August 12, 2005


by Ilene Ladd

LEWISBURG, Pa. — Fascinating sculptures, sculptural groupings and installations using appliances and other domestic objects as the principal material are on display in the main gallery of the Samek Art Gallery at Bucknell University. The sculptures are the work of 1986 Bucknell graduate Allen C. Topolski.

"Topolski's works often evoke paradoxical responses: the sculptures seem oddly familiar and unknown; whimsical and disquieting; mundane or commonplace and fantastical or precious; mass-produced and finely handcrafted," said Daniel Mills, curator of the Samek Art Gallery.

Topolski will discuss his work in a gallery talk Friday, Aug. 26, at 5 p.m. in the Gallery Theatre of the Elaine Langone Center at Bucknell. The talk is open to the public without charge.

The photographs of Manuel Alvarez Bravo are being exhibited in the Project Room of the Samek Art Gallery. Alvarez Bravo is one of the foremost figures in the history of photography and one of the great Mexican artists of the 20th century.

A self-taught photographer, Alvarez Bravo created a substantial body of work during a career that spanned eight decades. His photographs are deeply rooted in the culture, people and landscape of Mexico, capturing rural and urban life during a century that saw tremendous changes.

In conjunction with the Alvarez Bravo exhibit, Roberto Tejada will give a gallery talk Friday, Sept. 16, at 5 p.m. in the Gallery Theatre of the Elaine Langone Center. The talk is free to the public.

The Topolski and Bravo exhibits can be viewed Aug. 19 through Sept. 25 in the Samek Art Gallery, located on the third floor of the Elaine Langone Center.

Gallery hours are weekdays 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Thursdays 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.; and weekends 1 to 5 p.m., and by appointment. The Gallery is accessible by elevator. For more information about the gallery, call 577-3792 or see http://www.bucknell.edu/SamekArtGallery/

Other exhibits during the 2005-06 academic year are:

"Carrie Mae Weems: The Louisiana Project," main gallery, Oct. 4 through Nov. 22. "`The Louisiana Project' is an installation incorporating still photography, narrative, and video projection as part of an examination of the complex history of New Orleans and the resulting "commingling culture.

"Weems' work raises questions of social justice, racial and sexual identity and the legacy of slavery. While the focus of this work is Louisiana, the cultural implications extend far beyond one state or region," said Mills.

"Carving in Context II: Granite Carving by William Lasansky," begins Jan. 28. This solo exhibition, his sixth at Bucknell, features small and medium-size sculptures by Lasansky, professor of art since 1968, who will retire at the end of the school year.

His sculpture, carved of granite, combines representational and abstract forms that often reference other cultures while leaving parts of the stone in its raw state. Examples of Lasansky's larger work are on view at the Weis Center for the Performing Arts.

A concurrent invitational exhibition will include the work of Lasansky's former graduate assistants who are active sculptors, teachers, and art administrators from around the country. Several of these students will join him in a discussion of their work on Jan. 28. The exhibit runs from Jan. 28 through March 26, 2006.

The Annual Student Show will be on display from April 7 through May 2. The Student Exhibition provides the Bucknell community an opportunity to view student works created in drawing, painting, photography and video, printmaking, and sculpture courses, and also work created independently.

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