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Fairfield U. Art Museum Unveils Monumental Works By Connecticut Artist

Artist Rick Shaefer with "Land Crossing," 2016. The triptych was executed in charcoal on vellum mounted on board.
Artist Rick Shaefer with "Land Crossing," 2016. The triptych was executed in charcoal on vellum mounted on board. Photo Credit: www.rickshaefer.com

FAIRFIELD, Conn. -- The Fairfield University Art Museum will present the inaugural exhibition of a monumental new series by Connecticut artist Rick Shaefer created in response to the ongoing refugee crisis convulsing the globe.

The Refugee Trilogy will run at the Walsh Gallery, Quick Center for the Arts from Sept. 8 to Oct. 22 with an opening reception that is free and open to the public on Wednesday, Sept. 7, from 6 to 7:30 p.m.

This three-piece suite is comprised of Land Crossing, dealing with the migration across foreign lands; Water Crossing, addressing the perilous journeys of refugees who take to the open seas; and Border Crossing, spotlighting the hostilities refugees face in seeking safe haven far from a violence-torn homeland.

In addition to the triptych, each executed in charcoal on vellum, the exhibition will include a number of Shaefer’s preparatory drawings for the series. Programs planned in conjunction with this exhibition include an opening night lecture, “Rubens and the Art of Appropriation,” by Stijn Alsteens, Curator, The Metropolitan Museum of Art; The Syrian Refugee Crisis: Over Land and Sea--a panel discussion with Silvia Marsans-Sakly, assistant professor of history, Islamic World, Julie Whittaker ’12, founder, Amal Foundation, Wendy Christian, associate vice president, marketing and communication, Save the Children USA, and artist Rick Shaefer; a lecture by Lisa Brody, Yale University, “Dura-Europos: Exploring and Preserving Cultural Heritage in Roman Syria”; and a film screening of Salam Neighbor followed by a conversation with the film’s director, Chris Temple.

An Artists Talk with Rick Shaefer and innovative South African playwright Brett Bailey, whose new work in progress, “The Raft,” is also a response to the current refugee crisis and, like Shaefer’s pictorial series, finds inspiration in Géricault’s haunting Raft of the Medusa, completes the program.

All events are free and open to the public. Advance registration is requested. For more information call (203)-254-4046 or email museum@fairfield.edu.

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