'Farewell,' exhibit curated by Don Desmett, on display at the Richmond Center

contact: Cara Barnes
| WMU News

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—The art exhibit "Farewell: Prints from the WMU Gwen Frostic School of Art University Permanent Collection" will be on display at Western Michigan University's Monroe-Brown Gallery in the Richmond Center for Visual Arts through Friday, May 27.

Farewell has been curated by RCVA Director of Exhibitions Don Desmett. He will be retiring in June after 30 years of work in higher education and the visual arts, most notably his ten years as founding director of exhibitions at the Richmond Center

About the University Permanent Collection

The collection was started by Frostic School of Art faculty emeritus Curtis Rhodes in the early 1960s and has been added to throughout the years from gifts to the University as well as purchases made by the University Permanent Art Collection Committee. In 2012, Desmett secured a large gift from the non-profit cultural organization EXIT Art, of nine portfolios totaling 67 prints by emerging and established artists working in New York City. Several of these prints are included in the exhibition.

About the exhibit

Desmett has chosen, from the University's expansive collection of contemporary prints, many artists who emerged on the contemporay scene through Desmett’s education and professional career. From Joseph Beuys' "Democracy is Merry," created in 1973, to the latest addition to the collection, a work from 2015 by the South African artist, Haroon Gunn-Salie. Desmett also gives a nod to other important prints in the collection, including Robert Rauschenberg’s "Booster," Jennifer Bartlett’s "Houses," Sol LeWitt's "Ten Thousand Straight Lines" and Leon Golub’s "Why Me!"

Don Desmett

In additional to his work at WMU, Desmett spent 10 years at Temple University’s Tyler School of Art Galleries in Philadelphia. He also served three years as director of exhibitions and collections at the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts and was the first director/curator at the Cleveland State University Art Gallery, starting in 1986.

Desmett says that this exhibition seemed fitting for his last show at the RCVA. "It’s a great collection to be able to exhibit, and one of my many proud moments at the RCVA was securing the EXIT Art gift [which contained some of the prints featured in this exhibit]. 'Farewell' is not so much a goodbye but moving on, with the hope that I built a strong foundation of exhibitions and programming on which the RCVA will continue to develop and expand."

Gallery hours

RCVA galleries are open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

For more information, contact Don Desmett at donald.desmett@wmich.edu or (269) 387-2455.

For more news, arts and events, visit wmich.edu/news.