University art gallery exhibits ‘Pushed, Pulled and Pressed’ series

The “Pushed, Pulled and Pressed” art exhibit in the university art gallery represents freedom of creativity.
The “Pushed, Pulled and Pressed” art exhibit in the university art gallery represents freedom of creativity.

“Pushed, Pulled and Pressed” is the current exhibit in Clarion University’s Art Gallery.

The gallery is located on Level A of Carlson Library and will be displayed there until Nov. 14. This is the first exhibit to be shown this semester at the university.

The exhibit consists of nearly two dozen pieces of art in varied media. This display has examples of work done by the Artists Image Resource. The AIR is a Pittsburgh-based nonprofit group of artists who provide tools of printing and publication to its members.

“Pushed, Pulled and Pressed” showcases the variety of modern art and affirms creativity unbound from any traditional stereotypes of the definition of “art.” This can be observed by the array of subject, style and media used to produce the displayed pieces.

Immediately to the left of a patron upon entering the gallery is a digital print by Nick Bubash. Unlike a typical digital print—ink transferred to a canvas in exact replication of a computer image—this piece is made unique by handwork. Once printed, this artist further embellished his work by hand. Bubash ensured that this copy of his original art would be a piece of art incomparable in exact detail to any other.

Jennifer Rockage McGhee contributes with a medium unfamiliar to many art gallery stereotypes: fabric. McGhee works with patterns as do other artists, but prints them as fabrics rather than to be displayed in a picture frame. Her two patterns in the exhibit are hung side by side on wall fixtures, rather like long coat hooks.

A third example of nontraditional art is Delanie James’ “Tape Circle.” Framed in the gallery is James’ wide black circle, a seemingly uninteresting and uncomplicated print. This piece, however, is no screen print. This is made from tiny, intricate overlapping pieces of tape, shaded with ink.

Also present are screen prints on aluminum, wooden panels and stacked cubes. Other methods of publication include “relief etching” (where the image stands out on the page), its opposite, “intaglio” and “lithograph” printing transfers. All these are tied together with a theme of freedom of creativity.

The image used to advertise this exhibit is Shephard Fairey’s relief etching titled “Obey.” This piece depicts a machine that looks like a loom. This loom is weaving a piece of fabric with a face which presents an expression of exasperation mixed with exhaustion. Written below the image is the word “obey” bordered in red.

There is an irony in this image being used to represent this exhibit, and in the exhibit’s title: “Pushed, Pulled and Pressed.” The artists were given limits only by their imaginations. Unhindered by compulsory conformity to a style or subject matter, these individuals are unhindered in the execution of their projects.

“Obey,” explicitly, and “Pushed, Pulled and Pressed,” implicitly, both speak out against obligatory adherence to stereotypes. Through various media and subject matter, the exhibit on display in Carlson Library advocates creativity and individuality. With access to the tools from AIR, these artists are able to use their skills to share their adventurous exploration of style with the world.

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