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Alumni art exhibit features work of Fulbright Fellow


Photos from Elizabeth Claffey's Fulbright year in Albania exhibited through Sept. 9
Claffey work
Credit: Elizabeth M. Claffey — ‘Independence Day’ 2012


DENTON — The Texas Woman's Univeristy Department of Visual Arts inaugural alumni art exhibit features the work of Elizabeth Claffey, who received a Fulbright Fellowship to work in Albania after graduating from TWU in 2011. The exhibit, which runs through Sept. 9 at the West Gallery in the Fine Arts Building, showcases photos that were taken during Claffey's Fulbright year living abroad in Albania from 2012 to 2013. 

The university will host a reception for Claffey from 5 to 7 p.m on Tuesday, Sept. 1, in the gallery.  In addition, Claffey will give a lecture on her exhibit at 4 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 2, also in the gallery. 

Claffey’s artist’s statement states: “Mother’s Milk, Father’s Blood is a developing series that examines contemporary Albanian identity and the complex intersection of past and future as shaped by a people’s perseverance, desire, hope, and conflict. As a visitor I have tried to perceive a shared knowledge, a common understanding that deeply connects Albanians beyond western categories of identification. This ethos is unwavering, elusive, an unspoken culture that creates resilience but can also generate isolation. Mother’s Milk, Father’s Blood is an attempt to visually and emotionally access something that is not available to me verbally or intellectually.

The title for the series is influenced by Ismail Kadare’s novel Chronicles in Stone. David Bellos, in the introduction, touches on the significance of lineage, which is defined according to ‘the line of milk’ and ‘the line of blood.’ These two familial characteristics shape many lives and have a significant influence on social, familial, and personal experience. The mother’s milk and the father’s blood are part of a deep folkloric tradition, which can explain one’s past while simultaneously shaping the future.”

Claffey will begin a position as Assistant Professor of Photography at Indiana University in this fall. Elizabeth is an honors graduate of Earlham College and has a master's of fine arts, with a concentration in photography, from TWU, where she also earned a Graduate Certificate in Women's Studies. She received a 2012-13 William J. Fulbright Fellowship, which she used to support her documentary and creative research in Albania. Her work focuses on the way personal and familial narratives are shaped by interactions with both domestic and institutional structures and spaces. Her work has been recognized by PDN Magazine, Project Basho Gallery, Abecedarian Gallery, The Eddie Adams Workshop, and various other galleries and publications including The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Dallas Morning News and The Kinsey Institute.

The East l West Galleries are on the first floor of the Fine Arts Building, at the corner of Texas and Oakland streets (300 Texas Street), TWU campus in Denton, Texas, 76201. Gallery hours are Monday - Friday, 9am to 4pm, when the university is in session. Weekends by appointment only. For directions, please visit

If you need more information, would like images of the work or a more complete biography for the artist, please contact Vance Wingate at 940-898-2533 or

For more information, contact:

Vance Wingate


page updated 5/9/2016 4:57 PM