Hiram College

Hiram College will present a group art exhibition,“Point of Departure: Five Contemporary Realists” in the Art Gallery of the Gelbke Fine Arts Center, 12000 Winrock Road, from August 30 through October 1, 2010.

A reception will take place on Friday, September 10, from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., and will include an artist talk in the gallery at 6 p.m. The reception, talk and exhibition are free and open to the public.

The exhibition features the work of Philip Jackson from Mississippi, Jason Lewis from Pennsylvania, Paul LaJeunesse from Oregon, Christopher Ryan from Northeast Ohio and Dennis Wojtkiewicz from Northwest Ohio. Curated by Wojtkiewicz, a professor at Bowling Green State University, the show presents five artists working within the tradition of realist painting, four of whom, at various times, studied in the graduate art program at Bowling Green State University.

From this point of departure, each artist developed his own particular technical approach and pictorial style, while also going on to explore diverse subject matter and individual content inspired by interaction with, and observation of, various unique environments. The subject matter in the show ranges from monumental close-ups of natural forms to intimate, playful scenes of everyday objects; from the undulating mountains of western Pennsylvania and the somber yet majestic landforms of Iceland, to iconic and enigmatic imagery found in Italy.

In the introduction to the catalog that was produced for the show, Bowling Green State University Professor of Art History Allie Terry-Fritsch points out that beyond displays of painting virtuoso, these works display a kind of illusionism that is “countered by a self-conscious reference to the materiality or construction of the image.” She notes that “the resulting tension between realism and artifice produces wonder in the viewer precisely because the image acknowledges itself as a constructed reality.” While working in the realist tradition, Terry-Fritsch also asserts that these artists address issues relevant to the present day, as they reflect “the contemporary aim of realist painting to challenge viewers to probe beneath surface realities and to discover the layers of signification that inform the making process.”

Before arriving at Hiram College, the exhibition premiered in the McAlear Gallery at the Schedel Gardens in Elmore, Ohio, where the show ran from June 5 to July 30, 2010.

Directions to Hiram College can be found at on the Hiram College website.

The Art Gallery is open from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, but will be closed on Monday, September 6, 2010.