Department of Art & Art History

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Visual Arts Complex
Visual Arts Complex

VRC News

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Ronald M. Bernier slide digitization project
In December 2014 the VRC received a grant from the Visual Resources Association Foundation to digitize and catalog a portion of images from the Ronald M. Bernier slide collection. Professor Bernier (1943-2012) was a historian of Asian art who specialized in Himalyan architecture and taught for the Art and Art History Department for 35 years. During that time he traveled all over Asia and beyond, documenting his journeys through beautiful photographs. The collection, which was gifted to the VRC in 2012, comprises 30,000 slides, with a particular strength in the cultures of Nepal, Tibet, India, and Southeast Asia. This pilot project will digitize and catalog a subset of 500 images that highlights the extraordinary depth and breadth of Dr. Bernier’s archive. To make them broadly available for research, the VRC will publish these materials as a stand-alone collection in LUNA, our collection management software. The archive includes images from esoteric Buddhist initiation rituals in Nepal in the 1970s and 80s, key historical sites from Myanmar (Burma) taken when travel to the country was particularly rare, and sites from throughout Central Asia–including Iran, a notoriously difficult country to access now–over a span of decades. In short, Dr. Bernier’s archive documents a number of world religions, lesser-studied indigenous traditions, and the material cultures of dozens of countries, often recorded in multiple visits over time.

This archive would expose otherwise inaccessible materials to scholars, students, and aficionados with limited funds for travel. As sites can change drastically over time–or as in the case of the Bamiyan Buddhas in Afghanistan (included in this collection), disappear altogether–scholars would have direct access to high-resolution files that would aid them in tracing the trajectory and appearance of a site over time. Museum professionals investigating a particular sculpture, painting, or ritual item from the cultures represented could consult the Bernier material as a point of reference when investigating provenance. Further, many of Dr. Bernier’s images come from sites that have been designated as UNESCO World Heritage Sites, providing crucial comparative data.

The principle investigator for the grant is Krystle Kelley, VRC Graduate Assistant, and collaborators on the project include VRC Director Elaine Paul, Digital Imaging and Technology Coordintaor Lia Pileggi, and Asian art scholar and Art and Art History instructor Ariana Maki.

VRC study area / collaborative learning space
The VRC collaborative learning space now features a Smart Board (an interactive white board). Small groups working on collaborative projects may wish to convene here. A data projector is included; laptops with the Smart Board software are available and VRC staff is happy to help. Students can also come to this multiple use space during the day and study. While not a strictly quiet study area, we have headphones that people can use if they would like to concentrate with the aid of white noise ( or the music of their choice. There is plenty of power available to laptops and mobiles devices.

Please note that this space is for studying and other such activities; it’s intended to be a clean space. Food and beverage will be welcome as long as people clean up after themselves.

Equipment news
We have acquired some new equipment items over the last year, including a short throw data projector, a green screen, pen tablets, and an iPad, as well as MacBook Pros for special use by instructors. See our Equipment page for a list of items we have available for checkout to AAH students, staff, and faculty. Reserve in advance to ensure availability when you need it: call 303-492-1313 between 8:00am and 6:00pm, M-F.

Portolio Photography Room
Enhancements to the Portfolio Photography Room now make documenting small to medium sized 2- and 3-D artwork even better. These include a new, high-quaility camera (Canon EOS 6D DSLR with a 24-105mm f/4.0L IS USM AF Lens), tethered to an iMac featuring Adobe Lightroom as the image viewing and organizing software. AAH students, staff, and faculty can contact Lia Pileggi with questions or to make an appointment to use the room. Be sure to plan and book in advance; spaces fill up quickly at mid-term and end of the semester.

Elaine Paul serving as president of the Visual Resources Association
VRC Director Elaine Paul stepped up in 2014  for a two-year term as president of the Visual Resources Association (VRA). VRA is a multidisciplinary organization dedicated to furthering research and education in the field of image management within the educational, cultural heritage, and commercial environments. VRC staff, and the resources and services we provide, are indebted to this organization, which provides us with standards and inspiration to make our services the best they can be.


See the VRC news archive.