THE DEPTH AND IMPACT OF AMERICAN COMICS ON DISPLAY AT BOSTON UNIVERSITY’S NEW ART EXHIBITION COMICS IS A MEDIUM, NOT A GENRE
Cartoonist, Educator, and Author Joel Christian Gill Curates a Powerful Collection of Comics that Uses Words and Pictures to Educate, Entertain and Inspire
BOSTON, January 20, 2023— BU Art Galleries announces the opening of their latest exhibition Comics Is A Medium, Not A Genre, on display from January 19-March 24, 2023 in the Stone Gallery. Curated by cartoonist, educator, and author, Joel Christian Gill, whose work is focused in the uncelebrated narratives from Black History, the exhibition’s collection spans across many decades, themes, topics, and artists to reveal the impact of the artform; to educate, empower and to entertain.
Refuting the belief that comics is a medium that most resonates with children and revolves around the fantastical stories of superheroes, Comics Is A Medium, Not A Genre offers nearly 200 works on display that are not only multi-modal, but offer a significant and noteworthy lens into the world around us. From cartoonists and artists whose work offers history lessons from the Civil Rights movement to the timeline of Putin’s rise to power and everything in between, this collection of works uses pictures and words to explore themes of social justice and activism, truth, political positioning, culture, equity, representation, identity, eroticism, fantasy, and cinematic storytelling. Notably, Charles M. Schulz’s first Peanuts comic (1950) will be on display, on loan from the Library of Congress. The exhibition also provides an artistic technical element, offering works that have been created digitally, with watercolor paint and acrylic paints, pencil, ink, pen, marker, embroidery, collage, cardstock, and other techniques.
“Comics have never been just for kids,” explains Gill. “Comics manipulate meaning by changing the two fundamental components of words and pictures and merging them together,” he continues. “The shallow pop-culture view of comics defines it by what is most prevalent— superhero storylines—but in reality, comics are a vehicle for creative storytelling, and those stories can be anything and for everyone. It has been a joy to return back to my alma mater of Boston University to gather these comics and artists in one place to celebrate this important medium.”
Comics Is A Medium, Not A Genre Design will be on display to the public January 19-March 24, 2023, Tuesday-Saturday, 11:00am- 5:00pm Admission is FREE.
*The exhibition will be closed Sundays, Mondays, and holidays
The BU Faye G., Jo, and James Stone Gallery is located at 855 Commonwealth Avenue inside Boston University College of Fine Arts, and accessible by the B Green line to Amory Street Station. Visitor parking is available at the Agganis Arena parking lot at 925 Commonwealth Avenue. For more information on transportation, visit bu.edu/art/visit
ABOUT BOSTON UNIVERSITY ART GALLERIES
The Boston University Art Galleries is located at 855 Commonwealth Avenue inside the College of Fine Arts. The gallery is located on the Boston University campus (Amory Street stop on the “B” Green Line.) Gallery hours are Tuesday-Saturday from 11am–5pm, (Closed Sundays, Mondays and Holidays.) For more information, visit bu.edu/art.
ABOUT BOSTON UNIVERSITY
Founded in 1839, Boston University is an internationally recognized institution of higher education and research. With more than 34,000 students, it is the fourth-largest independent university in the United States. BU consists of 17 schools and colleges, along with a number of multi-disciplinary centers and institutes integral to the University’s research and teaching mission. In 2012, BU joined the Association of American Universities (AAU), a consortium of 62 leading research universities in the United States and Canada. Learn more at bu.edu
ABOUT BOSTON UNIVERSITY COLLEGE OF FINE ARTS
Established in 1954, Boston University College of Fine Arts (CFA) is a community of artist-scholars and scholar-artists who are passionate about the fine and performing arts, committed to diversity and inclusion, and determined to improve the lives of others through art. With programs in Music, Theatre, and Visual Arts, CFA prepares students for a meaningful creative life by developing their intellectual capacity to create art, shift perspective, think broadly, and master relevant skills. CFA offers a wide array of undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs, as well as a range of online degrees and certificates. Learn more at bu.edu/cfa
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ABOUT JOEL CHRISTIAN GILL
Joel Christian Gill is a cartoonist and historian who speaks nationally on the importance of sharing stories. He is the author of the acclaimed memoir Fights: One Boy’s Triumph Over Violence cited as one of the best graphic novels of 2020 by The New York Times and for which he was awarded the 2021 Cartoonist Studio Prize. He wrote the words and drew the pictures for Fast Enough: Bessie Stringfield’s First Ride and the award-winning graphic novel series Strange Fruit: Uncelebrated Narratives from Black History, as well as 3 volumes of Tales of The Talented Tenth, which tell the stories of Bass Reeves, Bessie Stringfield, and Robert Smalls. He is currently at work on the graphic novel of Ibram Kendi’s National Book Award-winning Stamped From the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America, forthcoming from Ten Speed Press in 2023. Gill has dedicated his life to creating stories to build connections with readers through empathy, compassion, and, ultimately, humanity. He received his MFA from Boston University and his BA from Roanoke College.