Art lovers can lose themselves in the wonder of paintings, photos, sculptures, fiber art, French posters — art in all its forms, on display for education and enjoyment.
“Selections from the Permanent Collection” will offer more than 100 works of art at the Lore Degenstein Gallery in the Degenstein Campus Center at Susquehanna University. An opening reception, free and open to the public, will be held at 7 p.m. on Saturday, September 7. The exhibition runs through October 6.
“I spent a lot of time this summer going through our collection (more than 2,300 works of art) and selecting more than 100 works for the show. I think people will enjoy the variety of artwork that’s in the show,” said Dan Olivetti, gallery director. “We’ve curated four major French Poster exhibitions over the last 26 years, and for this show I selected work that was visually appealing to me and had never been shown publicly in the past. Many of the pieces are in the ‘Art Deco’ style.”
Since becoming director of the gallery 13 years ago, Olivetti focused mainly on collecting the work of contemporary painters and printmakers that have been in shows at the Lore Degenstein Gallery, he said. The result is a selection of paintings and prints, with a couple of fiber pieces and one collage. Some of the works are from artists in the region.
“I feel that the public might not know that we have our own private collection, let alone how extensive it is,” said student Angelique X. Poragratti, gallery preparatory. “Our personal collection is really amazing.”
She listed Andy Warhol original polaroids and pieces, French posters “that made a huge contribution to graphic design in recent history,” previous Figurative Show pieces, and pieces from American Regionalist artist Thomas Hart Benton, John Steuart Curry, and Grant Wood.
“I think visitors will enjoy the photographic reproductions from our 2008 show, ‘Susquehanna University: A 150 Year Retrospective,’ depicting scenes of campus life, mostly light-hearted and entertaining scenes, with some dating as far back as 1915,” Olivetti said.
In 2011, Olivetti curated a show titled “Warhol and his Imitators,” with a twist.
“Warhol often used his photographs as source material for other projects, such as his famous screen prints of Elvis, Marilyn, and Jackie,” Olivetti said. “We took some of his less famous subjects and turned Susquehanna University’s Graphic Design and Photography students loose with the task of imitating Warhol’s silk screen prints using digital tools. Their colorful, creative interpretations are displayed along with the original Warhol polaroid portraits.”
Two sculptures “hewn from Italian Carrara marble” include a bust titled “Head of Liberty,” in which the subject is wearing a Phrygian cap, which was a symbol of the French Revolution. The other bust is of Christopher Columbus, “and it’s really heavy,” Olivetti said.
Olivetti was surprised to find in Susquehanna’s collection a three-panel print by Edward Gorey, famed artist and writer whose popularity was enhanced beginning in 1980, when the long-running “Mystery!” series debuted on PBS.
“The series’ opening title sequence featured animations based on Gorey cartoons,” Olivetti said.
“There’s truly something for everyone here,” Poragratti said.
The gallery is open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day, including weekends.
“People are encouraged to stop by and look around,” Olivetti said.