Published Sunday, November 18, 2012

Newnan student curates Brenau art exhibit through internship

From Staff Reports

Brenau University studio art major Amanda Summer Wilson of Newnan recently completed an internship that enabled her to work on virtually every detail of planning and executing a successful gallery exhibition of the works of legendary artist, activist and Hollywood caricaturist Lenn Redman.

Wilson, who is a junior studio art major with a concentration in museum studies, worked with Mark Redman to inventory the collection of art and other materials from the career of his late father, Lenn Redman. During his 50-year career, Redman created hundreds of thousands of caricatures for celebrities and others, promoted his caricature performances on television and radio, and contributed to the creation of numerous animation features of the 1960s and ‘70s.

Her partner on the project was Mekenna Cipres, a senior from Murietta, Calif. The two helped Mark Redman analyze and catalog boxes and boxes of materials from his father’s career, which jumped genres from cartoons to more traditional paintings, and pick pieces for the first public showing of the work at Brenau. The show, which closed Oct. 28 after a successful run which brought several hundred visitors to the Brenau’s Leo Castelli Gallery, was one of the featured exhibitions that occur each year in the three galleries on the Gainesville campus.

“It is not overstating the case that these students were instrumental in helping to ‘rescue’ a remarkable collection that basically was ‘lost’ in mountains of materials in storage boxes,” said Brenau Galleries Director Melissa Morgan. “And, it is not every day that a young person in a pre-professional internship has the opportunity to bring forth from such boxes an exhibition that illustrates the depth and breadth of a working artist’s career.”

Brenau Art Department Chair Mary Beth Looney agreed. “Although while student interns often perform internships at major museums through which they gain specialized experience in a singular area of museum work, these two have engaged in the full range of experience, from inventorying, condition reports, curating, exhibition design, installation and the creation and usage of education materials and activities,” she said.

Rosemary Dodd, a Gainesville artist and the widow of “Mark Trail” newspaper comic series author/illustrator Ed Dodd, suggested that Mark Redman, a resident of nearby Oakwood, Ga., enlist the support of the Brenau art department and Brenau Galleries personnel in figuring out what to do with his father’s work. The university, which is an academic partner of the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, possesses one of the most impressive permanent collections of art for an educational institution of its size. Its academic programs not only emphasize art creation but art preservation and presentation.

Wilson, the daughter of Meredith and Reagan Wilson of Newnan, graduated from The Heritage School. In addition to her extracurricular work on the art exhibition, she vice president of recruitment for Alpha Chi Omega sorority and the president of Kappa Pi, the art honors fraternity. She is also on the dean’s list.

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