East Tennessee State University

From 06-27-2008 To 07-11-2008


East Tennessee State University
(Johnson City, TN), a Studio Arts Center International (SACI) consortium member, and the ETSU College of Arts & Sciences proudly present an exhibition of art of the faculty of the Department of Art & Design at the SACI Gallery in Florence, Italy from June 27 to July 9, 2008.

The exhibition features new work by studio artists Don Davis, Anita DeAngelis, David Dixon, M. Wayne Dyer, Mira Gerard, Travis Graves, Mindy Herrin, Patricia Mink, Catherine Murray, Ralph Slatton, Mike Smith and art historian Peter Pawlowicz. Curated by Slocumb Galleries Director Karlota I. Contreras-Koterbay in collaboration with SACI Gallery Coordinator Naomi Muirhead, the multimedia exhibit includes painting, sculpture, fiber art, drawing, graphic design, jewelry and metalsmith works, printmaking, ceramics and photography.

The ETSU Department of Art & Design presents work employing diverse artistic styles, media and cultural influences, representing the range of approaches and visions that are part of such a distinct group of artists. Within this show three specific themes are apparent: material and technique, place, and identity.

A variety of techniques is evident in ceramicist Don Davis’ Wiggle Basket and Bowls consisting of three small porcelain vessels fired using three distinct firing methods. The work of metalsmith Mindy Herrin, entitled Pelvic Brooch made from hammered and woven copper combined with silver and graphite drawing of the artist’s self portrait, typifies her interest in the contrast of materials coupled with psychological themes. Interest in exploring alternative surface for traditional art making is apparent in Mira Gerard’s use of antique sheet music for her paintings La Llorona and Disappearer. And the more conceptual approach of Travis Graves’ environmental sculptures is evident on his Paperbag series, which functions on a dual level of exploring the structure and the material in the same object.

The location of ETSU, in southern Appalachia, functions both as a place and an entity, and is directly evoked in the works of prominent photographer Mike Smith with his Gray, TN series. Equally tied to the immediate area, but just as equally suggestive of an awareness beyond the near-at-hand, is Anita DeAngelis’ lithograph with colored pencil Scarred Apple: Johnson City.

The role of place as an artistic influence is not limited to the immediate locality but comes from the faculty’s diverse cultural backgrounds and international travels. Visual interpretations of the global society are present in David Dixon’s graphic works Weiming and YangJian as well as in Catherine Murray’s Dervish, a sculpture made from bronze and painted wood, one of the artist’s new works after her recent travels to China.

Delving more into the psychological realm, Ralph Slatton’s intaglio works And the Slithy Toves and Evocation both feature anthropomorphized animals reminiscent of the darker chapters of children’s stories. The employment of technology to produce work that manifests social consciousness in digital art is at the forefront of M. Wayne Dyer’s Looking for Armistice and Family. While Patricia Mink’s fiber piece Farmhouse History I extends the artistic reach of ETSU in a different direction, with stitched layers of digitally printed fabric that re-conceptualized and re-texturized images of a butler’s pantry from a farmhouse in upstate New York.  Finally, art historian Peter Pawlowicz’s studio art delves into a graphic design of texts and fonts that pay homage to the written word with his work In the Beginning.  



SACI Gallery
Palazzo dei Cartelloni
Via Sant'Antonino, 11
50123 Firenze, Italy
T 055 289 948

Open Monday - Friday, 9am - 7pm
Saturday & Sunday 1pm-7pm

Admission is free
Email the SACI Gallery