Three Coming Exhibitions Display Powerful Messages, Deeper Meanings


“Untitled (flag IV)” by Rodney McMillan, 2012. Courtesy of the artist, Macaroni Gallery, New York, and Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects.

With art becoming a more prominent part of the Wichita scene, local museums are turning their attention towards displaying art about topics that are of interest to the community.

For Sally Frater, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Ulrich Museum of Art, an increased interest in art provides added reason to put together exhibitions that will capture the eyes, hearts and minds of anyone who visits.

“One of the things I firmly believe in is attempting to underscore the relevance of art in everyday life,” Frater said. “For people who are not that familiar with contemporary art, it can be intimidating. I’m interested in furthering the dialogue so that people can see the roles that art plays in their lives.”

To accomplish that goal, Frater has spent almost a year planning the exhibitions that will open in the Ulrich Museum on Sept. 8. These exhibitions include ‘Looking at The Overlooked,’ ‘The Slow Reckoning,’ and ‘Unmoored Geographies.’ ‘Unmoored Geographies’ will be on view in the Beren Gallery from Sept. 8, 2017 to March 25, 2018 and in the Amsden Gallery from Sept. 9 to Dec. 10.

Through her research of artwork and planning, Frater has selected works that have powerful messages and are rich in meaning.

“I curate the work that I do because I personally feel moved by it,” Frater said. “I think it’s the artists’ own thoughtfulness, their approach to current issues and response through their art that makes it so powerful.”

In addition to the artwork on display, several of the artists featured in the exhibitions will be coming to WSU for performances and artist talks.

Jennifer Lane, Public Relations and Marketing Manager at the Ulrich Museum, believes these kinds of opportunities for public involvement are a significant part of the museum’s mission.

“Everything we do here should complement the art that we’re showing — that’s what we strive for,” Lane said. “All of the artists in these exhibitions are very well accomplished, and it’s a big deal that we continuously bring such established artists to Wichita.”

With the focus of these exhibitions being important issues and the messages surrounding them in a greater context, Frater hopes that viewers will appreciate the depth.

“I’ve personally found the pieces on display here to be engaging and dynamic,” Frater said. “They have led me to reflect more deeply on a number of issues, and I’m hoping our visitors will be moved to do the same.”

The opening reception for the three exhibitions will be held on Sept. 8 from 7 to 9 p.m. in the museum. The event is free, open to the public and includes snacks and live music.

Artist Talks and Performances:

Prior to all events, a reception will be held beginning at 5:30 p.m. in the Ulrich Museum. All performances and artist talks will be held in the CAC Theater.

Performance by Nathaniel Donnett: “I Can Show You Better Than I Can Tell You: Black Vernacular” 6:15 p.m. Tue., Sept. 12.

Artist talk by Diedrick Brackens: “You Will Look Back On This and Smile” 6 p.m. Thu., Oct. 12

Artist talk by Rodney McMillian: 6:15 p.m. Tue., Oct. 17

Artist talk by Jamal Cyrus: “Close To Home” 6:15 p.m. Tue., Nov. 28