New exhibitions opening at the West Virginia University Creative Arts Center’s Mesaros Galleries on Thursday (Jan. 17) include paintings by Youxian Zhang, one of China’s most famous painting masters, and ceramic sculptures by Robert “Boomer” Moore from the WVU School of Art & Design faculty. Both exhibitions will be open through Feb. 21.

The Robert Moore exhibition is titled “Just Add Water” and will be on view in the Laura Mesaros Gallery. The work includes ceramic and mixed media sculpture. Moore, who is assistant professor of ceramics in the WVU School of Art & Design, will present an artist lecture about his work at the opening on Thursday (Jan. 17) at 5 p.m., in Bloch Learning and Performance Hall (200A). The opening reception for both exhibitions will follow at 6 p.m. at the Galleries.

“My interest in water started about five years ago with my first trip to China,” Moore said. “I had never traveled to a location where they told you not to drink the water. I was also told to use bottled water to brush my teeth. The dorms where I was staying shut the water off in the evening and it did not come back on until the morning, so if you wanted to shower or flush a toilet you had to wait. I’m a person who does not buy bottled water, but paying for water in China became a necessity. While in China, I also started to notice the water storage tanks, especially the personal tanks located on top of the homes.

“These situations made me realize how I take for granted that at home I can do things like shower, drink tap water, and play in the water at any time. The pieces in ‘Just Add Water’ reflect my experiences and ideas about water and are driven by ideas about consumption, purification, management and play. The work drives the viewer to think about this simple, yet critical, substance that many of us take for granted.”

Moore was born in Fargo, N.D., and received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Montana State University-Bozeman in 1995 and his MFA from Utah State University in 1999. Upon completion of his MFA, Boomer held the position of Studio Coordinator and Instructor for nine years at Ohio University in Athens. He joined the faculty of the School of Art & Design at WVU in 2008.

Moore is a fellow of the Archie Bray Foundation in Helena, Mont., and Watershed Center for Ceramic Arts, Newcastle, Maine. He has presented numerous workshops at schools and institutions across the nation. His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, in such venues as National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA) Clay National 2003, American Shino 2002 and The Fletcher Challenge 1998. His work can be viewed in many publications such as, The Ceramic Design Book, The Ceramic Glaze Handbook and Claytimes Magazine. In 2004 he was awarded an Ohio Arts Council’s Individual Artist Grant.

Youxian Zhang’s exhibition is titled “Youxian Zhang: Painting on Paper” and will be on view in the Paul Mesaros Gallery. He is professor of art and director of the Fine Art College of Nanjing Arts Institute in China, where the WVU School of Art & Design has a summer painting program.

Zhang specializes in figure, landscape, flower and bird painting and is one of China’s most famous painting masters. He has had solo exhibitions at Nanjing Normal University, Shanghai Arts Museum, Jiangsu Arts Museum and Xiamen Arts Institute. He has been a visiting professor at Xiamen Arts Institute and at China Central Academy of Fine Arts. He has also exhibited his works in Germany and is the author of numerous books on Chinese landscape, flower, bird and figure painting.

WVU painting professor Naijun Zhang is a graduate of the Nanjing Arts Institute and currently conducts a WVU summer painting program at the institute. The program provides an opportunity for students to study landscape painting in Chinese Ink style in Nanjing and Tangka Style in Tongren, with extensive traveling to major historical and artistic sites throughout China.

Managed and programmed by Curator Robert Bridges and the WVU School of Art & Design, the Mesaros Galleries organize a diverse and exciting schedule of exhibitions throughout the year. The galleries are committed to showing experimental work that is innovative both in terms of media and content. The Mesaros Galleries and the WVU School of Art and Design also host contemporary artists of important or growing reputation who work in all media in the Lecture Series.

All Mesaros Galleries events, including art lectures, exhibitions and receptions are free and open to the public.

Gallery hours are Monday through Saturday, from noon to 9:30 p.m. The galleries are closed Sundays and University holidays. Special individual or group viewing times may be arranged upon request.

For more information, contact Robert Bridges, curator, at 304-293-2312.



CONTACT: Charlene Lattea, College of Creative Arts

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