An Errant Line: Ann Hamilton/Cynthia Schira
In a project awarded two consecutive Art Works grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Spencer Museum of Art commissioned internationally recognized artists Ann Hamilton and Cynthia Schira to create room-sized works of art in the Museum’s galleries. Using digital technologies to express the essential nature of cloth and the ways museums organize and communicate the histories of art objects, Hamilton and Schira responded to the commission by exploring through fiber arts the meanings of abstract gestures and notations.
Working with current KU art students and Spencer Museum staff, An Errant Line investigates the artists’ former relationship as student and teacher (Hamilton came to KU in 1976 to study fiber arts with Schira). Transforming multiple galleries with their monumental installations, both artists employ images of and actual objects from the Spencer Museum’s permanent collection to create a rich and surprising tapestry.
Honoring the origins of the project in the student/teacher relationship, the Spencer Museum’s famed Bechstein piano (draped by Ann Hamilton) will host a series of lessons between volunteer master and student pairs. Throughout the run of the exhibition, students, musicians, dancers, and poets are invited to respond to Hamilton and Schira’s coded notations, adapting them to musical, theatrical, and literary dimensions.