November 29, 2007 - January 27, 2008image

Working collaboratively with communities is a recent phenomenon, which upends the notion of the artist working individually within a rarified context. Collaborating with “non-art world” communities expands the creative potential of art making as it incorporates many different experiences, stories, points of view, and ways of seeing.

Amherst College Portraits is one such collaborative project, consisting of six 12 ½- by 30-foot portrait triptychs mounted across the Amherst College campus and at the Mead Art Museum. The triptychs—each of which portrays one student, one staff member, and one faculty member at the college—were generated by visiting artist-in-residence Wendy Ewald and guest artist Brett Cook, with participation from students in Ewald’s “Practice of Collaborative Art” class and members of the campus and broader area community.

The related exhibition at the Mead documents the collaborative process of making the triptychs, and features interviews with the portrait subjects and a painting that visitors to the museum are invited to help to complete. Maps of the campus installation and audio devices for self-guided tours are available at the museum. A website,, provides further information about the project and complete documentation of the students’ projects.

Amherst College Portraits has been coordinated, and the related exhibition guest curated, by Betsy Siersma. The project has been made possible with generous support from the Office of the President and Amherst Art Series.


Walking Tour with the Artists
Thursday, November 29, 3:45 p.m.
Outdoor tour beginning at the Museum

Exhibition Opening Reception
Thursday, November 29, 5-8 p.m.

Publication available, May 2009
Who Am I in this Picture?: Amherst College Portraits
With Brett Cook and Wendy Ewald

$25.00 + $3.75 shipping and handling
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