Since 1986, Gerald Mead, a lecturer in SUNY Buffalo State Design Department, has made periodic trips throughout Europe and Mexico. During a campus talk on April 24 at 12:15 p.m. in Upton Hall 230, Mead will discuss how his travels to England, France, Italy, and Greece have influenced his work and how fragments of the materials he has collected during those extended visits have been incorporated into various artworks over time.
Mead’s lecture, which is free and open to the public, is the third and final in a series offered this spring, “Artists on the Road: Travel as a Source of Inspiration,” co-sponsored by the Design Department and the International and Exchange Programs Office. He will repeat the presentation at Cambridge University in England in May.
“The artifacts and ephemera that we accumulate during international travel are potent reminders of our experiences. Their tangible nature makes these materials more meaningful than photographic documentation and that meaning grows as the event is distanced from the objects,” Mead said. “The series of artworks that I have made inspired by my decades of global travel are an attempt to create a microcosm of those experiences and convey the essential nature of each individual city or country. As is the case in most art composed of found materials, the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.”
Mead’s small-scale collages and assemblages are in the collections of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film, and the International Museum of Collage, Assemblage and Construction. Additionally, they have been included in exhibitions throughout the United States and in England, Australia, China, Poland, and Russia and have been reproduced in five collegiate textbooks.
Mead received his undergraduate degrees in psychology and design at Buffalo State and was honored by the college with a Young Alumnus Achievement Award in 2003. He earned a master’s of fine arts degree in visual studies at the University at Buffalo where he was a dean’s scholar. Mead also is an independent curator, arts writer, art collector and leading authority on artists associated with Western New York.
He was recently honored by Young Audiences of Western New York for his lifelong contributions to the arts and art education in this region.