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Past Exhibits from 2017

State College Area School District Annual K-12 Exhibition
Pink and purple shaded drawing of an emotionally distraught girl, by Ally Ellis grade 12

January 5 – 28
Robeson Gallery

The State College Area School District is honored to bring forward some of the best work from their student artists, grades kindergarten through twelve. Many two- and three-dimensional media are represented as are many hours of skilled and creative work from children throughout our community. This annual exhibition provides the young artists an exciting opportunity to share their artwork with the community in a professional setting.


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He Called Me Sexy Baby…But My Name Is Helen
A brightly colored painting featuing a young Helen playing on pots and pans with a young Hillary Clinton babysitting.

January 13 – March 2
Art Alley

Helen Maser’s work explores themes and ideas through the lens of Audre Lorde’s popular writings, The Master’s Tools Will Never Dismantle The Master’s House (1984). In using this framework of dismantling the master’s house, Maser uses art as a tool to speak about pressing issues and combat the patriarchy. For her, the “personal becomes political” as a form of resistance.

Through her development of memory, language, and facilitation of difficult content and conversations, Maser works in the gap of underrepresented and often silenced issues. By using imagery of self-portraiture, pipes, and sites of home improvement stores, her intertwining of rope, blurring of paint, and her resistant gaze counter not only her experiences, but reframe trauma and violence into empowerment and self-autonomy. In moments where representation turns into abstraction, she obtains liberty from the past and reclaims her own body.

Helen Maser is originally from Pittsburgh, PA and currently resides in State College where she is a student at Penn State working towards her BFA in both Painting and Sculpture. Over the past four years, Maser has shown her work in several exhibitions in the State College area. She has also been awarded the Brian Bretzler Memorial Award in Visual Arts, and in 2016 was winner of Rough Intent, an exhibition juried by Richard Reinhart.



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Harriet M. Rosenberg: A Retrospective of Cut Paper
A white Native American-themed and totem pole-esque paper cutting on a black background.

January 19 – March 2
HUB Gallery

Armed with her favorite pairs of scissors, a pair of 4” hair cutting scissors and fly-tying scissors with large finger holes, Rosenberg transforms paper and other easily-cut materials into intricate and versatile designs. In addition to being displayed as originals, her paper cuts have also been used as stencils, screen printed onto recycled clothing, projected as part of theatrical sets, and used as the design for the State College Women’s Resource Center’s holiday cards since the 1990s.

Rosenberg finds inspiration in the Lake Country where she grew up, her Finnish heritage, her travels, and the literature, music, and folk arts that she loves. While her cutting style is her own, it is more closely related to Mexican “papel picado” and Finnish and Inuit carving and printmaking than the traditional European “scherenschnitte” that is most commonly associated with paper cutting.

Rosenberg began to cut paper artistically in her 40’s. Making art from scissors and paper had already been familiar to her at a young age, due to her father’s job at a paper company and her affinity for cutting her own paper dolls. But it wasn’t until after her formal education; a degree in Music and English from St. Olaf College in Northfield Minnesota, an M.Ed in Human Development from Penn State, and a partial degree in Theatre and additional classes in photography and printmaking, that she arrived back where she began — cutting paper.

She recalls, “When I began to carry paper and scissors in my purse, years ago, I realized that I had found my medium at last.”



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Jin Yan
Humorous line drawing of a cowboy, colored with neon highlighers. By Jin Yan

January 31 – March 17
Art on the Move — Student Health Center

Jin Yan describes her drawings as randomized daily visions that incorporate the people and interactions she witnesses in her daily life. She finds inspiration in these common moments, whether it’s someone in line at the coffee shop, a conversation she overheard, a quote from the book she’s been reading, or simply an old photograph.

When drawing, Yan often focuses on a single person, intensely observing them. However, she doesn’t draw every line she sees; instead she bends the truth, contouring in a deliberate way by freeing her hands from accuracy and allowing her mind to lead her hand in reflecting an honest depiction of her poetic thinking. Often, Yan combines her poetry with her visuals in order to emphasize the impact of both expressions.

Jin Yan is a current Penn State student majoring in Communications and minoring in English. She describes herself as a poetry lover and a YouTube addict.



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Misty Frederick–Ritz
A darkly-colored portrait of a woman with a sunflower crown. By Misty Frederick-Ritz

February 1 – May 5
Art on the Move — West Halls

Misty Frederick-Ritz is a painter, jewelry maker, mixed media artist, and digital artist from State College, Pennsylvania. She has a passion for color and texture and loves spending time in her studio. She primarily works with acrylics, water colors, water soluble crayons, inks, polymer clay, beads and buttons, fabrics and fibers, and colored pencils. Frederick-Ritz’s recent works, painted in a style known as “contemporary symbolism,” best represent her as a creative and spiritual person. Frequently featuring a feminine archetype, her paintings are an “outer” representation of her “inner” self.

Frederick-Ritz has shown her work in various locations in Central PA and is a certified “Color of Woman” teacher. She offers individual and group classes on painting, art journaling, and mixed media and creates opportunities for Central PA women and girls to come together in groups and workshops providing community, connection, thought-provoking discussions, and activities that foster personal growth & self-discovery. Her goal is to spark creativity in others and to provide a positive and encouraging environment to help others learn to express themselves through art and writing.



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Black Lives Matter — Paintings by Aaron Maybin
Painting of a young black man in front of the Baltimore skyline painted as an American flag. The young man is held at gun point by two hands, one White and the other African American. By Aaron Maybin

February 16 – April 28
Robeson Gallery

Aaron Maybin is a retired professional football player turned artist. After retiring from the NFL in 2014, he turned his focus towards his talent for art. His paintings, photography, and writings focus on socially relevant themes and issues, including the struggle of African-Americans to be seen not just as equals but as human beings, deserving of respect and basic dignity. Maybin’s work is representative of that struggle and serves as a platform to start difficult conversations, with the hope that it can bring people from opposing sides of the spectrum together and spark important conversations that may otherwise not happen. “Art serves as a bridge between people of different backgrounds, religions, sexuality, and economic class. Such a tool is essential in the fight to break down the many social, cultural, and political barriers that divide us and bring us all to a place where we can find a true common ground in reason,” Maybin says.

While his work focuses on themes and issues that may not be positive themselves, he always begins a new piece by questioning how the messages will positively affect viewers and the community. By keeping this positive focus, Maybin is able to use his work to advocate for the issues that are important to him: racial and economic equality, arts education, and programming in underprivileged communities. Larry “Poncho” Brown, Maybin’s artistic mentor, has described his vibrant depictions of inspirations, racial strife, and communal love, hope, and disappointment as “a mix of good technical ability, ‘hip-hop flair,’ and a probing desire to depict modern black consciousness.”

Aaron Maybin is a former All-American defensive end from Penn State, where he double-majored in Communications and Integrative Arts. He was drafted by the Buffalo Bills as 11th overall pick in the 2009 NFL draft and went on to play for the New York Jets and the Cincinnati Bengals before retiring from football in 2014. In 2009 he started Project Mayhem, a nonprofit foundation that provides personal and economic aid to underprivileged and at-risk youth so that they can excel beyond their current conditions.



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School of Visual Arts Annual Graduate Research Exhibition
2016 Winner: Stacks of white paper with a black squiggle design and brightly-painted edges. By Lindsey Landfried

March 24 – April 23
HUB Gallery

This juried exhibition displays the studio art portion of the Annual Graduate Research Exhibition, offering students the opportunity to display their work in a professional setting. Visual Arts students will exhibit artwork in a variety of media, based on their in-progress work towards their thesis portfolio.

The Annual Graduate Research Exhibition celebrates research in all its aspects as an essential and exciting part of graduate education at Penn State. Established in 1986, the Graduate Exhibition places special emphasis on communicating research and creative endeavor to a general audience and offers an opportunity for professional development by challenging graduate students to present their work in clear, comprehensible terms to people outside their fields.



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Penn State Center for Arts & Crafts Annual Artists and Instructors Exhibition
An oil painting of a ram with a forest village growing on its horns.

March 24 – April 30
Art Alley
Display Cases

This exhibit will feature two- and three-dimensional artwork in media and disciplines representing the range of art classes available at the CFAC.

For more than 40 years the CFAC has provided quality programs and services for the ever-changing social, educational, and recreational needs of the Centre County Community. Their main office and classrooms are located in Ritenour Building at the corner of Pollock and Shortlidge Roads, and the Ceramics Studio is located in the HUB-Robeson Center.

The Center for Arts & Crafts offers a variety of non-credit adult art classes during Fall and Spring semesters, and children’s art camp in the summer. All classes are taught by Penn State University Art majors, Art Education majors, graduate students, and professional artists.



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In Time of Peace — Images of Syria Before the War
A black and white photograph of two Syrian friends, one who looks very serious and the other who is laughing and happy.

April 28 – September 10
Art on the Move — Student Health Center

During the mid-90s, Keith Shapiro traveled extensively, mostly by hitching rides, through Syria and Jordan where he experienced a uniquely warm welcome from strangers who acted with the affect and hospitality of friends. Despite this, he sensed a feeling of sadness and anticipation that the peace they were then experiencing was ephemeral and aimed to capture that feeling through his photography. Unfortunately, their fears about the fragility of peace were right. Much of what Shapiro saw, and some of the people he met, have been destroyed by the recent war.

These photographs are a glimpse of his experience, reflecting the mixed emotions he felt then and the sadness he feels now for a rich and ancient civilization driven into despair and chaos.



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Contemporary Chinese Posters
A modern, abstract poster design constructed from Chinese letters.

May 10 – June 18
HUB Gallery

Gang Meng, Cheng Shi, and Bingyan Xue are three Nanjing graphic designers who are all well-versed in contemporary Chinese poster design and are dedicated to modernizing traditional Chinese culture in graphic design. This exhibition features a selection of their recent and daring works, in which they experiment with the shape of Chinese characters and push the boundary of Chinese type design to embody the expressive, nostalgic, and impressionistic feelings of the characters.

Gang Meng is a Penn State visiting scholar from Nanjing Tech University, Jiangsu Province, China. He has published and lectured internationally in multi-disciplinary design including, but not limited to: visual communications, packaging, advertising, computer graphics, and designing modules. Meng focuses on culture-based design, user analysis, and modernization of traditional design and has participated in several research projects including: City Image Design, Corporation Image Design, and several other provincial and school level projects.



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Getting My Way and Whining About It
"Our Dopey Hero" by Miranda Holmes is an expressive painting of a close-up view of a blue plastic watering can with a very subtle hint of a raging fire in the background.

May 19 – September 7
Art Alley

As we move through everyday life amidst political uncertainty and fear, we search for the broken parts to reveal where we went wrong. Miranda Holmes’ work enters into this conversation through the ambiguous nature of her paintings’ narratives as well as their underlying feelings of unsettledness. By using sickly high-key colors and foggy darks to poke fun at both the absurdity of our gaffes and the dread of our more cutting mistakes, Holmes’ work addresses the culpability of human actions. She creates a sense of ambiguity in her paintings by leaving out certain clues which allows the viewer to pass judgement on where the scene went wrong.

Providing contrast to the underlying violence and irony are a variety of quieter moments, found in the form of fog-ridden trees, the glow of a campfire, or a muscular rock. These shifts between moments of clarity and hope to areas of obscurity and despair are representative of her reactions to the daily uncertainty Holmes faces as she struggles to make sense of the swift changes in her world.

Miranda Holmes is a State College native and a recent graduate of Penn State, where she earned her BFA in Painting and Drawing. She has shown her work in several exhibitions in the State College area, including the HUB-Robeson Galleries’ Art on the Move program in 2016. She was awarded the Ellen Battell Stoeckel Fellowship to attend the Yale Summer School of Art in Norfolk, CT in 2016.



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The Art & History of Bicycles
The Bowden Spacelander, by Ben Bowden. A red, retro-futuristic bicycle that was popular in the 1980s.

June 11 – September 7
Robeson Gallery

Featuring a variety of historical and novelty bicycles from the collection of Bob Swaim, artists Thomas Fainor, Ben Bowden, Kerry McLean, Eric Staller, and Tommmi Miller take the viewer on a two-wheeled tour of the art and history of bicycles.

Thomas Fainor, a wood and metal artist with a very strong mechanical nature and background, begins the historical aspect of The Art & History of Bicycles with his reproductions of a Hobby Horse and Boneshaker. These are followed chronologically by an unknown artist who created the Highwheeler, or Pennyfarthing, and an early Safety Bicycle, which was the precursor to bicycles as we know them today.

Ben Bowden, a British industrial designer, bridges the gap between art and history with his Bowden Spacelander. The Spacelander, when originally released in 1960, was initially considered commercially unsuccessful until the 1980s when a resurgence of interest in the Spacelander as a collectors item led two bicycle enthusiasts to purchase the rights to the name and began manufacturing reproductions.

Kerry McLean is most famous for his design, production, and use of monocycles, which are large, one-wheeled vehicles that the rider sits inside of. Accompanying the Human Powered Monocycle in this exhibit are two one-of-a-kid creations by McLean: a low-rider bicycle and a whole-body tricycle.

Eric Staller is an American artist who uses light and architecture in the creation of his works. He is considered to be one of the pioneers of the Art Car Movement with his 7-person Conference Bike and Love Bike Built for Two.

Tommmi Miller is an American artist from Indiana who creates artistically unique bicycles that are then used by performers. Even though Miller’s passion is for unicycles, evident in his Triple-Wheeled Unicycle, he has also created the Off-Centered Wheel Bicycle, a One-of-a-kind Tricycle, and Reverse Steering Kits for bicycles.

Bob Swaim’s collection of unique human-powered vehicles began with he first saw Tommmi Miller traveling in an old school bus to display his units at a bicycle convention in Iowa in the 1990s. Swaim’s first unique unit came from Miller, and his collection has since grown to include over 200 pieces from a variety of artists. Inspired by Miller, Swaim travels with his bikes in a 24-foot trailer to display subsets of his collection at various events, museums, and schools.



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Embroidered Environments
String sculptures of living room furniture, suspended from the ceiling. By Amanda McCavour.

June 30 – September 12
HUB Gallery

Amanda McCavour works with stitch to create large-scale embroidered installations. By sewing into fabric that dissolves in water, she can build up stitched lines on a temporary surface. While sewing, she crosses the threads over themselves repeatedly so that after the fabric has dissolved, the thread drawing can hold itself together despite appearing as though it could easily unravel and fall apart at any moment.

McCavour is interested in thread’s assumed vulnerability, its ability to unravel, and its strength when sewn together. Her works explore embroidery’s duality: its structural possibility vs. its fragility and its subtle quality vs. its accumulative presence. Through experimentation and creation, she investigates line in the context of embroidery, drawing and installation, and uses stitch to explore connections to home, fibers of the body, and more formal considerations of thread’s accumulative presence.

Amanda McCavour earned her BFA from York University where she studied drawing and, in May 2014, completed her MFA in Fibers and Materials Studies at Tyler School of Art. She displays her work nationally and internationally, most recently in Ottawa (ON), Virginia Beach (VA), and Vancouver (BC) and has recently completed residencies at Harbourfront Centre’s Textiles Studio in Toronto, Maison des Metiers D’art de Quebec in Quebec City, and the Klondike Institute of Art and Culture in Dawson City, Yukon. McCavour has received numerous awards and scholarships from The Canada Council for the Arts, The Handweavers and Spinners Guild of America, The Ontario Crafts Council, The Ontario Society of Artists, The Surface Design Association, and The Embroiderers Guild of America.

For more information on Amanda McCavour, visit her on Facebook or Instagram.



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