Lyco exhibit shows faculty artwork

For the fourth consecutive year, Lycoming College’s art department will hold its faculty art show, beginning today and running until Dec. 13 in the Art Gallery in the Snowden Library. An opening reception also will be held from 4 to 5:30 p.m. today, which is open to the public.

Lynn Estomin, professor of art who has taught at the college for 20 years, said although the event was held irregularly in the past, it has become an annual event as the final show of the fall semester.

“The faculty exhibition is an annual event that gives the Lycoming College Art faculty an opportunity to show the community the new work we created in the past year,” Estomin said. “All of our studio art faculty are also practicing professional artists. The work we do is different, so I don’t expect visitors to the gallery to have one reaction the work. I hope they will spend time with each artist’s work and interpret the work individually.”

Along with Estomin, eight other professors will be apart of the faculty show: Howard Tran, Seth Goodman, Leah Peterson, Katherine Sterngold, Jeremiah Johnson, Michael Darough, David Burke and Jay Innerarity. Each participant has crafted a piece using their own specialization.

For the show, Estomin has created a piece that was inspired by a tragic event, that although it occurred on the other side of the world, has a great impact on our every day lives.

“When I saw the images of the Rana Plaza building collapse in Bangladesh last April, I was struck by the fact that these images were so similar to the photographs of the Triangle Shirtwaist fire in New York City in 1911. The angle of the buildings, mangled escape routes and lines of bodies in temporary morgues created diptychs in my mind with those earlier images. I was transported back to a time when I was in my early 20s, working and organizing in a garment factory. I traveled to New York City to copy the photographs of the Triangle Shirtwaist fire. I felt the same horror looking at the news footage from Bangladesh as I did back then as I focused my camera on the stark black and white images of destroyed lives,” Estomin explained. “One hundred and two years later, the story was the same – only the location, nationality of the workers and the fact that the images were in color have changed.”

Her piece, entitled, “SHAME” is a response to a garment factory that collapsed last April, intertwining images from the New York Triangle Shirtwaist fire and the Rana Plaza collapse in Bangladesh. In 1911, the New York City fire caused 146 deaths of garment workers and the April 2013 collapse of Rana Plaza took the lives of 1,129 people.

She hopes that her work will bring awareness to the unfair conditions that laborers are under, while making clothing that we wear.

Hoping the her piece brings awareness to the unfair conditions in which many of our clothing are made, she said, “Americans should be aware of the conditions faced by the people around the world who make the clothes we wear.”

Howard Tran, chair and associate professor of art, will be presenting a sculpture, which is a hemp fiber of a large head. Tran said the sculpture represents culture, and his inspiration came from his home country.

“I came from Vietnam. There is a lot of culture there. This is exploring that theme, the transition of east and west. It’s a theme of connection between generations and identity. It’s a self portrait in a way,” Tran said of the piece he spent the summer making. “I have kids, so it made me think of them and also my family. It’s also a question of self and expanding.”

Tran is now in his twelfth year of teaching at Lycoming college, and he teaches sculpture and drawing.

The faculty art show, which runs till Dec. 13, also features many different medias, including a drawing by Leah Peterson that won “Best in Show” at the Park Art Fair International in Geneva, Switzerland; stoneware, including matte-glazed coil pots from Katherine Sterngold; and a display from Seth Goodman, assistant professor of art, of “work that examines various cultural expressions of identity as they relate to the American class structure.”

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