Art Faculty Show

by Luther College Art Faculty
Kristin Wigley-Fleming Fine Arts Gallery, Center for the Arts
January 7 - February 10, 2011

There will be a Gallery Reception on Monday, February 7, 2011 from 5:00 - 6:00 p.m. All are welcome.

Luther College Art Department

The Luther College art department celebrates its 75th anniversary during 2011. To mark the event, there will be an exhibition of work created by art faculty teaching during the anniversary year. Those with work on display include:

Ben Moore (paintings)
Richard Merritt (drawings and artist’s software)
Kate Elliott (photography)
George Lowe (ceramics and sculpture)
Kate Martinson (Norwegian skinnfells)
Julie Strom (photography)
Harley Refsal (carved figures)
Jeff Dintaman (printmaking)
David Kamm (collaborative installation with Luther seniors Nikki Sheppard, Angela Pidde, and Alex Lange)

Artist Statements

Julie Strom: "My latest work in photography has been with cyanotypes. Cyanotype is a simple process discovered in 1842 by Sir John Herschel. It is a combination of two chemicals—ferric (iron) ammonium citrate and potassium ferricyanide. When mixed together and applied to paper or fabric, then exposed to UV light, the ferrous salt reacts with the potassium ferricyanide to form an insoluble ferric ferricyanide creating the familiar Prussian Blue cyanotype print. I am drawn to this particular process because, unlike the wet darkroom or digital process, there are parts of this process that you simply cannot control exactly. I apply the solution to the paper myself and am intentional about the brush strokes to add to the individual nature of each photograph. The particular negatives are selected to match the individual prepared paper and the exposure varies with the sun’s intensity. I like how a particular image changes with different exposures and if it is toned or not. This process also allows me to work in watercolor or color pencil after it has been exposed. I am interested in the ability to individually alter the photographs to make one-of-a-kind photographs when most people think of photography as a process that allows, so easily, for identical duplication of images."

David Kamm: Shaw Amusements Shooting Gallery mixed media, 2010
"This piece is one of several incarnations of work that originated in the 2008 Lutheran Academy of Scholars at Harvard University. The four figures (mounted officer, foot soldier, drummer boy, and flying figure) were created as linoleum prints and reproduced as photocopies for this project. They are based on figures in the Robert Gould Shaw Memorial (1884-97), a famous Civil War monument created by Augustus Saint Gaudens and located on the Boston Commons. Robert Shaw was commander of the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Regiment, the first unit of black soldiers commissioned by the Union during the Civil War. Many people are familiar with their story through the movie Glory. Work was completed in collaboration with several Luther students and colleagues. Alex Lange (’11), Angela Pidde (’11) and Nicole Sheppard (’11) helped bring conceptual clarity to the piece and provided a performance element under the guidance of Jeff Dintaman. Mark Halverson (’11) was technical director for the project. Construction was accomplished by the Jewel Theatre work-study crew under the direction of Tom Berger. I thank all of them for their help."

The shooting gallery will be open for supervised shooting Monday, February 7, 5:00 – 6:00 p.m.

Harley Refsal: Little Whittles basswood, 2010
"'The greatest carver does the least cutting . . .' (from the Tao Te Ching, a classic Chinese text written around the 6th century BC).  The ‘difficult art of simplification’ has intrigued, inspired and challenged artists for a long time. During the earliest years of my carving career, I sometimes felt that I had my hands full just trying to get a farmer to look like a farmer, rather than a horse. But eventually that challenge grew less daunting and was replaced by a new goal: creating figures with fewer and fewer cuts. My heroes, those largely anonymous 19th and early 20th century giants of this Scandinavian-based style of carving (now often referred to as ‘flat-plane figure carving’) created their handheld wooden figures using only a single tool – a sturdy, fixed-blade, all-purpose knife. So I strapped on one of those knives about 25 years ago, when our family lived in the mountains of West Telemark, and I quickly became a convert. I found it liberating to set aside my small arsenal of specialized carving tools and concentrate instead on using just one knife – a whittling knife. Increasingly, my carvings started to feel unencumbered by unnecessary detail. These figures are part of a collection of a couple dozen similarly sized pieces that will be featured in a book published by Fox Chapel Publishing, East Petersburg, PA, scheduled for release in May, 2011."

George Lowe: Clay Sleeps press-molded earthenware, 2010
"It takes over a million years for the geological disintegration of feldspathic rock to form the unique crystalline form of 'kaolinite' that makes clay plastic and workable. Scientists have determined that clay is perhaps the most primitive of life forms. It can store information and reproduce itself, two basic criteria for life. Scientists have not yet been able to recreate 'kaolinite' in the lab. Only nature and time can create this most abundant material. This clay was recently dug from outside my studio, shaped, and fired. It has been laying asleep for millions of years, until now."

2010-2011 Luther College Art Faculty