Windgate Museum of Art opens doors with COVID-19 protocols

The Windgate Museum of Art at Hendrix College in Conway announces the opening of its spring exhibitions. Altarpieces & Icons: Ray Allen Parker and Katrina Andry: The Promise of the Rainbow Never Came are on view through March 12. Ramune Candy Roll: Ceramic by Kensuke Yamada runs through March 15 in the Window Gallery which is on view 24-7 from the exterior of the building. The interior galleries are open 12 noon – 5 p.m., Monday – Friday with reservations strongly encouraged. Reservation information, additional COVID-19 protocols, and virtual programs for each exhibition are on the museum website: https://www.windgatemuseum.org.

Altarpieces & Icons: Ray Allen Parker (Neely Gallery) includes twelve intimate monumental portraits that chronicle the physical and psychological presence of his subjects in naturalistic detail. Two triptych paintings, Ecce Femina and Madonna and Children, feature contemporary people presented as saints in the composition and style reminiscent of Renaissance altarpieces.  Parker’s singular portraits of family, friends, and fellow artists places his subjects in powerful poses with direct gazes historically associated with iconographic religious depictions. 

Ray Allen Parker was born in San Diego, California, and grew up in rural Egypt (Craighead County.) He earned a master’s degree in English at the University of Arkansas and returned to his lifelong interests in portraiture and figure painting after a career in retail communications and advertising. Parker now lives and works in Fayetteville with his wife, Mary Jean. The exhibition was curated by WMA Director/Curator Mary Kennedy with assistance from Museum Associate, Rebecca Jolley. Parker will offer a talk at 7 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 24. Dr. Leo Mazow, Louise B. and J. Harwood Cochrane Curator of American Art, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and essayist for the exhibition brochure will deliver a lecture about the exhibition at 7 p.m., Monday, March 1. Free and open to all, registration for these virtual programs is by e-mail to [email protected]

Katrina Andry: The Promise of the Rainbow Never Came (Wilcox-Todd Gallery) reflects on the loss of enslaved African lives during Middle Passage voyage across the Atlantic to the West Indies. People with fevers or unexplained illnesses, those recently born, those who died, and those who rebelled or resisted, were cast overboard en route. Eight large-scale woodcut prints with mylar and a mixed media installation depict people being thrown overboard showing a transition from human to eel form. This reverse anthropomorphic depiction points to the history of dehumanizing representations of Black people and suggests the continuity of color-based violence for those descended from Middle Passage survivors. Mylar raindrops reference the promise of the rainbow: that the world would never again be destroyed by water. For Andry, the rainbow’s promise is unfulfilled because Black people are still treated as less than fully human as violence against them continues. 

“Ecce Femina 2020” by Ray Allen Parker is an oil on canvas piece that can be seen at the Windgate Museum of Art.

Katrina Andry lives and works in New Orleans, La. She earned her Master of Fine Arts in Printmaking at Louisiana State University in 2010. The exhibition was organized by the LSU Museum of Art and curated by Hendrix alum Courtney Taylor, who is their Curator and Director of Public Programs. Taylor will speak at 7 p.m., Monday, Feb. 15. Free and open to all, registration for these virtual programs is by e-mail to [email protected].

Kensuke Yamada: Figurative Ceramic features nine life-sized youthful figures created for the opening of the Windgate Museum of Art. Yamada’s sculptures are an expression of his innate playfulness that is tempered by his respect for the universality of the human experience. The artist hollow builds his figures to create a space within each one for the energy or soul of the idea he expresses. Their postures, gestures, expressions and finishing suggest a narrative for a moment in time, to provide a connection between his artwork and the viewer. 

Born and educated in Japan, Yamada earned a second bachelor of arts degree in ceramics at Evergreen State College in Olympia, Wash., and his MFA at the University of Montana in 2009. Yamada was a resident artist at the Archie Bray Foundation in Montana and The Clay Studio in Philadelphia, Pa., and a visiting artist prior to accepting a position as instructor at the U of A Little Rock. The exhibition was curated by WMA Interim Associate Director Barbara Satterfield and developed with assistance from Travis Peeples, Hendrix Multimedia Technical Director, and from Museum Associates Hannah Samuel and Adaja Cooper.

The [email protected]! online exhibition continues through May 15. Dedicated to celebrating the College’s artistic life in the pre-Windgate Museum of Art era, the exhibition includes 94 pieces of artwork created or collected by alumni and former and current faculty and staff, as well as significant works from the Hendrix permanent collection and artworks courtesy of the Historic Arkansas Museum. Find numerous online events related to [email protected]! at https://www.windgatemuseum.org/events/ through the end of March.