Ross Art Museum Reopens Feb. 3 with Exhibits Celebrating Urban and Rural Spaces
By Cole Hatcher
DELAWARE, Ohio – Ohio Wesleyan University’s Richard M. Ross Art Museum will take visitors on journeys to both urban and rural worlds with its new “Cityscape/Landscape” exhibits.
The dual exhibitions will feature “Pattern Drift: Cityscape” by Amze Emmons, a Philadelphia-based printmaker and 1996 Ohio Wesleyan graduate, and “Landscape through the Lens: Responses to William Henry Jackson,” a showcase of work by four contemporary photographers alongside historic images by William Henry Jackson from the museum’s permanent collection.
The works will be on display from Feb. 3 through April 8 at the Ross, 60 S. Sandusky St., Delaware. Both exhibits also will have a virtual tour available on the museum’s website at owu.edu/ross within two weeks after the opening.
In the Kuhlman Gallery, Emmons’ exhibition shows his strength as a contemporary printmaker and draftsman. He is inspired by print history as much as everyday print culture in forms such as mechanical illustration, newspaper journalism, and comics. Emmons is a long-time contributor to the blog printeresting.org.
“Emmons is an important contemporary printmaker who balances technical virtuosity with an awareness of social and political issues,” said Erin Fletcher, museum director. “His work focuses on the built environment and the way it connects and unites us. He has a collage aesthetic that brings temporary housing structures in conversation with the vibrancy of a city sunset or connects television sets and lurking piles of debris. It is both serious and has a wonderful sense of play.”
As an Ohio Wesleyan student, Emmons majored in fine arts and minored in humanities classics. He was a member of the Chi Phi Fraternity. He later earned his Master of Fine Arts from the School of Art and Art History at the University of Iowa. Today, he is an associate professor at Tyler School of Art at Temple University in Philadelphia. Learn more at www.amzeemmons.com.
In the museum’s West Gallery, the “Landscape through the Lens” exhibit brings contemporary photographers Mark Klett and Byron Wolfe, Zig Jackson, and Martina Lopez “into conversation with the work of 19th-century landscape photographer William Henry Jackson,” Fletcher said. “Through this lens, it examines the legacy of photography in relation to the development of the American West.”
Klett and Wolfe’s artwork combines photography from the early land surveys with images of these places today. “Understanding the surveys as precursors to expansion and industrialization helps contextualize how photographers like Jackson were part of a larger system of national development,” Fletcher said.
Lopez’s photographs invite viewers to “consider the role of nostalgia, memory, and story surrounding the American settlement of land,” Fletcher said, while Jackson’s images “offer valuable perspective of the ongoing impact of settler colonialism on indigenous peoples in this country.”
During the academic year, Ross Art Museum, 60 S. Sandusky St., Delaware, is open to in-person visitors on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Thursday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. The museum is handicap-accessible and admission is always free. Visitors must follow the latest coronavirus public health guidelines. For more information, call (740) 368-3606 or visit the museum’s website, owu.edu/ross, for more information.
Founded in 1842, Ohio Wesleyan University is one of the nation’s premier liberal arts universities. Located in Delaware, Ohio, the private university offers more undergraduate majors than many universities its size and competes in 24 NCAA Division III varsity sports. Through its signature program, The OWU Connection, Ohio Wesleyan teaches students to integrate knowledge across disciplines, build a diverse and global perspective, and apply knowledge in real-world settings. Ohio Wesleyan is featured in the book “Colleges That Change Lives” and included on the U.S. News & World Report and Princeton Review “best colleges” lists. Learn more at www.owu.edu.