Robert and Elaine Stein Galleries

Deborah Muirhead: Past is Present

Academic Year: 
Sunday, January 21 to Sunday, March 4, 2007

Abstract works of artist Deborah Muirhead that represent the examination and exploration of archeological findings and personal genealogy will be on view at the Wright State University Art Galleries from January 21 through March 4.

Past is Present: Works from 1994-2006 is the title of the exhibition that will feature paintings, drawings, prints and books by the artist. A public lecture by Muirhead is scheduled for Sunday, January 21, at 2:30 p.m. in M252 Creative Arts Center, with an opening reception to follow in the Art Galleries.

About the artist

For some 20 years Muirhead has created images which she describes as a “collaboration of genealogical research, African-American literature and history to create fictional narratives that investigate historical invisibility.” She sometimes refers to her genealogical background and reveals her identity as an African-American descendent. Her work is deeply influenced by the 1991 discovery and excavation of the oldest known colonial cemetery for Africans and African-Americans in Manhattan.

Muirhead said her recent works reflect an interest in “constructing mysterious landscapes inspired by the organic world: biology, botany and other forms as a metaphor for genealogical identity and lineage.” Her work has been described as “provocative and richly layered fictional narratives that investigate historical invisibility.”

Muirhead has exhibited throughout the country, and her numerous awards include a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Hearst Fellowship, a New England Foundation for the Arts Grant and YADDO Fellowship.  She resides in Storrs, CT and is a faculty member of the University of Connecticut and has taught at the Yale Norfolk Summer School of Music and Art. Muirhead received a B.F.A. degree from Illinois Wesleyan University and a M.S. degree in printmaking and M.F.A. in painting from Illinois State University


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