Inside/Out: Rutgers–Camden Hosts Panel Series Discussing Relationship Between Art and Trauma

Nov. 2, 2021

By Tom McLaughlin

Art and trauma, says Margery Amdur, go hand in hand, but it’s a complicated relationship, and one that means something different to every artist.

“There are many perspectives about the relationship between art and trauma,” says the professor of art at Rutgers University–Camden. “However, it is my experience as a studio practitioner and as a professor for more than 30 years that the practice of making and viewing art as an active participant has the power to act as an antidote.”

“It is my experience as a studio practitioner and as a professor for more than 30 years that the practice of making and viewing art as an active participant has the power to act as an antidote.” – Margery Amdur

Amdur will call attention to the provocative and evocative relationship between art and trauma as she leads “Inside/Out” at Rutgers–Camden, an engaging online and on-site panel discussion series.

The first of these dialogue sessions, which are free of charge and open to the public, will be held at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 3, in the Black Box Studio. Join the Zoom discussion or register for tickets at tickleap.com.

“This dialogue series is emblematic of the powerful, unflinching discussions that have made Rutgers–Camden a hub of artistic expression and initiatives in the South Jersey region,” says Rutgers–Camden Chancellor Antonio D. Tillis.

Amdur — a celebrated mixed-media installation artist for more than 20 years — and Philadelphia-based artist and curator Jorge Luis Gutierrez will moderate the discussion, featuring the following renowned contemporary artists:

  • Caleb Weintraub, recognized for his agility in working between media
  • Adler Guerrier, who creates a visual dialogue between a “wunderkammer” — a cabinet of curiosities — of materials and techniques
  • Judith Schaechter, known for her intricately layered work with stained glass and the provocative imagery she houses within a medium most associated with Tiffany glass and windows set within places of worship
  • Sergio Garcia, who embraces painting to explore his identity within the context of the ever-present human condition

Initial Inside/Out events will focus on artistic practice and how each artist’s practice embodies issues of trauma in the content, the production method, the selected medium and the final presentation and context in which the work is made public. Future presentations will examine the relationships between artists and their communities.

The participating artists hail from distinct practices, notes Amdur, which allows them to shed light on the unique strategies that they use to maintain persistence and resilience in the face of adversity. That process of self-discovery and awareness, she explains, will resonate with professionals across an array of disciplines and industries.

Amdur’s inspired, mixed-media constructions have appeared in solo and group exhibitions and immersive installations — what she calls “felt narratives” — throughout the world.

“New insights will come to the fore that will enable fruitful discussions between artists and those within fields such as medicine, psychology, biology and the social sciences,” says the Rutgers–Camden artist.

Amdur’s inspired, mixed-media constructions have appeared in solo and group exhibitions and immersive installations — what she calls “felt narratives” — throughout the world. Her original artwork hangs prominently in the U.S. Embassy in Suriname and in the personal collection of U.S. Ambassador to Latvia Nancy Pettit. She has served as both an instructor and mentor to countless students, offering insight into her intuitive, meticulous and methodical approach to the artistic process.

Jorge Luis Gutierrez is an architect, independent curator and former museum director involved in local and global projects on identity and diaspora, and critical spatial practices.

The Black Box Studio is located in the Fine Arts Building at 314 Linden St. on the Rutgers–Camden campus. Get directions to Rutgers–Camden.

Posted in: Arts and Culture

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