My new neighbor: Sol Lewitt’s “Wall Drawing 978”

Four students from Eastern Connecticut State University, where I’ve been a faculty member since 2000, are in the process of creating a Sol LeWitt mural, “Wall Drawing 978.” Located in the Akus Gallery on Eastern’s Willimantic campus, the mural is part of “Taking Shape: Selections from the Collection of Eastern Connecticut State University,” a group show curated by gallery director Elizabeth Peterson. From March 30 until April 3 stop by and watch Lewitt assistant Jesse Good and Visual Arts students Christina Ciacci, Hanna Shea, Patrick Donahue, and Katherine Riotte meticulously mask and paint a vibrant blue pyramid on a sea of red. The work, which has never been created in the US before, is on loan to Eastern courtesy of the Estate of Sol LeWitt.

Also included in “Taking Shape” are selections from Eastern’s permanent collection including screenprints by Ilya Bolotowsky and Manuel Facal; ceramic macquettes by Dorothy Mayhall; and the Sol LeWitt, “Pyramid #5,” 1986, a sculpture gifted by the artist to Eastern in 1993. The show runs from March 19 through May 7, and will include “Shape Up!”, an interactive area for preschool children. The Akus Gallery collaborated with Eastern’s Child and Family Development Resource Center to present “Shape Up!,” a fun corner for the preschool set. Children ages 2 to 5 find and identify shapes and colors in the exhibition and create geometric designs.

“Taking Shape: Selections from the Collection of Eastern Connecticut State University,” curated by Elizabeth Peterson. Akus Gallery, Eastern Connecticut State University, Willimantic, CT. Through May 7, 2009. Reception & Unveiling of Sol LeWitt’s Wall Drawing 978: April 9, 5 – 7 p.m.

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