Arts Society & Culture

Georgia Museum of Art gifted works by award-winning local artists

Year on the Hill Moth-v
Jim Fiscus and Chris Bilheimer's "Moth

Athens, Ga. – The Georgia Museum of Art at the University of Georgia will present the collaborative exhibition “A Year on the Hill: Work by Jim Fiscus and Chris Bilheimer” from Dec. 13 to March 8 on the Patsy Dudley Pate Balcony.

The artists recently gifted many of the works from the exhibition to the museum, prompting a reshowing. The exhibition was displayed in 2011 at UGA’s Lamar Dodd School of Art.

The works in the exhibition are large digital prints measuring up to 8 feet in height. The artwork depicts plant and animals found in and around the Hill, a neighborhood in Athens, where all of the work on the project was completed. In addition to the autobiographical exploration of rebuilding after profound change, this collaborative project recomposes nature and explores the role of photography in imposing meaning on our surroundings.

Fiscus, an award-winning advertising and editorial photographer whose clients include Levi’s, Showtime and ESPN, seeks to erase the boundaries between commercial and fine art photography. Bilheimer, a Grammy-nominated graphic artist who designed packaging for R.E.M. and Green Day, embraces the randomness unavoidable in even the most structured settings. The collaboration is the result of the pair’s personal friendship and time together in Athens. The project lasted between the end of 2009 and fall 2010.

Asen Kirin, associate professor of art and associate director at the Lamar Dodd School of Art in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, is the curator for the exhibition. His involvement in the project began on the Hill, when he was invited by the artists to witness the photography sessions.

“It was an honor and a great delight to take part in the extensive conversation preceding this experience,” said Kirin. “As image-makers, Jim and Chris toil with equal dedication on commissioned works and on personal art projects. This defies the dated and deficient view that makers of commercial art and ‘true art stars’ are mutually exclusive.

The show features images focusing in on raw emotions, yet zooming out to open up onto wide horizons, said Kirin. “These photographs are as local as the Hill in Athens and as universal as the essential need to redefine and affirm one’s place in the world.”

Associated events include a gallery talk by Kirin Feb. 12 at 5:30 p.m. The museum also has published a catalogue of the exhibition designed by Bilheimer with an essay by Kirin and color images of all of the works in the exhibition. The catalogue will be on sale in the museum shop.

Museum Information
Partial support for the exhibitions and programs at the Georgia Museum of Art is provided by the Georgia Council for the Arts through the appropriations of the Georgia General Assembly. The Georgia Council for the Arts also receives support from its partner agency, the National Endowment for the Arts. Individuals, foundations and corporations provide additional museum support through their gifts to the University of Georgia Foundation. The Georgia Museum of Art is located in the Performing and Visual Arts Complex on the East Campus of the University of Georgia. The address is 90 Carlton St., University of Georgia, Athens, Ga. 30602-6719. For more information, including hours, see or call 706-542-4662.