"Ed Colker: Five Decades in Print" opens at Bates Nov. 6

Ed Colker: Five Decades in Print” will open at the Bates College Museum of Art Friday, Nov. 6, at 7 p.m. with a lecture by and reception for the artist. The exhibition, on view through Friday, Dec. 18, highlights Colker’s career-long collaboration with poets with nearly 50 lithographs and etchings. Many of the bold abstract prints accompany the written word in what Colker describes as “illuminations” of poems by Walt Whitman, Pablo Neruda, Kathleen Norris and others. The public is invited to attend the opening and view the exhibit free of charge. Regular museum hours are Tuesday-Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sunday 1-5 p.m. The Bates College Museum of Art will be closed Thanksgiving Day. Guided tours for schools and other groups are welcome. Call 207-786-6158 for more information.

Colker describes the process of creating illuminations for poems as deriving from the French tradition of pairing writers with painters and other artists. “If one is successful, one can heighten the mood, one can design for new awareness and discovery, which, rather than distracting the reader, inspires an entry into the metaphor,” Colker said.

In addition to teaching and exhibiting, Colker received a Guggenheim Foundation fellowship in 1960 and was instrumental in the development of the Center for Editioned Works at State University of New York at Purchase, and the Borowsky Center for Publication Arts at his alma mater, the University of the Arts, Philadelphia, Pa. He also has served as provost at the University of the Arts, Cooper Union and the Pratt Institute. Colker’s art is collected by numerous museums, including the Museum of Modern Art, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Getty Research Institute, the National Museum in Stockholm and the Bates College Museum of Art.

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