Portrait of Eddy Lopez leaning on a railing outdoors in a wooded area.

Bucknell’s López Wins State Museum of Pennsylvania Competition

September 15, 2023

by Mike Ferlazzo

Professor Eddy López, art & art history, has now placed first in the State Museum of Pennsylvania competition twice. Photo by Emily Paine, Communications


López's award-winning entry NYTimes BLM. Photo by Eddy López

Bucknell University Professor Eddy López, art & art history, placed first in the State Museum of Pennsylvania competition in the category of "work on paper" for his piece called NYTimes BLM. The competition winners — who were chosen from 86 finalists selected from 1,915 entries representing 29 Pennsylvania counties — will have their work displayed at the State Museum, 300 North St., Harrisburg, Pa., through January.

"There were around 2,000 entries, and they initially chose about 4% of them for a very selective show in the State Museum," said López, a native of Nicaragua, who started at Bucknell in 2016. "It is quite an honor to win in my category and get to show my work with some of the finest artists from all over the state."

NYTimes BLM is from a series López named Mañana, y mañana, y mañana (Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow), which consists of prints that compound news events into hazy objects that obscure the images and texts of the original formats. To create NYTimes BLM, López composited all the covers of The New York Times from June 2020, when the Black Lives Matter protests began.

To print the image, López says an underlying layer was digitally printed using archival pigment inks onto Cold Press Bright paper using an Epson P8000 printer. On top of this layer, the black layer was silkscreened. The final edition was of 10, with three artist proofs.

The award-winning entry continues to showcase his artistic focus on social issues.

"I'm very interested in tackling issues that deal with social-political things happening around us, and that comes from growing up in my home country of Nicaragua, where artists and writers like Ernesto Cardenal, Sergio Ramirez and Gioconda Belli were tackling these really heavy social subjects — like poverty, war, and revolution — and calling for justice," he said. "I learned from them that this is something artists can do and should do — to be committed to social justice and be committed to our community for its betterment. I continue that commitment in the work that I’m doing."

López will be a special guest speaker at a public event Friday, Oct. 20, at the exhibition, where he will have a conversation with State Museum Director Angelica Docog.

Art of the State is an annual juried exhibition that has showcased the work of Pennsylvania's artists at The State Museum of Pennsylvania since 1968. This body of art reflects over a half-century of creative endeavor in the Keystone State. Through the years, artists have shared their ideas and engaged viewers in the categories of painting, photography/digital media, craft, sculpture, and work on paper.

"This year’s Art of the State exhibition continues a 56-year tradition of diversity," Docog says. "The artists find inspiration from diverse backgrounds, and each has a unique style. While some artists are deeply rooted in Pennsylvania traditions, others bring inspiration from around the world. Some artists have decades of experience and others are new or returning to creative pursuits. Despite these varied perspectives, all artists seek to engage with viewers. We look forward to sharing these artists' stories with our visitors."

López also won first place in the same category in 2020. His winning work, La Prensa: Resistencia Ciudadana, was created using numerous 2018 newspaper clippings on anti-government protests in Nicaragua.

Art of State is presented by The State Museum of Pennsylvania in association with the Pennsylvania Heritage Foundation, which is the nonprofit partner of the Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission, a state agency.

The State Museum of Pennsylvania, adjacent to the State Capitol in Harrisburg, is one of 23 historic sites and museums administered by the Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission as part of the Pennsylvania Trails of History. The State Museum offers expansive collections interpreting Pennsylvania’s heritage.