Mesaros exhibition to feature WVU School of Art and Design faculty works

Fourteen WVU School of Art and Design faculty members spent the past two years working with printmakers at Artists Image Resource (AIR) in Pittsburgh to produce original art projects. Now they will display their interdisciplinary works at the Creative Arts Center’s Mesaros Galleries.

Titled “Conjunction: Projects by WVU School of Art and Design Faculty,” the show opens Jan. 25 and continues through Feb. 26.

Several of the faculty will present a Gallery Talk about their works on Thursday, Jan. 28, at 5 p.m. at the Mesaros Galleries, with the opening reception following at 6 p.m. in the main lobby of the CAC. All events are free and open to the public.

The AIR gallery originally exhibited the faculty artworks in Pittsburgh last October, as part of a meeting of the 2015 Southeastern College Art Conference (SECAC), which the WVU School of Art and Design co-sponsored.

“The title ‘Conjunction’ speaks to the creative intersection between a variety of media—including photography, digital media, painting, graphic design, sculpture and ceramics—along with traditional and experimental printmaking processes,” said Kristina Olson, art history professor and associate director of the School of Art and Design.

“Although our students have participated in internships as part of WVU’s partnership with AIR since 2004, this is the first time that WVU art faculty have traveled to Pittsburgh to work with AIR’s director, Robert Beckman and project printer Jennifer Rockage, a graduate of our MFA program,” she said. “They wanted to produce these new works as a way to showcase our studio faculty as well as the school’s special affiliation with AIR.”

AIR is an artist-run organization that integrates the production of fine art print work with innovative educational programs that explore the creative process. The staff at AIR act as collaborators, offering not only printmaking expertise, but also their own ideas, advice and conversation.

“It was an exciting challenge for faculty in WVU’s non-printmaking disciplines to engage their aesthetics with the processes of printmaking to create these new works,” Olson said. “The experimentation resulted in some wildly different pieces.”

The faculty and their works include:

Assistant Professor Dylan Collins, coordinator of Sculpture, presents prints titled “Fo’ Sho’,” and ”’Nuff Ced,” from his ongoing “Branded Woodblock Prints” series, which explores slang terminology, folk etymologies, and other forms of truncated language.

Professor Eve Faulkes, coordinator of Graphic Design, will present a mixed-media work titled “Bilateral Confluence,” using visual rhymes, puns, visual metaphors of structures, forms and textures that cascade down paper folds—all on the theme of “confluence.”

Assistant Professor of Graphic Design Joseph Galbreath, director of the GramLee Collection of early 20th century commercial wood engravings in the School of Art and Design, will exhibit a screen print titled “Lettering Specimen Study,” featuring samples from the vast archive of the Triangle Poster and Printing Co., which has been in operation in Pittsburgh for more than 100 years.

Associate Professor Gerald Habarth, coordinator of Electronic Media, presents “Pilot Exercises,” consisting of a reconfigured exercise bike attached to a large-scale, mechanical animation device commonly referred to as a zoetrope. It produces a short and simple repeating animation when viewers pedal the bike.

Professor of Sculpture Alison Helm, director of the WVU School of Art and Design, will have screen prints and a stainless steel and glass sculpture titled “Water Table” in the exhibition, all relating to acid mine drainage, mineral rights ownership and issues of water consumption.

Associate Professor of Sculpture Jason Lee, coordinator of Foundations, will present “Suburban Home,” and “Siding,” two works utilizing embossed paper, steel, rare earth magnets, cast plastic and aluminum. The works relate to the landscape of his youth in the suburban Midwest.

Associate Professor Joseph Lupo, coordinator of Printmaking, will present part of his ongoing project of deconstructing and reorganizing elements from the “Iron Man” comic book series. For this exhibition, he created prints that make use of alphabetized text from Volume: 01, Issue: 178.

Associate Professor of Ceramics “Robert “Boomer Moore will have three screen prints on the theme of “Home.” Utilizing iconic symbols that reference the state of West Virginia, such as the Northern Cardinal, coal, camouflage, and a timber frame house, these prints are an exploration of what home now means for him.

Jeffrey Moser, assistant professor and coordinator of Interactive Media Design, created “Exposing Satanville,” a screen print that began as a plate glass negative and that he scanned, transformed, burned onto a silk screen, and printed onto 16mm film, in order to investigate the texture and topography of cinematic images.

Assistant Professor of Graphic Design Kofi Opoku explores the intrusion of the digital into natural space and how that distorts beauty and the meaning of things in his work titled “Digital Pollution.” His interest with this series focuses on where the digital intersects with the analog in our daily lives.

Associate Professor Shoji Satak, coordinator of Ceramics, created clay monotypes by applying ink to clay tiles and using them as printing plates. When printed, the tactile, malleable nature of the clay squeezed and created unique, one-of-a-kind artworks with layers of clay and ink that bonded with the paper.

Assistant Professor of Painting Amy Schissel’s work “Recoded” uses notational systems—from the scientific to the digital—to examine the communicative potential of visual syntax. Her most recent body of work examines the social ramifications of the constant presence of digital technology in our media-intoxicated culture.

Michael Sherwin, associate professor and coordinator of Photography, spent ten days in the remote wilderness of Wyoming in 2014, documenting the rivers and creeks of the recently protected Upper Snake River Watershed. His series of prints, titled “Confluence Studies,” explores themes of interconnectivity and the relations between the micro and macro worlds.

Associate Professor Naijun Zhang, coordinator of Painting, will have two works in the exhibition, a screen print titled “Fragmented Memory,” and an oil painting titled “Safe Fruits.” His work focuses on the persistence of old traditions in his native China and their incongruity in a modernizing society.

Managed and programmed by Curator Robert Bridges and the WVU School of Art and 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, as part of the Visiting Artist 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, call curator Robert Bridges at 304-293-2312, or email



CONTACT: Charlene Lattea, WVU College of Creative Arts

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