FAC art exhibit shows off Winslow

Harold Winslow’s exhibit, “Una Visión de la Mexicanidad” has a home at the fine arts center’s second floor art gallery until Saturday

Michael McKay

WKU has brought a little more international reach to campus with an art exhibit from expatriate Harold Winslow.

The exhibition, on display through Saturday in the fine arts center, “Una Visión de la Mexicanidad,” features 50 of Winslow’s pieces.

Winslow was a black artist born in 1918 in Dayton, Ohio, but later moved to Mexico in 1940 because he felt he could grow more as an artist without dealing with racism in America. In Mexico, he studied with and was influenced by iconic mexican painters like Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo.

“He’s really been rescued out of obscurity by the foundation that has been collecting and exhibiting his works,” said gallery director Kristina Arnold. “There were so many greats of that time that he was lost in the shuffle.”

Arnold, along with Edmonton senior Stephanie Sexton, a gallery assistant, installed the gallery in about a day. The two crates that housed the exhibit each weighed 500 pounds.

Arnold said she is happy with the feedback she’s received.

“We’ve had a really amazing reaction to this exhibition,” Arnold said. “It’s an international exhibition which is unusual for us to get, and the quality of the work is something that has already stood the test of time.”

Arnold said that one of the strengths of the collection is the span of time in which Winslow created art.

“He worked over a series of decades. We are the beneficiaries of seeing the best of the work over 20-plus years,” Arnold said. “Often we’ll have artists in here that are emerging. They haven’t been working 25 years, let alone have somebody come in and pick out the very best.”

The Winslow exhibition came to the FAC with sponsorship from the Kentucky Institute for International Studies.

Rebekah Golla, communications and marketing coordinator for KIIS, said the relationship between their organization and Michoacán, Mexico, allowed different art exhibitions to come to America for the past four years.

“We wanted to provide opportunities for students and faculty to experience Mexican culture in a tangible way,” Golla said.

In the future, KIIS may sponsor exhibitions from other countries, Golla said.

“We may look for other avenues of bridging the gap between cultures and helping people to experience another aspect of not only Mexican culture, but we’re open to working with organizations in other countries to bring in other types of exhibits or speakers,” Golla said.

WKU is the first stop for the exhibition, which will next travel to Somerset Technical and Community College next as it continues a tour of 11 different colleges around Kentucky and Tennessee.