Penelope Umbrico Kicks Off May Photography Lecture Series
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 16, 2013) — Penelope Umbrico, who is known for her work's examination of humanity, will kick off this year’s Robert C. May Photography Endowment Lecture Series with a talk at 4 p.m. Friday, Oct. 18, in the Worsham Theater in the University of Kentucky’s Student Center. Her exhibition, which will run from Oct. 18 through Nov. 10, will be on display in the Richard B. Freeman Gallery in the Art Museum at UK. Both the lecture and exhibition are free and open to the public.
Born in Philadelphia, Pa., Umbrico received a bachelor's degree in fine arts from the Ontario College of Art in Ontario, Canada, in 1980, and a master's degree from the School of Visual Arts in New York in 1989.
She is the recipient of several awards, including the 2012 Smithsonian Arts Research Fellowship and the 2011 Guggenheim Fellowship.
Umbrico’s work examines humanity by analyzing portraits and images from online sources and creating a collage that presents a snapshot of who we are. On her website, Umbrico describes her work as “take[ing] the sheer quantity of images online as a collective archive that represents us — a constantly changing auto-portrait. [She] view[s] all visual expression within this collectively emergent environment as potential for social signs that hint at something other than what they depict. The work is an accumulation that navigates between consumer and producer, materiality and immateriality, and individual and collective expression.”
Umbrico’s work has been featured in several solo and group exhibitions and can be seen in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
Presently, Umbrico serves as faculty in the School of Visual Arts MFA Photography, Video, and Related Media Program in New York where she resides.
With the help of Carl Corey, Catherine Opie and Eugene Richards, this year’s 2013-2014 Robert C. May Lecture Series “encompasses appropriation, portraiture, landscapes and socially concerned photography,” according to UK’s Art Museum website.
The mission of the Art Museum at UK, part of the UK College of Fine Arts, is to promote the understanding and appreciation of art to enhance the quality of life for the people of Kentucky through collecting, exhibiting, preserving and interpreting outstanding works of visual art from all cultures. Home to a collection of more than 4,500 objects, including American and European paintings, drawings, photographs, prints and sculpture, the Art Museum at UK presents both special exhibitions and shows of work from its permanent collection.
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