Arts & Humanities Society & Culture

Art Party to feature four new exhibitions, pop-up readings

Mequitta Ahuja yellow-v
Visiting artist Mequitta Ahuja displays a series of paintings that illustrate her practice of using herself as subject and history as context as inspired by her neologism ‘automythography.'

Athens, Ga. – The University of Georgia Lamar Dodd School of Art will hold an Art Party Jan. 30 from 6-8 p.m. to celebrate the opening of four concurrent exhibitions. The event will also celebrate The Georgia Review’s winter issue with a series of roving pop-up readings and micro-performances.

Jenny Gropp, managing editor of the Review, and local prose and poetry writer Sabrina Orah Mark will read from their work, and Historic Sunsets, an experimental French dream-pop duo fronted by Thibault Raoult, will play music. Copies of The Georgia Review will be available, and Wildfood Catering will provide light refreshments. The event is free and open to the public.

The evening will feature an exhibition by the art school’s visual artist-in-residence Mequitta Ahuja, whose portfolio of richly textural self-portraits “Automythography” appears in the Review’s latest issue. Ahuja, who holds a master’s degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago and lives and works in Baltimore, will be present at the opening. Her paintings have appeared in solo exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, the Lawndale Art Center in Houston, Arthouse in Austin, Galerie Nathalie Obadia in Paris and the Thierry Goldberg Gallery in New York. Ahuja has also shown work at the Bakersfield Museum of Art in California, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston and the Studio Museum in Harlem, among others.

Brett Busang, critiquing Ahuja’s exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C., wrote that her work is “refreshingly personal while her iconographic style has the qualities of illuminated manuscripts, folk murals, and shy self-portraiture…. I suspect that, in choosing such an eccentric approach, she wishes not to abolish representation as we in the West know it, but to acknowledge it as one among many possibilities.”

Ahuja’s “Automythography” marks The Georgia Review’s first collaborative project with the art school galleries. Sponsored by the Jane and Harry Willson Center for Humanities and Arts, Ahuja will be in residence at the school from late January to early February; she will give a lecture on her process and work on Jan. 27 at 2 p.m. in room S150 at the Lamar Dodd School of Art.

The other exhibitions opening at the Art Party include “Like a Juggernaut,” a piece by Justin Schmitz, a post-MFA fellow in photography, local artist and Lyndon House director Didi Dunphy’s community-centric “To-Do List,” and “The Exquisite,” a collaborative and evolving group project organized by printmaking graduate students Tyler Leslie and Ryan McCullough. All exhibitions will be on display in the art school galleries until Feb. 26.

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