Date(s) - August 30, 2023 - December 17, 2023
10:00 am - 6:00 pm
An exhibition presented for the CSU Thematic Year of Democracy
Works on Paper Gallery, August 30 – December 17, 2023
Demonstrating Democracy draws from Gregory Allicar Museum’s permanent collection as part of Colorado State University’s Thematic Year of Democracy. Artworks were selected by CSU faculty to offer entry and insight into some of the many expressions of democracy and in displaying works that relate to current courses, discussions, and research at the university, Demonstrating Democracy also illustrates the inherently political and interdisciplinary nature of art making.
As both a system of government and a social order, democracy has a complicated, messy, and often contradictory past and present that is noble and negligent, constructiveand destructive, freeing and oppressive. Museums—especially university museums—can be powerful expressions of democracy. The concept of a publicly owned and accessible fine art collection staffed with the aim of community education and engagement is fundamentally democratic. At the same time, museums have a long history of elitism and exclusion, often defaulting to the interests of a privileged few.
Individual works of art can also reflect and reinforce cultural norms just as they can challenge and disrupt them. The works selected for this gallery lean into the contradictory nature of democracy and related concepts through the lens of art while intentionally avoiding a singular definition for the term. Students and community members are invited to respond to these ideas and share their own in an ongoing conversation that will be displayed in the adjacent gallery.
Ongoing support for the museum’s exhibitions and programming is generously provided by the City of Fort Collins Fort Fund, the FUNd Endowment at CSU, and Colorado Creative Industries. CCI and its activities are made possible through an annual appropriation from the Colorado General Assembly and federal funds from the National Endowment for the arts.