom of Speech” – both running through May 12.

Visitors are also encouraged to visit the new wing at The Alfond Inn, where an exclusively commissioned exhibit by Steve Locke is on view. The seven-piece collection focuses on core messages of identity, equity, and belonging.

Rollins Museum of Art is also working toward a new 31,791-square-foot home at 200 E. New England Ave. that will be part of the Innovation Triangle project. According to Heller, fundraising for the project is in progress with design development starting this year.

Rollins Museum of Art features rotating exhibitions, ongoing programs, and an extensive permanent collection of approximately 6,000 objects that spans centuries. Open to the public year-round, its holdings include the only European Old Master paintings in the Orlando area, a sizeable American art collection, and a forward-thinking contemporary collection on view both at the Museum and The Alfond Inn at Rollins. For more information, call 407-646-2526 or visit www.rollins.edu/rma.

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