Galapagos’ colorful influence displayed at Houghton House – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Galapagos’ colorful influence displayed at Houghton House

Bogin's exhibit goes up Friday, Feb. 29 for three weeks

“Recent Paintings” by Professor of Art Michael Bogin will be displayed at Houghton House starting Friday, Feb. 29 through Friday, March 21. An opening reception is scheduled from 7 to 9 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 29 at the Houghton House gallery.

It’s not the specific appearance of the Galapagos Islands nor, in fact, is it anything in particular that he is hoping to record about the experience of being there, says Bogin P'04. But the Galapagos — isolated by 600 miles of ocean from the coast of Ecuador, spread out and still growing from the undersea volcanic activity that created them — offer “riches of associations that felt just right for the paintings” that he was painting.

“The islands may be stark above the waterline, but they become a carnival parade of colorful creatures when you duck your head below the ocean’s surface. On the many-colored sands of the different islands, the blue footed boobies and the sea lion odalisques seem not even to notice the tourists brushing by.”

Bogin's paintings in the Galapagos series, now numbering more than 130, “are developed through an evolutionary process that allows no selection pressures other than my own judgments about whether a blue or red shape is too big or whether it is even the right blue or red for the painting that is growing around it,” he said.

“Some paintings in the series suggest maps or an aerial view of islands more than others. Sometimes it seems like the right idea to enhance that association, sometimes not. Ultimately, each painting takes its own way, according to its own evolving visual and expressive possibilities.”

Bogin served with the Peace Corps in Ghana from 1968 to 1970, after completing his B.A. at Antioch College, and before earning his M.F.A. at Indiana University. A member of the HWS faculty since 1975, Bogin has been a visiting artist at the Chautauqua Summer School, and has taught with the Environmental Studies Summer Youth Institute on the HWS campus, served as an honors project adviser and received a Saltonstall Foundation Grant. His work has been widely exhibited.

The Houghton House Gallery is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily; event sponsored by the Art Department.