Digital Collections at SLU

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Monday is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and also the first day of the spring semester here at St. Lawrence.

Signs Readied for Washington March, August 27, 1963

Martin Luther King, Jr., gave his landmark “I Have a Dream” speech as part of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom on August 28, 1963.   This photograph was taken on August 27 as protesters prepared for the march.  The gallery recently acquired a group of press photographs related to the civil rights movement in the US.  We  are working on digitizing these photographs, which will be studied this semester in Mary Jane Smith’s History 273 class, “The History of the Civil Rights Movement.”

A sacred song service called “Let Freedom Sing” will be held on Monday, January 21, at 5 p.m. in Gunnison Memorial Chapel for the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday.  The service will include a reflection by President William L. Fox and is open to the public.

Baron la Croix Nègre l'Intermédiaire by Constant


We’ve begun a new digital collection of artwork.  The Global Studio features non-Western work from the permanent collection, so it encompasses quite a variety.   Included are a selection of Buddhist works such as thangka paintings, some Jain manuscripts, and a group of Haitian vodou flags which were acquired just this summer.  We hope to add more objects soon.


We are pleased to introduce North of Sixty, the gallery’s new Drupal-based digital image collection of Canadian Inuit prints and drawings.  Drupal is an open-source content management system that is highly customizable and in this instance able to incorporate resources and contextualize information to enhance viewers’ understanding and appreciation of works of art.  Eric Williams-Bergen, SLU science librarian and expert in all things digital, has been crucial in establishing a workflow for digital image collections and has created this Drupal site with its dynamic display of images, ease of use, and enhanced display capabilities.

Cathy developed the idea for this online collection as a result of her longstanding interest in Inuit art and two trips to Nunavut in 2000 and 2004.  Since the early 1990s, the gallery has been exhibiting and collecting Inuit art, and the creation of an online database for teaching and research can provide the campus community with quick access to this rich resource.  With SLU programs in Canadian Studies and Environmental Studies, the Inuit art collection can be used to discuss nature, town and camp life, spirituality and religion, and other topics.

3 prints and a drawing in the art storage room

The digital collection has been several months in the making, with digital photography and cataloguing taking place during the 2009-2010 academic year.

digital photography in the gallery

As part of the process, Carole set up the gallery as a photography studio.  She and Arline Wolfe, who has assisted with numerous digital projects for the gallery, worked together on the post-processing of images, including renaming and cropping image files, color correcting, and other tasks.  Arline uploaded and catalogued the images, adding metadata in CONTENTdm, a database program used by many academic libraries, galleries, and archives.  In addition, the Brush Gallery was one of the first institutions to contribute a significant body of Inuit prints and drawings to ARTstor, an international digital image library that provides resources for the arts, architecture, humanities, and sciences.  Cathy and Carole also compiled the new site’s art bibliography with additional links to other online resources.

Kudos to Cathy and Eric for making this amazing collection possible!

– Carole Mathey and Arline Wolfe

Hatch Kingdom | Stickerkitty

International Sticker Exhibition


Fresh Paint – Peint Frais

Edition III

Hatch Kingdom, the only sticker museum in the world, has collaborated with Catherine Tedford, a.k.a. Stickerkitty, to present an exhibition of street art stickers and photographs from Berlin and New York City, with additional pieces from cities across Europe and North America.  As part of a larger exhibition entitled Edition III, which includes work by contemporary muralists, graffiti artists, photographers, and others, the international sticker exhibition will be on display at Fresh Paint Gallery, Montréal, Québec, from December 2, 2011, through January 29, 2011.

Founded by Oliver Baudach in 2008, Hatch Kingdom began as a small gallery space in Berlin’s alternative Friedrichsain district to serve as a platform for stickers, sticker artists, skateboard fans, and collectors.  An expanded Hatch HQ is now located in central Mitte, with two gallery spaces devoted to Oli’s ever-growing sticker collection, now numbering well over 25,000 stickers, and one gallery for rotating exhibitions by young urban street artists.

Catherine directs St. Lawrence University’s art gallery in Canton, NY, and has been actively collecting stickers since 2003, having now collected over 6,000 original stickers by hand, primarily from Berlin and NYC, with stickers also from Hamburg, Munich, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Cambridge (MA), Ottawa, Toronto, Amsterdam, Budapest, and other cities in western and central Europe.  Part of the collection is being digitized and can be found at SLU’s gallery Web site.  Catherine has presented papers at academic conferences for the College Art Association, the Visual Resources Association, and the International Arts in Society; in 2012, she will present a paper entitled “WTF.  It’s Only a Sticker” at the annual CAA conference in Los Angeles.  Check her Stickerkitty blog for more information.

The exhibition at Fresh Paint also includes six original drawings and collages from “Oversized and Underpriced,” a project initiated by Oliver Baudach in which artworks on oversized sticker printouts are sold at low prices with proceeds to benefit Skateistan, a skateboarding school in Kabul, Afghanistan, for young boys and girls.

In addition to art, music, and tagging stickers, political stickers in the exhibition from Germany and the U.S. focus on anti-authority, anti-capitalism, post-9/11 surveillance measures, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the 2008 US Presidential election, the environment, oil consumption, and the economy.  Examples of these were included in a recent gallery exhibition at St. Lawrence in 2010, which was based in part on a summer research grant from the Center for International and Intercultural Studies in which three students and an alumnus traveled to Berlin and Munich to study street art.


Last Friday, the Upstate New York chapter of the Visual Resources Association met for its semiannual meeting at the Brush Gallery.

After a brief business meeting, Jesse Henderson from Colgate described the function of  the  Colgate Visual Resources Library site, and John Hosford talked about the use of Libguides at Alfred University’s School of Art and Design.   Cathy spoke about digital collections at the Brush Gallery, and how we are using CONTENTdm and ARTstor, with emphasis on the Roy Collection of West African Textiles.

At the end of the day, we looked at a selection of textiles — I think the VRA’ers enjoyed seeing the real objects since they work mainly with digital surrogates.

Last week, Cathy and I made a super speedy trip to NYC to meet with Joe Dezzi at Conservation Framing Services to talk about framing a group of 36 Inuit prints.  The prints are from the 2009 Dorset Fine Arts annual collection and mark the 50th anniversary of the print shop in Cape Dorset.  The prints will be exhibited at the Canadian Embassy in Washington, D.C. this summer.

Joe helped us choose frame stock and determine the size of the mats — important details!

Here are a few photos of the very organized frameshop!

At an African Studies meeting this afternoon, I’ll be presenting information about the Nsukka artists and contemporary Nigerian art digital collection project that the Gallery is working on this year.  Here are some of the artists in the project and a few blog resources.

ARTSPEAKAFRICA, Bisi Silva’s blog of Nigerian art and artists.

African Artists on Nsukka artists.

Victor Ekpuk, Ekpuk’s drawing performance, Amsterdam, 2008, and Prisoner of Conscience painting.

embedded by Embedded Video

Victor Ekpuk’s drawing performanceScreen shot 2010-03-04 at 11.19.11 AM

Marcia Kure.

Ulli Beier (Wikipedia); Mbari housesexhibition at SLU.

Ofodunka, blog of Chika Okeke-Agulu.

St. Lawrence University