Luther hosting artist talk with visiting artist James Jankowiak Feb. 15

Gallery holds opening for Decorah youth artists Feb. 16

Chicago artist James Jankowiak will be the first artist featured in Luther College's new Artist Talk series Thursday, Feb. 15. In addition, Jankowiak, whose exhibit "Prismatic Vernacular" opens Friday, Feb. 16, will be present at a gallery opening featuring the work of local youth, also occurring Feb. 16.

The events begin with Jankowiak's Artist Talk at 6:30 p.m. Thursday in the second floor drawing room. Friday's events include the opening of Jankowiak's exhibit in the Kristin Wigley-Flemming Gallery and the youth artist gallery opening and reception in the Gregerson Gallery, both at 4 p.m. All of the events associated with Jankowiak are located in the Center for the Arts and are open to the public with no charge for admission.

Luther's Lectures and Fine Arts committee and Visual and Performing Arts department are funding the Artist Talk.

The youth artist showcase features the work of third-fifth grade students from Carrie Lee Elementary and Decorah Middle School. Using Jankowiak's artwork and process as inspiration, the Decorah students' work was inspired by a contemporary art lesson written by Luther Preservice Art Educators and taught by Decorah teachers Amy Courtney and Rachelle Branum. Light refreshments will be served at the gallery opening, and there will be a hands-on activity facilitated by Luther Preservice Art Educators.

During the Artist Talk, Jankowiak will explain his evolution from a graffiti artist to an installation artist, educator and activist in Chicago. He'll focus on his pedagogical practice of working with community populations and his work in the studio.

Jankowiak has worked in the learning and public programming department of the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago since 2003. He has led numerous permanent public art projects both within Chicago Public Schools and neighborhood streets, and was commissioned to design artwork for the Chicago Transit Authority's newly constructed Union Station Transit Center in 2016.

Jankowiak's work has been exhibited in the Netherlands, France, New York, Miami and widely in Chicago, including at the Museum of Contemporary Art, SAIC's Roger Brown Study Collection, the Hyde Park Art Center, Western Exhibitions and the Chicago Cultural Center.

His Luther exhibit "Prismatic Vernacular" is on display Feb. 16-March 20 in the Kristin Wigley-Fleming Gallery of Luther's Center for the Arts, with an opening reception at 4 p.m. Friday, Feb. 16, in the same location. The gallery and reception are open to the public with no charge for admission.

Using a combination of hard edged and free hand techniques that connect to history and the contemporary world, Jankowiak explores modes of visual communication associated with past collective experiences and the subconscious meanings people assign to them. His technique is rooted in repetition and ritual, and he considers his painting practice to be a meditative attempt to assign spiritual meaning through the deconstruction of everyday objects.

A national liberal arts college with an enrollment of 2,050, Luther offers an academic curriculum that leads to the Bachelor of Arts degree in more than 60 majors and pre-professional programs. For more information about Luther visit the college's website: