On September 5, a new exhibit of student work opened in the Perakos Family Cares Art Gallery of the Thomas S. Perakos Arts and Community Center. “A Day in the Life of The Frederick Gunn School'' features photographs of school life taken last spring by students in Lincoln Turner’s Digital Photography class. The exhibit, which runs through September 27, is the first of five that are planned during the academic year under the direction of Turner, who has a new role as the school’s Gallerist.
Turner conceived of the role of the Gallerist as a way to ensure that student work and work by visiting artists will be shown continually in the school’s beautiful art gallery. The gallery was established with the support of the building’s namesake donor, Thomas Perakos ’69, and his family, and the Class of 1969, in celebration of their 50th reunion, and in honor of their beloved teacher and coach, Wallace H. Rowe III H’57 P’77 ’79.
“Certainly the passion behind it comes from just loving art, but also wanting to have visiting artists come to campus so students will be exposed to work that is local, national, and potentially international,” said Turner, who has organized a second show, “Waterfronts and Woodcuts,” featuring work by Don Gorvett, a Boston-born artist acclaimed for his hand-pulled color reduction woodcuts recording maritime subjects. Students, faculty, families, and the community are invited to meet the artist at an opening reception on October 19 from 5-6:30 p.m., during Fall Family Weekend. As an artist-in-residence, Gorvett will also speak with Gunn students in the classroom.
"Waterfronts and Woodcuts" will run from October 2 through November 11. The gallery will be open to the public Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Parking is available in the Upper Parking Lot off Kirby Road, with a limited number of accessible parking spaces outside the Thomas S. Perakos Arts and Community Center.
“As a school, we place a lot of value on educating a well-rounded student," Turner said. "I think that means you don't just know math and science and English and history and a language. You understand art and athletics, what it means to be part of a team, how to use your mind in different ways, and how to use your hands and think creatively. As a school, we want to encourage our students to do these things, and foster their ability to do them. One of the best ways to do that in the arts is by studying the work of other people.”
Self-taught when he first began exploring photography in his sophomore year at Pomfret School, Turner went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in photography and film production from Ithaca College, followed by his MFA in photography from the San Francisco Art Institute. As an artist, he specializes in 19th century printing processes, including kallitype, cyanotype, platinum and photogravure. Now in his eighth year at Gunn, he teaches black-and-white photography, printmaking, film studies, film production, and graphic design, and in recent years, has co-taught a popular Winterim course with Visual Arts Chair Andrew Richards P’20 ’23. Titled “The Histories of Art in Five Movements,” it engaged students in the study of art at the Museum of Fine Art in Boston, the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts, the Metropolitan Museum of Fine Art and the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford, and the Hillstead Museum in Farmington.
For this fall’s exhibit of student work,Turner sought to inspire his students by introducing them to a series of books created by American photographer Rick Smolan. The first book in the series, “A Day in the Life in Australia,” was published in 1980 and showcased images taken by 100 photographers in Australia within one 24-hour period. Turner’s students were challenged to create images based on the same concept.
“I wanted them to think more like photojournalists than students in a class just photographing their friends,” he explained. “They each picked a place where they would make photographs, outside of photographing their friends in the dorm, although some of them did that anyway. So we have some wonderful pictures of the students working in the Paula and George Krimsky Archives and Special Collections. There are kids setting up for the play, there are a few of sports. There is dorm life, there are photographs of the kitchen, there is the health center. The intention was to try to get them to think outside of the normal boundaries of their life here.”
The students' work will remain on view in the Richard C. Colton, Jr. '60 Arts Wing through Fall Family Weekend in October.
In December, the Perakos Family Cares Art Gallery will feature a new exhibit of student work created in the Technique and Artistry co-curricular program led by Richards. Turner is planning to two additional exhibits, one featuring a visiting artist, and one featuring student work, to the gallery in the winter and spring of 2024, respectively. For questions about the gallery, or to express interest in exhibiting work, please email email@example.com.