Foster Gallery’s most recent show, Colleen Fitzgerald’s and over again, demonstrates interdisciplinary applications of the visual arts and a significant reimagining of Nobles’ artist-in-residence program.
For the first time at Nobles, the artist-in-residence opened her show at the beginning of her residency. This restructuring of the program advertises Fitzgerald’s work to the community and frees her for interaction in as many classrooms as possible during her tenure here.
As Foster Gallery director John Dorsey explains, “We’re not an art school, so we’re less concerned about making, and more concerned about educating people about the process. Part of this program is making real for the kids what is possible in the visual arts, through someone from outside the community. My main focus as director is to bring in as many diverse populations as possible to see this as a resource.”
Colleen Fitzgerald introduces students to photography with the same philosophy. She argues, “There exists way more overlap among the disciplines than there are boundaries. Photography involves math, chemistry, writing, physics, philosophy … It intersects everything.”
Her excitement about the Nobles program originates in her own high school experience. “I knew that I wanted to work in the creative arts, but I didn’t know what that would look like. It’s hard to become what you can’t see.”
Her work demonstrates how the visual arts can benefit students pursuing a multitude of career paths, both traditional and nontraditional. She says, “A visual arts education teaches students how to deliver and receive criticism while also encouraging experimentation.”
For the artwork currently shown in Foster Gallery, Fitzgerald took a photo enlarger, a very specific piece of analog equipment, stuffed it with crushed paint pigment and exploded it from the inside out. She then gathered the pieces and reassembled them to evoke a metaphor about both the human experience and photography.
“We often have these conversations asking, ‘is photography dead?’ It’s not dead; it’s adapted. It’s not destroyed; it’s remade. Everything is cyclical.”
Fitzgerald borrowed concepts from physics, chemistry and philosophy to create and over again. She hopes to visit classrooms exploring all of these topics and more while she is on Nobles’ campus.