UMass Dartmouth exhibition receives $45,000 grant

May 6, 2021

UMass Dartmouth and the College of Visual and Performing Arts announced a $45,000 award from the Henry Luce Foundation’s American Art Program for the exhibition “Nancy Holt: Massachusetts.”

The exhibition, which officially opens Nov. 11, celebrates the Massachusetts-born artist Nancy Holt and will feature scholarly research, public programming, and the post-humous American premiere of Holt’s 1982 room-sized installation “Electrical System.”

It will also include a symposium convening scholars from across the country to discuss themes of labor, systems, and artifacts in Holt’s work. The exhibition will take place in the CVPA Campus Gallery on the UMass Dartmouth main campus and the University Art Gallery on the Star Store campus in historic downtown New Bedford. 

“UMass Dartmouth is honored to receive the support of the Henry Luce Foundation to bolster our efforts to reinvigorate the study of artists with links to the region, through exciting research and fresh approaches,” said Dr. A. Lawrence Jenkens, Dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts (CVPA).

The initiative, led by CVPA faculty member Dr. Rebecca K. Uchill, is centered on Holt’s “Spinwinder,” a 1991 public sculpture that sits at the entrance to the UMass Dartmouth campus. Holt designed this site-specific artwork to include references to the region’s industrial history, including an homage to her grandfather, Samuel Holt, who was a faculty member at the New Bedford Textile School — one of the University’s predecessor institutions. 

“The artwork was intended to evoke stories of social histories of labor,” Uchill noted.

To view images of Holt’s work, visit the UMass Dropbox folderFor more information, contact Gallery Director Viera Levitt at or call (508) 999-8555.