The Janet Turner Print Museum’s upcoming exhibit, Unsettled Dreams: Monsters In Print, promises to feature, “beautiful, horrible, frightening, interesting things,” says Dr. Asa Simon Mittman, co-curator for the exhibit and CSU, Chico art history professor.
The exhibit, which takes place at The Turner Print Museum October 3-November 2, is a collaboration between Dr. Mittman, the students of Chico State’s Department of Art and Art History, and Turner curator Catherine Sullivan. “Monsters” reflects their journey to explore the depiction and meaning of the monstrous and grotesque.
“I’ve wanted to try to work on a show with the Turner since I arrived, but I teach ancient and medieval art here, and their collection does not include these areas,” Mittman said. “This course, though, covers the entire history of monsters, from Gilgamesh to the present day, so it seemed a good opportunity for collaboration.”
For “Monsters,” Dr. Mittman, along with Sullivan, handpicked all of the prints that fit the theme of “monsters and the monstrous.” However, it’s the students who decide which prints make it to the final exhibition. The Turner staff will produce an exhibition catalog using the writings the student curators do to accompany the print on exhibit.
“I love getting my students away from reproductions, away from their computer screens, so that they can look at real works of art, in person,” said Mittman.
All of the works in the exhibit will be prints but vary in their techniques. Etchings, engravings, lithographs, mezzotints and others will all be represented.
Dr. Mittman looks forward to continuing his work with the students and the Turner. He hopes the exhibit will teach the public more about monsters and their underappreciated part of the art world.
“This will be an opportunity to consider how and why monsters appear, and what we can learn from thinking carefully about them. And, of course, they are tremendous fun,” he said.
The opening of this exhibition will feature Dr. Mittman’s curator’s talk and will take place Thursday, October 3 beginning at 5:30 p.m. in Rowland-Taylor Recital Hall (PAC 134) followed by a reception in the Turner Print Museum Gallery.
A select number of prints from the Turner Print Museum collection that expand on the “Monsters” exhibition will be displayed in the Ayres Hall first floor cases on the CSU, Chico campus.
The Turner Print Museum is located in Meriam Library on the CSU, Chico campus, adjacent to the Valene L. Smith Museum of Anthropology. Viewing hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Saturday. Parking is available on nearby Chico streets and also at adjacent Chico State parking lots.
For more information on the exhibition, call the Turner Museum office at 898-4476, email the curator at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.janetturner.org. Groups and classes can go online to make arrangements for visits to The Turner, including visits outside the public viewing hours. The website has a section for class applications for docent tours and related activities. This form should be submitted prior to the visit to ensure a productive and educational experience for the class.