Rowan University Art Gallery

Willie Cole: Deep Impressions

Opening Reception: Thursday, January 19, 2012

Willie Cole : Deep Impressions

January 16 - March 10, 2012


Willie Cole and Patterson Sims - A Dialog

Tuesday, February 21, 2012, 3:00 pm


Willie Cole: Deep Impressions features Cole's prints drawings, and sculptures. Rowan University Art Gallery is the first and only venue in the South Jersey region that will be hosting this 30-year Cole survey.


This program is made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts. Further recognition received from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts honored the gallery and this exhibition with a Citation of Excellence award.


Talk by Willie Cole and Patterson Sims, Tuesday, February 21, 3:00 pm in Westby Hall sponsored in part by the Office of Multicultural Affairs and in collaboration with the African American Studies program.



The Rowan University Art Gallery is particularly pleased to host Willie Cole: Deep Impressions. Carefully chosen by guest curator Patterson Sims from nearly 30 years of work, the exhibition unites personal history, urban and racial realities, and cultural and religious faith and diversity. Cole's art situates his life-long New Jersey experience in the context of US and global political life, mirroring the consumer society and the financial anxiety of our times. His deft and probing drawings, prints, and sculptures ingeniously transform everyday consumer products into images and objects of refreshing energy, beauty, and spirituality. It is hoped that this exhibition will prompt discussion across the range of areas that Cole brilliantly explores and combines in his artistic practice - art, sociology, history, anthropology, multiculturalism, politics, and spiritualism. While Rowan University continues its dramatic growth and redefinition as an interdisciplinary and international center of learning, this project heralds the maturation of the Art Gallery as a cultural destination and potent resource for the Rowan community of students, faculty, staff, and the general public.

The artist studied at the Boston University School of Fine Arts and received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the School of Visual Arts in New York in 1976. Among his many honors is the 2006 David C. Driskell Prize, the first national award to honor and celebrate contributions to the field of African American art and art history, established by the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, Georgia. The artist's work is found in numerous private and public collections and museums around the world, including the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, New York; the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.; the Baltimore Museum of Art; the Philadelphia Museum of Art; and the Montclair Art Museum, the Newark Museum of Art and the New Jersey State Museum in New Jersey.


Born and raised near Philadelphia, curator Patterson Sims' career has focused on the modern and contemporary field, with a specialty in American modernism and contemporary art. He has worked on projects with diverse foundations and museums, lecturing, writing, teaching, organizing exhibitions and consulting with private collectors. Sims has authored books on Ellsworth Kelly, Jan Matulka, Philip Pearlstein, the Whitney Museum collection and Willie Cole. He has served as Director of the Montclair Art Museum, as Deputy Director for Research Support at The Museum of Modern Art, Assistant Director for the O.K. Harris Gallery in SOHO; Associate Director for Art and Exhibitions and Curator of Modern Art at the Seattle Art Museum and the first curator of the Whitney Museum's collection of 20th century American art.


For more information, call 856-256-4521 or visit Rowan University Art Gallery is located on the lower level of Westby Hall / Parking Lot A, Route 322 in Glassboro, NJ.