AU Press Releases

Alumnus creating 'The Religion' for exhibit in Fosdick-Nelson Gallery

“The Religion,” a new installation by Michael Jones McKean, Alfred University (AU) alumnus and 2010 Guggenheim Fellow, opens Friday, Nov. 1 with a reception from 7-9 p.m. in The Fosdick-Nelson Gallery, Harder Hall, School of Art and Design. The public is welcome; admission is free.

McKean will also give a Career Talk, open to the public, on Tuesday, Oct. 29 at 5 p.m. in Binns Merrill Hall, Room 106.

“The Religion” runs through Monday, Dec. 2, 2013. The Gallery is open 11 a.m.-4 p.m. weekdays and 1-3 p.m. weekends; the Gallery is closed during University holidays.

McKean will be in residence in the School of Art and Design for 12 days prior to the exhibition opening to construct this new installation for the Gallery. The main component of his project, a linked series of boxy vitrines (small rooms and niches saturated in color), will house a series of sculptural vignettes that unfold their contents for the viewer as they amble through the gallery. “The Religion,” McKean’s evocative title for the exhibition, examines our relationship to objects, materiality, and time to create what he describes as “densely elliptical, narrative spaces.”

McKean is represented by Horton Gallery, New York City. He is associate professor of sculpture and extended media at Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA, where he has taught since 2006.

McKean has exhibited to critical acclaim in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Berlin, Tel Aviv, and Paris.  In addition to the Guggenheim, he is the recipient of numerous grants and awards including A Nancy Graves Foundation Award, an Artadia award, a VMFA Fellowship, and a number of state arts commission grants.  He has been artist-in-residence at The Core Program at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, The International Studio and Curatorial Program in New York City, The Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, The Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, Central Michigan University as the Stephen L. Barstow Fellow, The Archie Bray Foundation in Helena, Montana, and Three Walls in Chicago.   

“The Religion” exhibition and residency is made possible with generous contributions by: The School of Art and Design; The Miller Endowment for Excellence in the Arts; The Division of Ceramic Art; The McComsey Career Development Center; The Division of Sculpture and Dimensional Studies and the Division of Freshman Foundations.

For additional information about this project contact Curator and Fosdick-Nelson Gallery Director Sharon McConnell at:, or visit the Gallery website at

The Fosdick-Nelson Gallery is a learning center for the visual arts. Rotating exhibitions highlight work by established and emerging artists working in New York, the United States, and abroad. Located in rural Western New York, the Gallery is the only established contemporary art venue within a 60-mile radius for the community to experience a diverse mix of art firsthand. Extended programming, including gallery lectures and special projects, gives students and members of the community an opportunity to engage with artists, curators, and scholars.