The Art Museum of West Virginia University and The Friends of the Museum will host the next “Art Up Close!” event of the fall semester, which focuses on individual works of art from the museum collection. The Oct. 28 presentation will feature a Japanese scroll.

Titled “Bodhidharma & and the Aesthetics of Wall-Gazing,” the lecture will be presented by Alex Snow of the Department of Religious Studies in the Eberly College of Arts & Sciences.

Snow’s talk will be based on a scroll of Japanese origin from the WVU Art Collection, that is a classic example of simple brush and ink style.

The image itself, though rather abstract, depicts the itinerant monk, Bodhidharma.

Bodhidharma was an infamous Indian Buddhist monk who is considered the First Patriarch of Esoteric forms of Buddhism, called “Ch’an” in China and “Zen” in Japan.

The lecture will trace the literary origins and artistic themes of Bodhidharma’s mythological encounters with the Far East, culminating in his unconventional practice of gazing carefully and constantly at a cave wall.

Snow teaches mainly in the areas of Asian religious culture and texts, but also in cross-disciplinary projects revolving around the religion and science interface and comparative philosophy and theology. He is also involved with Summer Study Abroad Programs at WVU, coordinating and directing trips to Japan in 2013 and 2014, as well as an upcoming to Vietnam and Cambodia in 2015.

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

The presentation will be followed by a question-and-answer session and light refreshments. Audience members will have the opportunity to view the work of art.

For more information, contact the Art Museum of WVU at 304-293-2141, or visit the museum website.



CONTACT: Charlene Lattea, College of Creative Arts

Follow @WVUToday on Twitter.