April 02, 2009

Reception focuses on two new museum exhibits

by Andrea Hahn

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- A public reception at University Museum at Southern Illinois University Carbondale focuses on two new exhibits that opened March 24.

The reception is from 4-7 p.m. on Saturday, April 4. The exhibits are Monteith/Wessel: Wood -- Two Perspectives, and Theodore Harvey: Ceramics. A Friday, April 3, reception, also from 4-7 p.m. recognizes Ryan Thomas, a master of fine arts degree candidate, with his painting and mixed media thesis exhibit.

Monteith is the head of graduate studies and of the sculpture program in the School of Art and Design at SIUC. Monteith uses “found” wood in some of his sculptures. His recent works incorporate a fallen red maple he found in Virginia, during an artist residency there. He is also working with an ironwood from his Cobden home. He described his work when he first came to SIUC as “really refined.” He used boards and furniture-grade lumber in those days. More recently, he favors manipulating more natural wood.

Wessel is an architect and an associate professor in the School of Architecture at SIUC as well as an artist. Wessel notes “architecture is a rational, functional pursuit as well as a creative, conceptual pursuit.” He cites “the structure of architectural detail, the scale and form of cabinetry and the concept of sculpture” as his influences. He is an SIUC alumnus.

Harvey, also an SIUC alumnus, is professor emeritus from Kent State University. His exhibit uses fish as a metaphor in a symbolic “pond” in the gallery. His works incorporate clay and polymer. Harvey’s recollections of his time at SIUC prompted him to begin working with the SIU Alumni Association to establish a fund to help needy SIUC students.

Thomas’ exhibit is one of several master’s thesis exhibits at the museum. Architecture and photography students use the museum’s exhibit space for several of their projects as well.

Continuing exhibits at University Museum include an historic look at Old Main, a prized Oglala Sioux buffalo robe and a special Josef Albers exhibit.

Museum hours for the remainder of the semester are 10 am.-4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 1-4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. There is no admission to enter the museum, but donations are always welcome.