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(PDF) (DOC) (JPG)September 6, 2002

(Mahwah) – An exhibition of photographs by Chris Verene, Selections from the Galesburg Series, will open Wednesday, September 18 in the Pascal Gallery at Ramapo College of New Jersey. An opening reception is scheduled from 5 to 7 p.m.; a curator’s talk is at 6:30 p.m. The exhibit runs through October 25. One of the photos to be exhibited at Ramapo is currently in the Whitney Museum’s show, Visions from America: Photographs from the Whitney Museum of American Art, 1940 – 2001.

Fourteen years ago, as a teenager growing up in Galesburg, Illinois, Verene began photographing family members, friends and other citizens of the town. The photos are featured in his recently-published book, Chris Verene. His ambitious vision for the work is to follow his subjects for life. In an interview in the May 2002 Parkett, Verene states, “With the Galesburg work I feel that in order to get really complex parts of people’s lives, I have to actually be part of that with them. . . if I am in their life – and am planning to be for the present and future – I feel like from that point I can tell their story, whether it’s joyful or sorrowful, but I have to be committed to how they feel about it.”

Exhibit curator David Freund, a photography professor at Ramapo College, says, “Verene’s photographs dodge the bullet of looking like art: surely, their surface resemblance to snapshots will make most viewers feel he is talking to them, that they can trust the seemingly artless view before them to be the truth, not a world adjusted to accommodate an artist’s agenda.”

Verene, who teaches at the School for Visual Arts in New York, was a collaborator on the PBS series, Egg, The Art Show, and is the subject of numerous articles including ones that ran in the New York Times Magazine, Artforum, Art in America, Harper’s Magazine and The New Yorker. His photographs are in the collection of the Whitney Museum of American Art, The Birmingham Museum of Art, the Hartsfield International Airport and the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, among others. His work has been featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions. He performs as a vocalist and drummer with the indie-rock/Latin-rock band, Cordero, and has appeared on a number of recordings.

He has been a guest lecturer at Sarah Lawrence College, the University of Central Arkansas, University of Georgia, Emory University, Cooper Union and Bard College, and, in addition to the School for Visual Arts, taught at Atlanta College of Art and Emory University.

The Pascal Gallery is located in the Angelica and Russ Berrie Center for Performing and Visual Arts. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Friday from 1 to 5 p.m. For more information, contact Gallery Director Sydney Jenkins, (201) 684-7147.

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Ramapo College of New Jersey is the state’s premier public liberal arts college and is committed to academic excellence through interdisciplinary and experiential learning, and international and intercultural understanding. The College is ranked #1 among New Jersey public institutions by College Choice, and is recognized as a top college by U.S. News & World Report, Kiplinger’s, Princeton Review and Money magazine, among others. Ramapo College is also distinguished as a Career Development College of Distinction by CollegesofDistinction.com, boasts the best campus housing in New Jersey on Niche.com, and is designated a “Military Friendly College” in Victoria Media’s Guide to Military Friendly Schools.

Established in 1969, Ramapo College offers bachelor’s degrees in the arts, business, humanities, social sciences and the sciences, as well as in professional studies, which include business, education, nursing and social work. In addition, the College offers courses leading to teacher certification at the elementary and secondary levels, and offers graduate programs leading to master’s degrees in Accounting, Business Administration, Educational Technology, Educational Leadership, Nursing, Social Work and Special Education.

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