The 2016-2017 Visiting Artist Lecture Series featured Derek Larson, Kelly O'Briant, Darice Polo, Penelope Umbrico, Lily Cox Richard, Amy Schissel, Vibeke Olson, Bill Strickland representing the Deem Distinguished Lecture, Justin Ahrens, David Summers representing the J. Bernard Schultz Endowed Lecture in Art History.
The Laura and Paul Mesaros Galleries hosted the following exhibitions: Derek Larson: Ever-Pre-Given; Kelly O'Briant: Dark Matter ... And All the Space Between; Darice Polo: Migration, Penelope Umbrico: Everyone's photos Any License; Lily Cox-Richard: Possessing Powers; Amy Schissel: #everything that happens at once; the 2017 Annual Student Juried Exhibition; and Surroundings: MFA Students Respond to their Environments. Works by MFA students include Jacob Guzan's exhibition, "An Abridged Study of the Radio Transmission Tower Landscape Surrounding West Virginia University's Evansdale Campus" and Andrew Kellner's exhibition, "High Touch."
Surroundings: MFA Students Respond to their Environments
Laura Mesaros Gallery, May 23 - August 18, 2016
O’Briant spoke about her current body of work “Dark Matter…and all the space between” which explores the presence of ideas that have no objective or measurable characteristics, things that are still present long after a physical entity is gone. She was recognized by the National Council on Education for Ceramics Arts as an emerging artist in the field in 2015 and her work has been included in exhibitions around the country, including a solo exhibition at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft in 2015. O’Briant teaches ceramics production methods and 3D printing technologies at WVU and researches a range of ceramic processes and materials, from coiling and pinching, to 3D modeling and printing.
Lecture on Oct. 27, 2016 | Exhibition in the Paul Mesaros Gallery, Oct. 13 - Nov. 11
Umbrico’s photo-based installations, video and digital media works utilize photo-sharing and consumer websites as an expansive archive to explore the production and consumption of images on the web. Her work navigates between producer and consumer, local and global, the individual and the collective, with attention to the technologies that produce these forces. Umbrico’s work is represented in museum collections around the country in New York, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, San Diego and San Francisco, among others. She is the recipient of multiple fellowship awards including the Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship and the New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship.
Laura Mesaros Gallery, Dec. 1 - Jan. 13
The exhibition features student work in ceramics, photography, sculpture, printmaking, graphic design, painting, drawing, video and animation. Judging is a multi-tiered process that starts with a committee of WVU School of Art & Design faculty who select the pieces to be included in the show. This year, 30 pieces were selected from 150 submissions.
The students selected for this year’s exhibition are: Emily Londregan, Kayla Garpstas, Shelby Rush, Tiera Floyd, Andrea Jimenez, Sidney Duncan, Kyle Irvin, Jae Hyun, George Cho, Justin Clem, Heather Rios, Justin Clem, Rebecca Graham, Tessa Martinez, Dylan Smith, Anna Beckett, Tyler Fetty, Jared Peterson, Leslie Norris, Bridget Hirak, Leslie Norris, Lydia Taylor, Jacob Guzan, Emma Hurley, Kristy Roberts, Patrick Bayly, Adam Herrick , Tatjana Martinez, and Anthony Estbez.
Lecture on Feb. 2, 2017 | Exhibition in the Paul Mesaros Gallery, Feb. 2 - Mar. 3
Cox-Richard is a sculptor based in Houston, Texas. Her recent projects focus on
systems and networks that are ubiquitous yet often unnoticed: the electrical
wiring and plumbing in the walls, the sprawling mycelium underfoot and the goods
created by cottage industries. She has been awarded an Artadia grant, a Smithsonian
Artist Research Fellowship, a postdoctoral fellowship in the University of Michigan’s
Society of Fellows and residencies at the Core Program, Millay Colony, RAIR Philadelphia
and the MacDowell Colony.
In conjunction with Cox-Richard’s exhibit, the WVU School of Art & Design hosted “Old
Copper Futures”, a public sculpture created from recycled industrial materials.
The sculpture was unveiled in front of the Creative Art Center on Feb. 2.
Lecture on Feb. 9, 2017 | Exhibition in the Laura Mesaros Gallery, Feb. 2 - Mar. 3
In the exhibit, Amy Schissel’s work confronts the current anxieties about the role of painting in the internet and information age through the development of site-specific immersive painting and video installations. It has been her long-term project to navigate through a constant technological presence in a data-driven, media-saturated culture through work that hybridizes painted and digital languages, while addressing contradictions of identity in geo-political relationships.
In “Satellites, Lasers and Drones, Oh My! Investigating Medieval Methods Using Modern Tools,” Olsen evaluated how digital technologies, like geographic information systems and laser scanning, can give insight into, and help better understand, medieval labor processes. She presented an on-going case study on 11th and 12th century building in the Brionnais region of Burgandy, France. Olsen specializes in French medieval art, with a particular interest in 12th century architectural design and labor practice. In addition to this work, she has published on a wide array of topics ranging from pilgrims and portal sculpture to sensory and performative responses to late medieval devotional images.
March 2 | Deem Distinguished Lecture
Manchester Bidwell Corporation President and Chief Operating Officer and MacArthur
Genius Fellow Bill Strickland spoke on making the impossible possible. The
decline of the steel industry created widespread unemployment, and Bidwell
Training Center addressed the problem by offering vocational training to
displaced and underemployed workers. Due to Strickland's successful track
record with MCG, he was asked in 1971 to assume leadership of BTC and guide
its transition to providing skills relevant to Pittsburgh's emerging market
economy. Strickland's involvement in both MCG and BTC doubled the strength
of Manchester Bidwell Corporation's ability to help the community. Today,
Manchester Bidwell Corporation has evolved into a national model for education,
culture and hope.
As founder and principal of Rule29, Ahrens lives the firm's philosophy of "Making Creative Matter." Like any creative professional, Ahrens enjoys digging into a business problem and designing a strategic solution. But he gets a bigger charge out of seeing the positive impact that solution can make–for the client and for the world. Ahrens speaks the languages of both business and design, guiding Rule29's strategic and creative direction on every project. He fosters the collaborative approach that's at the heart of the firm's relationships with clients ranging from Fortune 500 brands to nonprofits to small startup companies.
April 6 | J. Bernard Schultz Endowed Lecture in Art History
J. David Summers, Ph.D., Emeritus William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of the History
of Art at University of Virginia, presented “Michelangelo and the World.” Summers
is among the most distinguished art historians of the time. He has been
the recipient of two Arthur Kingsley Porter Prizes from the College Art Association
and a National Endowment for the Humanities grant. Summers hold a doctoral
degree from Yale University and taught at Bryn Mawr College and University
of Pittsburgh before joining the faculty at the University of Virginia. In
1996, Summers was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.