21 November 2007

Oz Art at Suffolk U.

The Daily Ozmapolitan alerted me that the New England School of Art & Design at Suffolk University in Boston is presenting an exhibition of student art called "Ozspirations: New Art Inspired by The Wizard of Oz." It will be on display until 22 December.

The school's blog calls this "a thought-provoking exhibit marking the 100th anniversary of L. Frank Baum’s classic series of books"--though the anniversary of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was in 2000. I can argue that 2007 is the centenary of the launch of the Oz series because Ozma of Oz (1907) was the first Oz book Baum wrote with a plan to add more. But still, the dating seems a little wide of the mark.

Associate Professor of Graphic Arts Jennifer Fuchel explained the timing this way: "I wanted to put on this show because I felt people had been so swept up in the whirlwind of tragic events unleashed by September eleventh that the Centennial of Oz had passed largely unnoticed." Except that those events started in 2001, a year after the Oz centenary was observed with a major conference by the International Wizard of Oz Club, several books, and an exhibit at the Library of Congress. Perhaps it would be better to say that imaginative artists never need an excuse to envision Oz.

The drawing above is F. Lenno Campello's "The Last Thing the Wicked Witch of the East Saw," one of the works on display. But I must recommend the drawing on the same theme by Eric Shanower published on the cover of Oziana magazine in 1992.


Lenny said...

Tks for the nice mention... and I too like Eric's drawing... the one at the Ozspirations show was done in 1981, while I was in Art School... as were the other two in the exhibit...


Unknown said...

Thank you for your thoughts on Ozspirations. It was a treat to see that it has sparked thoughts and communication. In 2000, I did not notice any local exhibitions on Oz. locally. Also I did not hear of any new art exhibitions that allowed reflection on Oz's meaning today. But, whether exactly 100 years later or not, I think the theme was fun for artists to work with.

Within a few weeks I will be putting up a website that will display the works in the exhibition. The site should be www.niftyarts.com/oz. Currently it is the call for entry site.

Thanks again for noting the exhibition. Jen :)

J. L. Bell said...

The Boston area doesn't pay so much public attention to Oz as some other parts of the country. I think that's because no Oz authors lived here (in contrast to Chicago, Philadelphia, greater Syracuse, and southern California), and there's no Kansas connection, either.

Thanks for the pointer to the upcoming website.