Kansas State University


Beach Blog

Tag: Aileen Wang

Enrico Isamu Oyama: Guest Blogger

I first met Aileen when she visited my project Aeromural at the Clocktower Gallery in 2013 with our friend and his baby.

The curator Aileen June Wang and I first met in New York in 2013 when she came to see my project Aeromural at Clocktower Gallery in New York City’s TriBeCa district. Since then, we have become really good friends. We had many  conversations about doing a project together. The first idea she raised was a two-person show with Japanese American visual artist Alex Kukai Shinohara. I was excited. She tried to find a venue for the show but it was not easy.

Then, Aileen was invited by a gallerist to propose a mural for a car wash with a large wall at the corner of West 24th Street and 10th Avenue in Chelsea, New York City’s gallery district. She and I worked on a proposal with a mock-up of the mural for the owner, but this didn’t happen neither.

The car wash building in the gallery district of New York City, for which we proposed a mural in 2014.

Aileen was invited by the NARS Foundation in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, to curate a group show that would have included my works, but soon after, she was offered the job as associate curator at the Beach Museum of Art. I remember the moment when she told me about her new job. We were having lunch together near the Museum of Modern Art. I was excited for her new journey.

Aileen’s farewell party in 2015 at the Brooklyn Museum’s Art Off the Wall event, arranged by Sharon Matt Atkins, Director of Curatorial Affairs (fifth from the left). Other participants from left to right: New York artist Babs Reingold; New York artist Margaret Murphy; Curator Midori Yoshimoto, who introduced Aileen to me; my wife Shihori and I.

From August to October of 2015, I did a residency program at Chelsea College of Arts in London. Right after I returned to New York in November, I got an email from Aileen when I was in Strand Book Store near Union Square to find some nice second-hand books on New York Writing Culture. I noticed right away that this message is about something special. Aileen was talking about a possibility of my solo show at the Beach Museum of Art. Somehow, I had a good feeling that this time it was going to happen. After a while, she confirmed that the show was officially on the museum’s calendar.

Our productive conversation and a few trials of doing a project together over the past few years resulted in something really exciting. I deeply thank Aileen for giving such an amazing opportunity to a young artist like me and everyone at the Beach Museum for their effort and labor to make this exhibition happen.

The sound installation piece Aeromural, which was the opportunity for me to meet Aileen four years ago, will be on display at the Mark A. Chapman Gallery, Willard Hall, Kansas State University as a part of my exhibition “Ubiquitous: Enrico Isamu Ōyama.” I hope everyone who visits the show can enjoy it more from knowing this little back story.

Oyama’s exhibition Ubiquitous: Enrico Isamu Oyama is on display in the Hyle Family Gallery at the Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art from August 15 – December 23, 2017.

Visiting Artist: Damon Davis Lecture

April 4, 5:30 p.m.
Thompson 101
Reception to follow at the Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art

Join us at 2:30 on April 4 or April 12 at 12:30, in the William T. Kemper Art Gallery in the K-State Student Union for a gallery talk with Beach Museum of Art Curator Aileen Wang.

St. Louis-based artist Damon Davis created his “All Hands on Deck” series during the demonstrations in Ferguson, MO, after the police shooting of Michael Brown. Davis saw a symbol of unity in the raised hands of fellow protesters. He has written:

The “All Hands On Deck” project is an ode to that diverse collective dedicated to protecting our human rights, no matter race, age or gender. “All Hands On Deck” is our charge – a call of action to stand with those who stand for us all.

A few months later Davis received wide attention on the internet with his essay, “In the Face of White Male Privilege Run Amok, A Plea for Artistic Responsibility,” written in response to an exhibition displayed at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis. Davis will speak and show an excerpt from his latest film.

Reception to follow at the Beach Museum of Art.

Organized by the Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art in partnership with the K-State Black Student Union.  Co-sponsored by K-State Department of Art and funded in part by the SGA Fine Arts Fee; Dow Center for Multicultural and Community Studies, K-State Libraries; and Department of American Ethic Studies.





All Hands On Deck, K-State Edition will be on display in the William T. Kemper Art Gallery in the K-State Student Union April 4-14, 2017.








Learn more about Damon and his projects on his website.

Regional Art Appreciation Trip

Donors to the Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art took off on an adventure as they travel north to Lincoln and Omaha Nebraska. Aileen Wang, Curator, shares her photos and stories of the trip. 



The first stop of our trip was the Gerald Ford Conservation Center in Omaha, Nebraska, where we got a behind-the-scenes tour of the facilities with Kenneth Bé, the head painting conservator.




Next, we visited Gallery 1516 in Omaha, Nebraska which is a not-for-profit arts organization that is focused on supporting the art scene in Omaha. Their mission is to provide a venue for regional artists to exhibit their work at no charge to the artist. They work with museums, educational, professional, and performing arts organizations to provide a space for traveling exhibitions, educational lectures, music and more. To learn more about Gallery 1516 and Director Patrick Drickey, visit their webpage.


While we were in Omaha, we stopped at Kutak Rock, which is a law firm located in the historic Omaha Building. This historic building was Omaha’s first skyscraper built in 1887 and became the location for numerous professionals who set up offices on the upper stories. Despite being entered in the National Register of Historic Places in 1972, The Omaha Building was scheduled to be demolished in 1974. When the deal fell through, the building remained empty for two more years. In 1978, Kutak and his partners purchased and renovated the building for their law firm. It was renovated again in 2006-07 but many original structures were untouched. Kutak Rock has an extensive collection of contemporary art and this picture shows a window in the law firm with the original stenciled glass.







After we visited Omaha, we headed to the Sheldon Museum of Art in Lincoln, Nebraska! The Sheldon Museum of Art is located at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and is known for its beautiful architecture. There is still a bench in the museum that was a part of the original furniture picked out by architect Philip Johnson in the early 1960’s!


Our last stop on the trip was Kiechel Fine Art in Lincoln, Nebraska where we listened to a talk by artist Francisco Souto. He explained what his artwork meant to him:

“A Memory in Peril is a compilation of works in response to the current reality that is affecting my native land. These drawings are visual testimonies of the social, economic and political deterioration that is eroding Venezuela…It is an attempt to offer a voice to the unheard; it is about the people and their humanity in time of adverse reality.”

After Souto’s talk, we watched Kenneth Bé performing a mini concert with a 17th century Italian type of lute, which he has been playing for many decades!

This post was co-written by Aileen Wang and student curatorial assistant Maddie Allen.

To learn more about the becoming a Friend of the Beach Museum or making a gift please contact Linda Duke, Director at lduke@ksu.edu or Tracy Robinson, Development Officer at tracyr@found.ksu.edu.

Want to give online today? You can do so here.