Exhibit Features Cartoons by Pat Oliphant

| February 2, 2012
Just in time for this year’s election, Sweet Briar is inviting art lovers to take a closer look at the face of America’s “body politic.” Featuring caricatures of past presidents, vice presidents and presidential hopefuls by renowned artist Pat Oliphant, the exhibition sheds a humorous light on America’s political sphere.

“The Body Politic: Caricatures by Pat Oliphant” will open with remarks by Stephen G. Bragaw, Carter Glass Professor of Government, from 5 to 5:45 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 9 in Tyson auditorium in Benedict, followed by a reception from 5:45 to 6:30 p.m. in Benedict Gallery. The show highlights works created by the cartoonist during a series of lectures at Sweet Briar in 1992 and 1993. Politicians featured include Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Carter, Al Gore and others. All works are held in the permanent collection of Sweet Briar College, but have never been shown publicly before.

“In the past couple of years, we’ve made an effort to share what we have in our collection with students and the community,” said Karol Lawson, director of Sweet Briar galleries.

Rather than simply bringing new exhibits in, Lawson has been rediscovering treasures from the College’s diverse art collection, which includes more than 3,600 objects from various countries, historical periods and media.

Oliphant’s works are the first cartoons to be featured in a Sweet Briar gallery, Lawson said, adding that their political, yet light-hearted nature made them a perfect choice for this year.

“It’s a sign of a healthy society to be able to make fun of its leaders without being thrown in jail,” she said.

Lawson is hoping students will recognize the “long life of the political discourse” and make connections between present and past media coverage:

“They know Al Gore mostly as an environmental activist, but he was also the vice president in the ’90s.”

Oliphant has been honored with a Pulitzer Prize (1967) and has won the National Cartoonist Society Editorial Cartoon Award seven times. Beginning his career at The Adelaide News in his native Australia, he immigrated to the United States in 1964. Oliphant worked for The Denver Post (1964-1975) and The Washington Star (1975-1981). His syndicated cartoons are published nationwide.

Gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday. For more information, call (434) 381-6248 or email klawson@sbc.edu.

Contact: Janika Carey

Category: Art Galleries, Uncategorized