On view at the University Gallery at Pacific Lutheran University are the works of two local artists in an exhibition titled Physicality of the Present. Mixed media ceramics and prints showcase vulnerabilities as a result of physical and emotional constraints. The show opens Wednesday, October 10 with an opening reception from 5-7pm and closes November 7.
Artist John McCuistion, professor and chair of the Department of art at the University of Puget Sound, shows mixed media ceramics that reference the effects and consequences of war.
“The artwork I make is about history, myth, storytelling, religion, relationships, ceremony, civilization and humor. I am interested in the language of gesture, expression, texture, form and color,” McCuistion writes.
The sculptures featured are part of his “G.I. Series”, which were inspired by what he felt was disingenuous information on the part of the U.S. government. He designed the figures with no arms, standing at attention and looking as if they could be placed in a coffin.
“I have a small voice as one person, but my voice is somewhat larger with what I contribute as an artist,” McCuistion writes. “Through my work I am able to contribute to the long tradition of the artist as teacher, recorder and seer.”
Anne Johnston Schuster is a printmaker who has taught studio art, art history and art education at the junior high, secondary and collegiate levels. Schuster’s woodcuts feature children who have fallen victim to physical and emotional constraints.
“In my woodcuts, I endeavor to redefine personal vulnerability, not as a constraint but as a link to our humanity,” Schuster writes. “In a society built upon the precepts of aggression, [the children’s] vulnerability leaves them isolated and forgotten.“
Schuster uses a technique of repeated, striated gouge marks, which creates a still-video effect. Later the image is painted to create hyper-realistic color.
The University Gallery is open Monday-Friday, 8am-4pm or by appointment. Refreshments are provided at the opening reception Wednesday, October 10. The University Gallery is located in Ingram Hall on the northwest side of campus.