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NMSU Art Gallery director will paint a picture of 'Venice and the 2011 Biennale'

New Mexico State University Art Gallery director Preston Thayer spent part of his summer in Italy reporting about one of the most important contemporary art exhibitions in the world for the Paris-based online art magazine, Art Aujourdhui.

Preston Thayer, New Mexico State University Art Gallery director, will speak about the 54th International Art Exhibition -- La Biennale Di Venezia, as part of the "Global Connections" lecture series at 4:30 p.m. Oct. 4, at the CMI Theatre in Milton Hall (Courtesy photo).

"Venice is a wonderfully strange place ? its history as a mercantile nexus between the Far East, the Mediterranean and Europe makes it the perfect setting for an amazing array of contemporary artworks from the four corners of the globe," Thayer said.

He will share his experiences covering the opening of "ILLUMInations," at the 54th International Art Exhibition -- La Biennale Di Venezia, in the second of the university's "Global Connections" series at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 4., at the Creative Media Institute Theatre in Milton Hall.

The Venice Biennale, the world's largest and oldest international contemporary art exhibition, takes place once every two years in Venice. Thayer flew there in late May, where he spent two weeks researching and meeting with international artists and curators from as far away as Israel, Cyprus and Tajikistan. He reported daily on his impressions and submitted photographs of the exhibition for Art Aujourdhui.

"The art is installed throughout the Venetian lagoon," Thayer said. "I'm always taken with installations that respond in some way to the historical and idiosyncratic spaces of Venice."

Thayer will speak about the history of the Biennale, the artwork for 2011 and the connections between Venice and the art.

With support from the College of Arts and Sciences, the "Global Connections" series features faculty members' exotic trips around the world. The purpose is to provide an opportunity for members of the campus and surrounding community to listen and ask questions about the kind of first-hand experiences most people might never otherwise encounter.

The series runs through April 2012 and will be offered on the first Tuesday of each month, except December and January.

The lectures are free and open to the public. A parking permit for off-campus visitors may be obtained at https://corridor.nmsu.edu/auxadmin/ParkingForms/epermit.aspx.