The Art Gallery at Rivier
NASHUA – Rivier University is hosting an exhibition and artist’s reception for cartoonist, historian and educator, Joel Christian Gill. His recent works are on display in a collection titled “Cartoon Chronicles – Serious, Playful, Succinct.”
Gill’s works illustrate the trials and triumphs of forgotten black visionaries, revolutionaries and everyday Americans of black history. Through his works, he aims to elicit empathy, compassion and a deep sense of human dignity.
The exhibition is free and open to the public through Feb. 27 at the gallery, located at 420 South Main St. in Nashua. The public also is invited to a reception for the artist and a book signing from 4-6 p.m. Feb. 24 at gallery where books will be available for purchase.
Gill researched, wrote, and drew the pictures for “Fast Enough: Bessie Stringfield’s First Ride,” the award-winning graphic novel series “Strange Fruit: Uncelebrated Narratives from Black History” and “Bass Reeves: Tales of The Talented Tenth.” Published just last month, his latest work is a memoir titled “FIGHTS: One Boy’s Triumph Over Violence.” The novel chronicles how children deal with abuse and trauma.
The exhibition at Rivier presents enlargements of pages from Gill’s books, plus the actual books and a selection of sketches and drawings demonstrating the complex process of creating a book-length cartoon sequence.
“The cartoonist controls everything,” Gill said, adding that “comics are a medium – not a genre.”
Gill has worked for diverse clients, such as NBC, the Boston Globe and HuffPost. In 2016, he was honored with a Distinguished Alumni Award from Boston University, from which he received his master’s of fine arts degree. The former chair of the comic arts and foundations programs at the New Hampshire Institute of Art, he was recently appointed associate professor of illustration at Massachusetts College of Art and Design.
Gallery Director Sr. Theresa Couture said, “This is the second of three exhibitions highlighting illustration as one of the most versatile forms in contemporary visual culture. At ease with crossing boundaries of fine art, drawing, graphic design and crafts, it succeeds at making observational statements about an unparalleled sweep of public interests and concerns. Within this broad scope, illustration is eminently accessible.”