The Art Museum of West Virginia University and The Friends of the Museum are hosting the first “Art Up Close!” event of the spring semester, which will focus on feminist art activism through an individual work of art from the museum’s collection.

Brian R. Jara, senior lecturer in Women’s and Gender Studies at WVU, will present “Interdisciplinary Vaginas and the Power of Feminist Art Activism” and will discuss an untitled work created in 2000 by artist Peter Whitney, a gift of The Rutgers Center for Innovative Print and Paper. The event will be held Tuesday, Feb. 11.

The “Art Up Close!” presentations are held from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. in the Museum Education Center (formerly the Erickson Alumni Center) adjacent to the WVU Creative Arts Center. All the events are free and open to the public.

Jara regularly teaches courses in feminist theories, men and masculinities, and LGBTQ studies. He has worked in higher education for more than 15 years in both student affairs and academic affairs. Jara identifies as an interdisciplinary feminist teacher, scholar, advocate and activist. In addition to classroom teaching he currently advises two WVU social justice student organizations. His scholarly interests are centered around college student culture, men’s violence against women, social justice activism, and feminist digital technologies.

His undergraduate training was in sociology and psychology at The Johns Hopkins University and his graduate training was in student affairs, higher education administration, curriculum and instruction, and women’s and gender studies at Penn State University.

He says one of his proudest and weirdest moments was figuring out how to get anti-violence messages printed onto urinal splashguards.

Each “Art Up Close!” presentation features an original work of art and commentary by WVU faculty, followed by a question and answer session and light refreshments.

This series of lectures is designed to give an in-depth look at a single work of art selected from the WVU Art Collection. Audience members will have the opportunity to view the actual work of art.

For more information, contact the Art Museum of WVU at (304) 293-2141 or see the website at:



CONTACT: Charlene Lattea, College of Creative Arts

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