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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