KU News: Upcoming photo exhibition at Spencer Museum of Art, new University Scholars

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Photos by Accra Shepp at Spencer Museum of Art document Occupy Wall Street, COVID-19
LAWRENCE — A new exhibition, “Dissent, Discontent, and Action: Pictures of US by Accra Shepp,” opens Feb. 18 at the Spencer Museum of Art. Through two portrait series, “Occupying Wall Street” and “The Covid Journals,” New York-based contemporary photographer Accra Shepp reveals a sense of community, hope and resilience during an era of tremendous social, political and environmental change.

New class of University Scholars announced
LAWRENCE — The 42nd class of University Scholars and their faculty mentors were recognized during a reception hosted by the University of Kansas Honors Program on Feb. 9 in Nunemaker Center. The new University Scholars include Kansas undergraduates from Lawrence, Linn, McPherson, Olathe, Overland Park and Prairie Village.

Full stories below.

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Contact: Elizabeth Kanost, Spencer Museum of Art, 785-864-0142, [email protected], @SpencerMuseum
Photos by Accra Shepp at Spencer Museum of Art document Occupy Wall Street, COVID-19

LAWRENCE — A new exhibition, “Dissent, Discontent, and Action: Pictures of US by Accra Shepp,” opens Feb. 18 at the Spencer Museum of Art. Through two portrait series, “Occupying Wall Street” and “The Covid Journals,” New York-based contemporary photographer Accra Shepp reveals a sense of community, hope and resilience during an era of tremendous social, political and environmental change.
Shepp began photographing the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations in New York’s Zuccotti Park on Oct. 1, 2011. He was drawn to the sea of individuals as a photographic subject, based in part on his observation of the crowd’s diversity. In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, Shepp again captured portraits of the people in his city. The series began at Elmhurst Hospital, just a few blocks from Shepp’s home in Queens, during a moment when the hospital was filling with COVID-19 patients. Later that year, Shepp’s attention shifted to demonstrations and the outcry for justice that occurred after the deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd.
Shepp said his work speaks to the responsibility of artists to “make present important historical moments and conditions.”
All 39 photos in the show are printed at a large scale in black and white, providing a sense of continuity although the series were made nearly a decade apart. Kate Meyer, Spencer Museum curator, said that uniting these two groups of photos for the first time in a gallery provides a unique viewing opportunity.
“Together these images prompt us to think about how the same issues of equity and justice that drove protesters to the streets in 2011 became even more relevant during the pandemic and continue to shape our society today,” Meyer said.
Shepp will visit the Spencer Museum later this spring to engage with KU classes and the public. “Dissent, Discontent, and Action” will remain on view through June 25. It is co-curated by Meyer and Luke Jordan, the Spencer Museum’s photography specialist and lecturer in KU’s Department of Visual Art. The exhibition and related programs are supported by KU Student Senate and the Linda Inman Bailey Exhibitions Fund.
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Contact: Dustin Vann, University Honors Program, [email protected], @KUHonors
New class of University Scholars announced
LAWRENCE — The 42nd class of University Scholars and their faculty mentors were recognized during a reception hosted by the University of Kansas Honors Program at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 9 in Nunemaker Center. Attendees celebrated this year’s scholars and mentors with refreshments and heard remarks from Sarah Crawford-Parker, University Honors Program director, and faculty member Nathan Wood.
The University Scholars Program recognizes and encourages sophomores who have demonstrated intellectual achievement and curiosity. Selected students receive a $1,500 scholarship, are assigned an Honors Faculty Fellow as a mentor that supports their academic interests and participate in a seminar course that promotes interdisciplinary engagement on a topic of contemporary interest.
This spring’s seminar is taught by Wood, associate professor of history. “Technology and Society” will encourage students to apply a historical lens to the technological innovations that shape our world.
“I hope students will think differently about their relationship to technology, reflecting on how its history can provide analogies for understanding our connection to technologies today,” Wood said. “A historical perspective on technology helps us to be humbler about what it can achieve, more realistic in our assessments of its novelty and sober about the inequalities that have been intrinsic to its use.”
The 2023 University Scholars are listed below alphabetically with major, hometown and faculty mentor:
1. Zakariya Ahmed, interdisciplinary computing major from Overland Park, mentored by Thom Allen, assistant teaching professor of architecture.
2. Levi Cromwell, classical languages and history major from McPherson, mentored by Darren Canady, director of undergraduate studies and professor of English.
3. Andrea Gunara, behavioral neuroscience major from Leander, Texas, mentored by Stephanie Zelnick, professor of clarinet.
4. Molly Handelman, music therapy major from Highland Park, Illinois, mentored by Nilou Vakil, associate professor of architecture & design.
5. Brinley Hull, computer science major from Prairie Village, mentored by Yvonnes Chen, professor of journalism & mass communications.
6. Kanchan Khemani, business analytics and information systems major from Gandhinagar, Gujarat, India, mentored by Nilou Vakil.
7. Shreya Koduri, molecular, cellular & developmental biology major from Overland Park, mentored by Katie Batza, director of graduate studies and associate professor of women, gender & sexuality studies.
8. Carly Kolle, biology major from Linn, mentored by Katie Rhine, associate professor of African & African-American studies and geography & atmospheric science.
9. Shamaria Massenburg, a multimedia journalism major from Knightdale, North Carolina, mentored by Yvonnes Chen.
10. Caleb Prescott, aerospace engineering major from Lawrence, mentored by Mary Klayder, associate director of undergraduate studies and senior lecturer in English.
11. Diego Prieto, microbiology major from Bogotá, Colombia, mentored by Kyle Camarda, associate professor of chemical & petroleum engineering.
12. Aarush Sehgal, molecular, cellular & developmental biology major from Chandigarh, India, mentored by Kyle Camarda.
13. Kalie Traverse, a molecular, cellular & developmental biology major from Olathe, mentored by Mary Klayder.
14. Hoang Viet Le, a microbiology major from Bien Hoa, Dong Nai, Vietnam, mentored by Elizabeth MacGonagle, associate professor of African & African-American studies and history.
15. Emily Ward, an anthropology and political science major from Edinburg, Texas, mentored by Katie Batza.
Created to recognize and encourage academically talented and motivated sophomores, University Scholars was founded in 1982 under the leadership of retired U.S. 10th Circuit Chief Judge Deanell Tacha, then KU’s vice chancellor for academic affairs, along with longtime University Honors Program director Francis Heller, the Roy A. Roberts Distinguished Professor of Law and Political Science.

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