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The Blue & Gray Press | August 18, 2019

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New duPont art exhibit, “Awe + Wonder” honors late professor, JeanAnn Dabbs

New duPont art exhibit, “Awe + Wonder” honors late professor, JeanAnn Dabbs


“Awe + Wonder” is the first exhibition of the semester, opening to the public in duPont Gallery on Jan. 14. The exhibition showcases a variety of artists and mediums, ranging from paintings, mosaics, ceramics and photographs, all in honor of JeanAnn Dabb, who passed away last year from cancer. UMW Galleries hosted an official reception in conjunction with Dabb’s memorial, commemorating her life as an artist, professor and individual.

The exhibition consists of art from Dabb’s personal collection and includes pieces from University of Mary Washington faculty as well as alumni.

Dabb, an art professor, began her UMW career in 1992, shortly after her graduation from the University of Michigan with a doctorate in art history. In addition to teaching, Dadd also served as the Chair for the Department of Art and Art History.

Dabb’s energy extended not only to art but also to academia. In 2009 she received the Mary W. Pinschmidt award, UMW’s most prestigious award for excellence in undergraduate teaching, according to UMW’s website.

Each piece of artwork in this peaceful gallery has its own very unique style. Nearly every genre of art was represented, there were drawings in the abstract, and simple geometrical sketches and then a return to the classics of realist oil paintings. A memorable painting for visitors is an oil painting of a border terrier with a red collar sitting on carpet, next to a tall carved wood pedestal, in a warm indoor scene.

An arresting piece was a voodoo buddha made from ceramic and pearl headed pins, which juxtaposed with the bright pink pottery pots sporting exaggerated facial features standing atop a plate covered inpink kiss marks.

“This gallery is a combination of students’ works and professors’ works,” Diana Inthavong, a senior double major in art history and historic preservation, said. Inthavong is a gallery monitor.  “There are also works of our professor who recently passed. That’s why we have her entire library collection.”

In one corner of the exhibition room, several rows of art related books sit on a long table. Interested in taking a book? For each person who donates financially to the JeanAnn Dabb Memorial Fund is welcome to take a book as a gift in honor of Dabb’s memory. The books were bequeathed to UMW by Dabb in her library.

“It’s important to know that this is her personal collection she actually left at the university,” EynavOvadia, a senior art history major said. Ovadia is also a student assistant. The  exhibit also includes messages from those whose lives were touched by Dabb and the influence she brought to their lives.

“Awe + Wonder” is open Tuesday-Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday-Sunday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., and the exhibit is free to the public.

Visitors can enjoy artworks of various styles, media, and techniques that are displayed in the small room of duPont gallery.