Annabella Beachner reporter
Porter Hall regularly hosts various artists’ works from all over the country within its Harry Krug and University Galleries. The two art exhibits on display this past November include letterpresses of tweets from a millennial perspective, and photography covering aspects of currency and counterfeit laws.
The University Art Department features two galleries, the Harry Krug Gallery, and the University Gallery. Exhibitions are chosen by a group committee composed of students and faculty, with James Oliver Jr. assigned to facilitate the galleries. Artists are chosen from all over the country, and at various points in their career from emerging to mid-career. The exhibitions are also open to the public, and feature artists’ talks and receptions to get to know the artist and their work on a personal level.
“They’re both very thought provoking in terms of the different topics that they address, as well as the media that they are created from,” said Oliver.
In the Harry Krug Gallery, a letterpress print exhibition titled “Points of Origin: Through the Millennial Lens” by Natalie Tyree will be shown until Nov. 30, 2022. The exhibition features various millennial tweets from the social media site Twitter, in letter pressed to highlight them in a text-based form. A closing reception will be held on November 30 from 5-7 p.m., with a zoom artist talking with Tyree to be determined later. Tyree is from Bowling Green, KY and is an Associate Professor at Western Kentucky University.
“The exhibition related to tweets, I personally am not on social media a lot, but I find them interesting from the standpoint that they’re using a specific historical technique with letterpress printing that goes back a long time in combination with contemporary modes of communication to show the combination of the two,” Oliver said.
The University Gallery features a Simulacrum by Ariel Wilson, titled ‘Making Money While Destroying Photographs” and displays digitally manipulated photography covering topics of currency. This exhibit will be shown until Dec. 10, 2022. Wilson is from Salt Lake City, UT. The exhibit investigates aspects of currency and thoughts about laws governing counterfeiting. The idea generated itself from an assignment she gave her students. When the assignment was completed, the upper administration of the institution where she was teaching at the time, indicated that Wilson needed to destroy the work because they were nervous about the possible repercussions if they were perceived as counterfeit.
“Incidentally, the University Gallery Exhibition is called ‘Making Money While Destroying Photographs.’ … Which gets into both a lot of legal and ethical aspects of working with money as a content area and subject matter, which is very interesting. I don’t know personally that the theoretical underpinnings are counterfeit, but apparently the university she was previously teaching at perceived them to be that way.” Oliver said.
Upcoming exhibitions include Apperception by Sarah Lorenz, an artist from St. Louis, MO., showing in the Harry Krug Gallery from Dec. 7, 2022 – Feb. 8, 2023. Her painting exhibition discusses biases and is described as “Figurative base work (Based on Human Figures) addresses subliminal biases challenging viewers to recognize personal patterns of thinking, which is the first step towards intentional change.” A closing reception and artist talk will take place on Feb. 8 to close the exhibition.
“In the gallery we try to show a variety of work, any media that is possible in a variety of subject matter and allows the students to both reflect on the work and – specifically the art majors – to look at their work and how and what they’re choosing through their own work. So, it meets the mission of the gallery, which is to expose the PSU art community to a variety of work from around the country.” Oliver said.
The University Gallery will be showing a Dipole Light Installation by Kevin Mercer from Feb. 1 – May 5, 2023. An opening reception and artist’s talk will welcome Mercer on Feb. 1 from 5-7 p.m.
“I’m an artist of course, and it’s important to look at a variety of work,” Oliver said. “I find that the exhibition related to currency, although I don’t work with currency, to be quite interesting in terms of how an artist’s thought process develops and works within certain guidelines, in this case legal ones, related to the subject matter they’ve chosen.”
The University and Harry Krug Galleries are open every day during the week, during normal business hours. They are also open to the public, so anyone in the community is encouraged to view the artwork from the emerging to mid-career artists that are shown from all over the country.