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February 2013

A Retrospective Exhibit: 100 Years of the Art of Keyes and Cox opens in the University Gallery


Join us for the opening of A Retrospective Exhibit: 100 Years of the Art of Keyes and Cox on Wednesday, February 6 from 5-7pm. Emeriti Professors Dave Keyes and Dennis Cox will be exhibiting a lifetime worth of works in PLU’s University Gallery.

Entering the University in 1969 and 1972 and starting phased retirement in 2006, Keyes and Cox have taught in the University for a cumulative of 71 years. The collective 100 years represents each artist/teacher with more than 50 years of devotion to the visual arts, which began in high school, intensified in undergraduate work, became truly refined in graduate school, with MFA’s in studio art and continued for 30+ years of exhibiting and teaching.

Dennis Cox's career has involved drawing, printmaking and watercolor; his work focuses on the human figure, people and the human condition with a foundation in drawing, and more specifically, life drawing. 

“Liken [Life Drawing] to a musician practicing scales or [a mechanic] tuning a car; it sharpens your mind and life – it’s a huge part of my life and teaching,” Cox says.

David Keyes' work consists of ceramic sculpture and vessels, cast and fabricated bronze/mixed media techno-archaic sculptures. Many sculptures are based on antique tools and scientific equipment, which are both purposeful and aesthetic.

“I’ve been a collector my whole life, and my collections have a huge influence on what I do,” Keyes says. “If I were a writer, I’d have a large vocabulary. [My collection] is my vocabulary of shapes and images.”

Keyes collects everything from folk art to Victorian architecture.

“I like odd ball animals, warthogs, rhinos, things that probably should have died out long ago but fortunately haven’t. I like the human face; I like hands. But I would say most of my ideas come from collections and things I read about,” Keyes says.

The two artists vary when asked about their favorite works. Dave Keyes can tell stories about many (ask him about the Pig Stimulator) including a series spawned off of his young son’s three-piece suit.  

“When my son was in the 3rd/4th grade, it was back to school time, so we went to get him some clothes. I took him down to Sears trying to get him some plaid shirts and some jeans. And he’s saying ‘No, I don’t want those – I want a suit.’ I said ‘What are you talking about?’ He goes ‘I want one of those suits with a little vest’. So we got him this little blue, polyester, three-piece suit with a little vest. He would put on this suit and ride off on his little bicycle to school. One day we walked into the store and these little girls his age came out and they all, in unison, said ‘Hi Suit Man’ – that whole thing cracked me up so much it sparked a whole line of sculptures,“ tells Keyes laughing. 

As for Cox, he’ll give you a more intrinsic answer.

“I don’t think I could begin to pick a favorite piece out of my works – as like Robert Henri, I am a believer in the fact that the show exists for others; my time with it was the creation, seeing the idea realized – after that we move on,” Cox says. “It’s now your time to be in that moment, viewing it.”

This exhibition runs February 6 - March 6. For directions to the University Gallery, located in Ingram Hall, visit here. Gallery hours are Monday-Friday 8am-4pm, or by appointment.

The 2013 Focus Series - Empowerment


The 2013 Focus Series brings together SOAC’s talented students and faculty to examine the theme of “empowerment" through a multi-disciplinary approach. The theme explores the creative and artistic dimensions of the social process, which fosters power in people for use in their own lives, communities and in their societies, by acting on issues they define as important. Four events present each discipline – Art & Design, Communication, Music and Theatre as they dynamically interpret “empowerment” through the panorama of their respective discipline. Join us March - May for this dynamic series. 

How I Learned to Drive
Friday, March 8 at 7:30 pm in the Studio Theater 

In the play, How I Learned to Drive the audience is urged to examine their relationship with the term "empowerment" and what it means to them as individuals. The play recounts the relationship between a young girl from a tightly knit lower-middle-class family, and her uncle-by-marriage. The play thoughtfully integrates the metaphor of driving with the idea of control and manipulation. Often described as one of the most disturbing love stories in theatre, How I Learned to Drive contains issues of pedophilia, incest, and misogyny. Following the performance, the cast and special guests will lead a discussion on themes introduced in the play.

Art and the Holocaust: Understanding Aesthetic Experience as Empowerment
Thursday, March 14 at 3:40pm in Lagerquist (edited 2-26, location change from Chris Knutzen Hall) 

What role can the experience of art play in our understanding of the Holocaust? We examine artworks as tools of empowerment, from the point of view of both the victim and the descendants of the perpetrators. We look first at paintings and objects made post-war to address the issue of German guilt, and end with a presentation by faculty from the Music Department of Olivier Messiaen's "Quartet for the End of Time." This event is held in conjunction with the 2013 Holocaust Conference

Beyond Burkas and Bombers: Anti-Muslim Sentiment in America
Thursday, April 11 at 7pm in the Studio Theater 

The MediaLab team opens a discussion on how Islam is defined in America. In their new film, "Beyond Burkas and Bombers: Anti Muslim Sentiment in America" MediaLab members hope to counter negative stereotypes. Premiering in the Studio Theater of the Karen Hille Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, attendants are invited to watch this latest MediaLab production and join a discussion with the local filmmakers as well as special guests across the world. 

Saturday, May 11 at 8pm in Lagerquist Concert Hall 

The University Wind Ensemble and University Singers perform "Cosmosis", a composition by Susan Botti, which sets two texts by American poet May Swenson to music.

The first movement uses the text of “Overboard,” and musically depicts the effects of gravity. In the second and third movements, the effects of gravity are released as Botti interprets Swenson’s fictional musings on the first American space station, Skylab, and an experiment to test if a spider could spin a web in space. Though Skylab ultimately lost orbital integrity and came crashing to Earth, the lessons learned shaped future space missions.

Composer Susan Botti joins us for this special performance.

The Museum of Glass Mobile Hot Shop comes to PLU

mobile hot shopOffering both education and entertainment, the Museum of Glass Mobile Hot Shop will be traveling to PLU February 27, 2013. Join the glass artists in Red Square from 10:30am to 4pm to watch art happen.  

The Mobile Hot Shop truck is a fully equipped glass blowing studio holding everything needed to blow glass, including the cullet (scraps of clear broken glass gathered for remelting), a red-hot furnace, an array of tools, a workbench and a tent for the artists and equipment.

"I'm looking forward to it being on campus in that it offers students a chance to experience a beautiful art technique," says PLU student Hannah Kreutz who also serves on the University Student Museum Advisory Committee. "I don't know how many students make their way to the Tacoma Glass Museum to see glass forms being made, but it's an incredible thing to witness."

Try your hand at drawing something you’d like to be made into glass; glass artists might select your design and make it come to life (and yes, you get to keep the finished piece)!

Event sponsored by ArtsWA, with support from the University Students Museum Advisory Committee. Hosted by the School of Arts and Communication. 

"A Sense of Place" exhibit opens in Seattle 

stasinosPicturesque scenery awaits the art lover this Valentine’s Day. Painting Professor Michael Stasinos’ new Seattle exhibition, “A Sense of Place", opens February 9th with an artist reception February 14 from 5:30 to 8:30pm at the Woodside/Braseth Gallery. Stasinos’ new works were created in his past year of painting and traveling during sabbatical. Travels took him through Amsterdam, Paris, Antwerp, New York City and Utah.

The eclectic group of paintings represents Stasinos’ efforts painting on location during his travels abroad and at home in Seattle. A few were started and finished in an afternoon, but many required numerous hours of returning and reworking each painting. 

“I always demand of myself to make my paintings on location, taking my information from life and not in the studio. I hope to create a sense of clarity of the moment, but a moment that is documented through my experience at the location over many moments, many hours, and many days. I wish to discover what my painting will become,” Stasinos says. “If the paintings are done on location, then I become engaged in a wrestling match with optics and perception against the changing light and weather. The result of this struggle is not so predetermined, but discovered. Although this wrestling with reality may risk the failure of capturing the fleeting moment, I do hope the struggle will always lead to an interesting visual experience.”

Within the paintings are themes of transportation, signs, advertising, graffiti and nature amongst man-made structures and evidence of the human footprint. Many of the images remain desolate and long to be populated, yet rarely are; others, Stasinos lightly populates.

“I choose my locations without much planning except to paint an urban location that strikes my eye as interesting and challenging. I choose my locations around Seattle with a similar attitude. I hope to capture a sense of a place, time, and the personality of the space,” Stasinos says. 

The exhibit will run from February 9th, 2013 until March 9th, 2013. Join Stasinos at the Artist Reception, February 14, champagne and chocolate included.  Woodside/Braseth Gallery hours are Tuesday-Saturday, 11am-6pm and is located at 2101 9th Ave Seattle, WA 98121.