The Art of Billy Mayer
May 29–September 8
Mayer received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Minnesota in 1976 and a Master of Fine Arts degree from Pennsylvania State University in 1978. He joined the faculty of Hope College in 1978 and taught in the Department of Art and Art History until his unexpected death in 2017.
The title of this exhibition refers not only to the fact that it offers a commemorative look back on Mayer’s art, but also to the importance of memory in Mayer’s work. As is evident from many works in the exhibition, Mayer’s art was often inspired by memories of his childhood and other periods throughout his life. Yet while the genesis of the artworks may have come from events and experiences in Mayer’s personal life, Mayer also intended for his work to evoke memories in others, encouraging all to find their own meanings in his art. Mayer’s art generously repays close attention and contemplation. While much of his work appears humorous or playful at first glance, at a deeper level it engages much more serious issues of social identity, cultural values and the impact of technological, environmental and economic change on our daily lives.
In Memory was organized by the Kruizenga Art Museum. The artworks in the exhibition are for sale in a silent auction that will run through September 8th. All proceeds from the auction will go to an endowed scholarship fund in Mayer’s name that will benefit future generations of Hope College art students. If you are interested in bidding on an artwork or donating to the Mayer scholarship fund, please contact a museum staff member.