Tyler Clementi Center and Zimmerli Partner to Present “The Letter Q at R.U.,” Unveil Chihuly Sculpture on November 3

October 21, 2013

Tyler Clementi Center and Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers Partner

to Present “The Letter Q at R.U.,” Unveil Chihuly Sculpture on November 3

New Brunswick, NJ – The Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers announces the donation of “Rivera Blue Macchia Chartreuse Lip Wrap” (2007) by Dale Chihuly, in memory of Tyler Clementi. The Trevor Project, in conjunction with the Tyler Clementi Center at Rutgers, facilitated the gift from Michael Sodomick. The formal unveiling of the glass sculpture takes place on Sunday, November 3, following the program “The Letter Q at R.U.,” which begins at 1 p.m. in Voorhees Hall (Room 105), adjacent to the Zimmerli. The events are free and open to the public.

The Letter Q at R.U.” presents Rutgers students reciting their own “notes to their younger selves,” which they composed during a workshop with James Lecesne, one of the founders of The Trevor Project and a contributing editor of “The Letter Q: Queer Writers' Notes to Their Younger Selves,” a 2012 anthology with contributions from 64 award-winning authors and illustrators. In addition, James Clementi shares his “Letters to My Brother,” honoring his younger sibling’s memory.

The installation “A Gift in Honor of Tyler Clementi: Dale Chihuly’s Rivera Blue Macchia Chartreuse Lip Wrap” is on view at the Zimmerli through July 31, 2014. The sculpture, along with information about the Tyler Clementi Center and The Trevor Project, is installed in the museum’s David and Lillian Lilien Gallery. “This tranquil space allows for personal contemplation of Chihuly’s remarkable glass sculpture and the role of art in the healing process,” states Suzanne Delehanty, director of the museum.

"My decision to donate the Chihuly sculpture was born out of my desire to help bring more awareness to the Trevor Project and, of course, to honor the memory of Tyler Clementi," explains Michael Sodomick. He purchased the sculpture at an annual Trevor Project benefit in Los Angeles and wanted to donate it to a museum. Sodomick considered Rutgers as an ideal home for the artwork and his friend James Lecesne put him in touch with colleagues at the university.

“The Dale Chihuly sculpture is an especially meaningful gift for Rutgers,” says Rick Lee, the Tyler Clementi Center's associate director, who has worked at the university since 1997 and been involved with The Trevor Project since 2006. "Its arrival at the Zimmerli in the same year as the establishment of the Tyler Clementi Center – and during what would have been Tyler's senior year – is timely and fitting," notes Lee.

The donation of a Chihuly sculpture to the Zimmerli’s permanent collection is a milestone for the museum in its efforts to collect, research, and exhibit significant developments in contemporary American art. “Chihuly is recognized as the world’s most important glass artist, in part because he challenged traditional notions of the medium’s limitations. His innovative vision and techniques – based on a collaborative approach to glass blowing – have changed the scale and focus of contemporary glass,” Donna Gustafson, Andrew W. Mellon Liaison for Academic Programs and Curator, points out.

Dale Chihuly (American, born 1941) is known for his large scale, complex, and virtuoso blown-glass sculptures. Whether individually displayed or grouped together – creating chandeliers that sprout from floors and ceilings, outdoor fields of translucent flowers, even aquarium habitats – his work captures nature with a vibrancy and energy that is not possible in other mediums. In the early 1980s, Chihuly initiated the “Macchia” series, highly eccentric vessels that combine densely colored and transparent glass that generate interplay between reflection and opacity. The “Rivera Blue Macchia Chartreuse Lip Wrap” envelops nature at every curve, becoming a world of its own at three feet in diameter and 21 inches deep. The exterior is an array of autumnal shades, resembling swirling leaves on a crisp, windy day. But across the scalloped chartreuse lip, the interior wall transforms into an inverted ocean: a deep blue near the top gently lightens until it reaches a sunburst on the bottom, suggesting yet another universe on the other side. The gently undulating surfaces of the sculpture evoke a sense of serenity.

This installation is supported by an endowment fund established by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

The Tyler Clementi Center at Rutgers, a collaboration between the Tyler Clementi Foundation and the university, strives to create and share knowledge about young people making the transition to college and coming of age in the digital era. Independently and in partnership with organizations and units within and beyond Rutgers, the Tyler Clementi Center promotes interdisciplinary research, education, and programs that focus on examining and improving the experiences of youth.

Among its research initiatives are a set of working groups on a diverse range of topics. “Digital Lives Project” investigates the locations and practices of new media and social media in daily life for young adults. “Issues in Higher Education” is invested in fostering a genuinely inclusive and diverse campus for students, faculty, and professional staff. “Queer Pedagogies” focuses on creating and maintaining safe and intellectually stimulating learning environments that help students succeed at a crucial transitional time in their lives. “Transition and Trauma” draws upon the extensive archive of trauma studies to explore how youth confront and cope with trauma during transitional periods in their lives. Engaging with the dual meanings of “transition,” “TSQUARED2” focuses on the college transition experience for transgender and gender non-conforming youth.

Founded in 1998 by James Lecesne, Peggy Rajski and Randy Stone, The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth. In its determination to end suicide among LGBTQ youth, Trevor operates the only nationwide, 24/7 crisis intervention lifeline for LGBTQ teens and young adults and provides life-saving and life-affirming resources in the digital community, as well as through advocacy and educational programs, that create a safe, supportive and positive environment for everyone.

ZIMMERLI ART MUSEUM|RUTGERS

The Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum houses more than 60,000 works of art, ranging from ancient to contemporary art. The permanent collection features particularly rich holdings in 19th-century French art; Russian art from icons to the avant-garde; Soviet nonconformist art from the Dodge Collection; and American art with notable holdings of prints. In addition, small groups of antiquities, old master paintings, as well as art inspired by Japan and original illustrations for children’s books, provide representative examples of the museum’s research and teaching message at Rutgers. One of the largest and most distinguished university-based art museums in the nation, the Zimmerli is located on the New Brunswick campus of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. Established in 1766, Rutgers is America’s eighth oldest institution of higher learning and a premier public research university.

SUPPORT

The Zimmerli Art Museum is supported by Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, as well as the income from the Avenir Foundation Endowment Fund, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Endowment Fund, and the Voorhees Family Endowment Fund, among others. Additional support comes from the Estate of Victoria J. Mastrobuono and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts. Contributions from other corporations, foundations, and individuals, as well as earned income, also provide vital annual support for the Zimmerli’s operations and programs.

LOCATION

The Zimmerli Art Museum is located at 71 Hamilton Street at George Street on the College Avenue campus of Rutgers University in New Brunswick. The Zimmerli is a short walk from the NJ Transit train station in New Brunswick, midway between New York City and Philadelphia.

MUSEUM AND Z CAFÉ HOURS

Hours are Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m., and the first Wednesday of each month (except August), 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Z Café featuring the Food Architects is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., with a variety of breakfast, lunch, and snack items. The museum is closed Mondays, major holidays, and the month of August.

ADMISSION

Admission is $6 for adults; $5 for 65 and over; and free for museum members, children under 18, and Rutgers students, faculty, and staff (with ID). Admission is free on the first Sunday of every month. For more information, call 848.932.7237 or visit the museum’s website: www.zimmerlimuseum.rutgers.edu

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