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Bruce Erikson: Unravel

November 18, 2005 - February 25, 2006

 

An eclectic exhibit of oil paintings by Bruce Erikson, assistant professor of art at Juniata College, will explore the psychological issues presented by aging, loss, death and family dynamics in a vibrant art exhibit, "Bruce Erikson: Unravel," on display November 18, 2005 through February 25, 2006 at the Juniata College Museum of Art. (right: Bruce Erikson, Cutter of Lilacs, 2003-04, center panel of triptych on birch panel, 24 x 36 inches, flanked by two 12 x 36 inches unhinged wings. Image courtesy of the artist)

Erikson is primarily a figurative painter whose vividly painted scenes often have a jarring psychological underpinning related to how human beings' bodies and minds fail as we age. These sometimes tragic scenes are executed in a highly personal style that uses lush colors and rich tonal qualities to suggest a dream-like or cinematic image. Although Erikson's style is his own, there are echoes in his work of other superb figurative painters, such as Thomas Hart Benton, Edward Hopper and Caravaggio.

"My narratives emanate from personal recollections, memories and dreams that are often overlooked in significance. My work attempts to evolve past the personal by conversing with psychological issues of aging, death and dying, loss and longing," Erikson writes in his artist's statement.

Erikson came to the Juniata in 2005 as assistant professor of art. He has extensive experience both as an artist and as an art professor. He earned a bachelor's degree in fine arts in 1996 from Edinboro University, in Edinboro, Pennsylvania, and went on to earn a master of fine arts degree in painting in 1999 from Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. He holds a certificate from the Illustration Academy in Kansas City, Missouri.

Before joining the Juniata faculty he worked at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he was visiting assistant professor from 2003 to 2005. He worked as a lecturer at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri from 2001 to 2003, where he also directed the university's painting-study abroad program in Florence, Italy. He worked at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign from 2000 to 2001, and was an adjunct faculty member at Youngstown State University in Youngstown, Ohio in 2000. He also was a visiting artist at the Kendall College of Art and Design in Grand Rapids, Michigan in 1999. He received a study-abroad fellowship to Florence, Italy while at Indiana University in 1998.

He has had a series of solo art exhibitions. His "Unravel" exhibition was displayed at Macomb Community College (Clinton Town, Michigan), SUNY-Geneseo (New York), Sinclair Community College (Dayton, Ohio) and Lock Haven University.

His work also has been included in international and national juried exhibitions, including shows at the Hoyt Institute of Fine Arts in New Castle, Pennsylvania, Fraser Gallery in Washington, D.C., Brad Cooper Gallery in Tampa, Florida, Palos Verde Arts Center in Palos Verde, California and Denison University in Granville, Ohio. His "Midwest Narratives" appeared at William Jewell College in Kansas City, Missouri. and Bloomsburg University, in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania. He also has had solo shows at Tennessee Technological University, Penn State Altoona and Ohio Northern University in Ada, Ohio.

His work also has been included in international and national juried exhibitions, including shows at the Hoyt Institute of Fine Arts in New Castle, Pennsylvania, Fraser Gallery in Washington, D.C., Brad Cooper Gallery in Tampa, Florida, Palos Verde Arts Center in Palos Verde, California and Denison University in Granville, Ohio.

He has taught classes in painting, drawing, anatomy, life drawing, intensive color and foundation drawing.

There will be an opening reception for the exhibit at 5 p.m., Friday, Nov. 18 at the museum gallery. The reception is free and open to the public.

 

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