by Michelle Thornton
The Art Department has suffered a temporary loss this year with the absence of Associate Professor of Art George Stone.
“He is on professional academic leave because he is working on a mid-career retrospective exhibition which is to be displayed in the Santa Monica Museum of Art,” said Ruth Trotter, professor of art.
He has taken a year of absence to devote his full attention to the exhibition.
“I am totally looking forward to it. It is just an amazing amount of work, hence the leave of absence,” said Stone.
Stone, although formally trained in sculpture, is an installation artist. In his statement regarding his current and past projects, Stone described his work as “abstract narrative.”
According to his statement, his “works address divergent topics such as the weight of dreams, illusion vs. reality, memory reconstruction, natural and cultural phenomenon, and the impact of media on society.” He is what he calls a “multi-media sculptor.”
Although the exhibition is not until 2001, there is much work to be done for the project.
“It seems like an eternity,” Stone said, but then quickly added that the two years will go by fast with the amount of work that needs to be completed.
The works need to be chosen, catalogs need to be done, essayists need to be found to critique Stone’s work and press releases need to be written.
Stone is working closely with Carole Ann Kloharides, curator of programming at the Santa Monica Museum of Art.
Her job is to select which work will best represent Stone’s 20-year career through a variety of his works, finding a “cohesive connecting thread of interest that ties the works together.”
The exhibition will “highlight very important works of my career as a working artist,” said Stone.
However, due to the smaller size of the space available at the museum, Stone and Kloharides are finding the need to be more selective with which works they choose.
The exhibition will run for three months and the museum is considering having it tour throughout Europe, Japan and other parts of the United States, but that has not been confirmed.
Meanwhile, the Art Department has hired some additional teaching staff to compensate for the loss of Stone and to take over his classes.
“We have added some part time faculty as well as Keith Lord, who will be taking on much of his [Stone’s] responsibility,” said Trotter, due to the current understaffing of the department that has resulted in Stone’s absence.
“We are a little understaffed but we are going to make it,” said Trotter. She said that she feels confident the situation is well taken care of and that the “highly qualified” part-time faculty as well as the work Lord is providing, can handle the situation.
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