When James T. Spencer, director of the Syracuse University Brass Ensemble (SUBE), turned to accept the applause at the 2018 Great American Brass Band Festival (GABBF) in Danville, Kentucky, he joked to himself, “Now what do we do for an…
Point of Contact Celebrates 40 Years
A Syracuse University cornerstone for international artists, poets and scholars, Punto de Contacto-Point of Contact celebrates its 40th anniversary this fall. The program will include an exhibition of its permanent contemporary art collection and the publication of an art book to catalog its art collection. Point of Contact, an open forum for the research and discussion of contemporary verbal and visual arts in Central New York since 1975, dedicates this season to sharing the history of the organization, and more importantly, projecting its vision for the future.
Point of Contact was founded by Professor Pedro Cuperman (College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Languages, Literatures and Linguistics), as an editorial project providing a cross-disciplinary space for creative scholarship and contemporary art. Its publications include the Point of Contact book series and the annual “Corresponding Voices” poetry collection, among others.
The organization’s partnership with the University has earned the respect of international cohorts that include Fundación Internacional Jorge Luis Borges in Buenos Aires; King Juan Carlos I of Spain Center in New York City and the Ibero-Amerikanisches Institut in Berlin, among various higher education institutions, museums and galleries across Spain, France, Germany, Argentina, the Caribbean, Canada and the United States. For the last five years, invited by the Ministry of Culture of the City of Buenos Aires, Point of Contact publications have been showcased at the annual MoMA PS1 New York Art Book Fair.
In 2005, Point of Contact expanded its vision with the opening of an art gallery. From its inception, the curatorial vision of the gallery has focused on international perspectives. As Cuperman says: “The concepts that guided our work, even if from the first day we assumed a social and spiritual connection with the Hispanic world—more specifically with Latino and Latin American art—we would not hesitate to include all artistic and social experiments, no matter where they came from nor what language or ethnicity they represent.” To this day, Point of Contact aims to form inspired communities; to innovate through artistic concepts that may resonate locally and globally; to work expansively where intellectual and geographic boundaries are concerned and to share the experience.
The upcoming publication and art exhibit titled “Continuum” will tell the story of Point of Contact’s journey over the last 40 years through the lens of its permanent art collection. Many of the pieces included in the exhibition have been commissioned by Point of Contact, created specifically for its publications and exhibitions through the years. They provide a narrative on the evolution of the organization and of contemporary art trends, featuring works by Judy Pfaff, Nam June Paik, Liliana Porter, William Wegman and Gregory Crewdson, among others.
“For first time, the collection is shown in such completion, with excerpts from Point of Contact publications that include essays about the artists side by side with the art on the gallery walls, thus echoing the connection between verbal and visual arts,” says Managing Director Miranda Traudt. “Curating the exhibition in such a manner is a powerful showcase not only of the art collection, but of the compelling story of an organization that for 40 years has been continually exploring boundaries and encouraging the study of contemporary artists from around the world. By revisiting its past, Point of Contact looks toward its future, refining its vision and turning each new encounter into an experimentation with unlimited insights.”
Education has always been at the core of Point of Contact’s mission and University faculty and students have played an important role. In 2014, curricular engagement with the organization involved the active participation of 62 students from 11 different academic programs, including creative writing, museum studies, Latino-Latin American studies, public relations, arts leadership, collections management, design and printmaking, among others.
Supported by the College of Arts and Sciences, the Point of Contact Gallery is a member of the Coalition of Museum & Art Centers at Syracuse University (CMAC). It is located at 350 W. Fayette St., Syracuse. Gallery Hours: Tuesday-Saturday, 12-5 p.m. For more information about the exhibition and events, visit: http://puntopoint.org.
Calendar of Events:
Point of Contact’s 40th Birthday Party
Friday, Sept. 25, 6-8 p.m.
The time was 1975! Join us for a celebratory ’70s-themed evening of fashion, music, food, drinks and more! Admission $10, students with ID $5.
The Signs of Cross-Culture
Wednesday, Oct. 28, 6 p.m.
An informal discussion with guest artists, scholars, poets and curators about Point of Contact’s artistic vision.
Friday, Nov. 13, 6-8 p.m.
An exclusive ticketed event honoring Point of Contact visionaries and patrons marks the release of a limited edition art book, the official catalog documenting the Point of Contact Art Collection for the first time.