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By Kathryn Kopchik
LEWISBURG, Pa. — The Samek Art Gallery at Bucknell University is hosting three exhibitions of abstract, queer and DIY contemporary art on campus and in Lewisburg. Gallery exhibitions and programs are free and open to the public.
"do it" is a participatory process-oriented art project, conceived and curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist. International artists created sets of instructions that are interpreted, made and performed by local residents.
"Alison Knowles' work, 'Homage to Each Red Thing,' asks participants to place one red thing into each square in a grid on the floor," explains Richard Rinehart, director of the Samek Art Gallery. "Choices include a piece of fruit, a doll with a red hat, or a shoe. We invite gallery visitors to bring one red thing, and eventually the entire floor will be covered, creating a new art work every day."
"In addition, a new artwork will be performed or installed at noon every Friday this fall, so the exhibition will constantly change," Rinehart said.
An opening reception for "do it" will be held Friday, Sept. 27, from noon to 1 p.m. The exhibition may be viewed through Dec. 13.
"do it" is a traveling exhibition conceived and curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist, and organized by Independent Curators International (ICI), New York. The exhibition and the accompanying publication were made possible, in part by grants from the Elizabeth Firestone Graham Foundation, the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation, and with the generous support from Project Perpetual and ICI's International Forum and Board of Trustees.
"Strange Bedfellows: Collaborative Practice in Queer Art," is curated by Amy Cancelmo, who says of the exhibition, "The artists that I present in 'Strange Bedfellows' range in their gender and sexual identities, politics, and strategies for collaboration.
"Queerness can be defined as both an expression of non-heteronormative sexuality or gender expression, or as a social and political stance. Queer is a noun, but it is also a verb. To queer something is to make it strange, to present an alternative, and provide a point of rupture in what we think we know.
"In this exhibition I've attempted to present a range of strategies and situations to explore the roles I see collaboration playing in contemporary queer art practice including the personal, performative, and political," she said.
There are several related events to be held in conjunction with the "Strange Bedfellows" exhibition.
The Samek Art Gallery will host "Drag Show in the Samek," with performers from CC's of Sunbury, and an opening reception on Oct. 3, at 8 p.m. in the Samek Art Gallery.
The film, "Portrait of Jason," will be shown Oct. 29, at 7:30 p.m. in the Campus Theatre, located at 413 Market St. in Lewisburg. The documentary by Shirley Clarke is a portrait of Jason Holliday, an African-American gay prostitute and aspiring nightclub performer. It is presented in partnership with the Bucknell University Film/Media Studies program. Admission is $2.
Cancelmo will give a curator's talk Nov. 13 at 6 p.m. in the Gallery Theatre of the Elaine Langone Center. Her talk will be followed by a reception.
The Samek Art Gallery is located on the third floor of the Elaine Langone Center at Bucknell University, accessible via an elevator. Hours are noon to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday during the academic year.
The Downtown Art Gallery will host the exhibition, "Abstraction Today", Oct. 5 through March 2. The exhibition features five major paintings as well as works on paper by five prominent Pennsylvania artists including Neil Anderson, professor emeritus of art at Bucknell.
According to guest curator Bridgette Mayer, a 1996 Bucknell alumna and owner of the Bridgette Mayer Gallery in Philadelphia, "These artists incorporate a love of the process of painting with an interest in design, landscape, science and biology. Their painting practices are driven by: arresting time, curiosity, the linear mark, undercurrents that shape and reshape our world and atmosphere/location."
In a related event, Rinehart will interview Mayer about her career in the arts and the role of abstraction in contemporary art on Oct. 18 at 6 p.m. in the Downtown Art Gallery.
The Downtown Art Gallery is located at 416 Market St. in Lewisburg. Hours are noon to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday during the academic year.