Friday, September 14, 2012

Elemental Expression

PLU features art exhibit on Earth, Sea and Sky


By Kelsey Mejlaender and Kadazia Perry, Guest Writers

Earth, sea and sky have become tangible elements at Pacific Lutheran University. Until Oct. 3, everyone will have a chance to see all three through the eyes of artists in an exhibition hosted by PLU in Ingram’s gallery and in the Anderson University Center’s display case.

Heather Mathews, assistant professor of art & design and Ingram gallery coordinator, was tasked with assembling and coordinating the exhibition, appropriately titled Earth, Sea, Sky.

“I wanted to find a way to showcase one of the strengths of the collection: landscape,” Mathews said regarding the inspiration behind the gallery concept. “We have a large number of really interesting paintings and works on paper that are images of the countryside, the sea and shore, mountains, city streets … all kinds of views in many different styles.”

The exhibit includes a range of media—oil on canvas, lithograph, woodcut and photography—all portraying rural and urban beauty. The subjects are local too—including Mt. Rainer and one painting depicting a part of PLU in 1896, displayed in the AUC.

Former PLU faculty played a big part in Earth, Sea, Sky. Most notable is F. Mason Holmes, a former professor who painted the 1896 scene of PLU and countless others. His contributions include eight pieces in the Ingram gallery, plus every painting in the AUC.

“The show does feature a number of paintings by F. Mason Holmes,” Mathews said.  “[Holmes] taught at PLU in the early 20th century and is well-known for his views of Mt. Rainier and other regional landmarks.”

The effect of the art is certainly not lost on Mathews.

“I enjoy being in the space and just comparing the different works, enjoying the variety of approaches the artists applied,” she said. “There's such a range of mood in the pictures—not all of them are restful, relaxing images. A few are more high-energy, and there are some more somber images, as well.”

The gallery in Ingram is open every weekday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

First-Year Kimberly Belleville glances at a painting of the famous Mt. Rainier in the new Earth, Sea, Sky exhibit on Monday. "I’ve heard the mountain is gorgeous in person," Belleville said. "I hope to hike it with my fellow Lutes someday soon!" Photo by Emily Knutsen.