Luminosity Exhibit Captures the Imagination with Natural Radiant Energy

Friday, February 13 2009

Feb. 13, 2009 Images are available at Written by Dana Morris MOSCOW, Idaho – Award-winning artists Surel Mitchell and Lanny Bergner present light-emanating pieces at the Prichard Art Gallery’s “Luminosity” exhibit Feb. 25 through April 4. The exhibit opens with the Lionel Hampton International Jazz Festival Community Kick-off Reception Wednesday, Feb. 25, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the gallery. Mitchell is a Boise-based artist who has exhibited across the nation, including Washington D.C., New York and Seattle. In 2000, she received the Governors Award for Excellence in the Arts, and in 2002, she was awarded commission in the Boise City Visual Chronicle Permanent Collection. She served eight years on the board of directors for the Boise Art Museum and 10 years as a docent for the museum. Mitchell works with mixed media, using natural materials on banana paper and saturated with shellac, a finish naturally derived from the lac bug, giving them a warm glow. Her pieces are sometimes multi-panel, in the form of books or wrapped bundles. “They comment on human limitations and the challenges of open and free communication in a society that purports to value freedom above all else,” said Roger Rowley, Prichard Art Gallery director. “She also focuses on imperfection as a necessary condition of life. This, against the societal forces that promote manufactured beauty and false surface perfection, gives depth and tension to her work.” Mitchell’s circle pieces are hand-drawn and collectively hardly look imperfect. Created without mechanical aid or computer, the subtle variations and defects are evident under closer inspection. “It is imperfection that gives them their liveliness, deviations providing richness,” said Rowley. Bergner uses metal fabrics and glass frit that seem to radiant energy enhancing the perceptions of his work. Bergner is a mixed media sculptor who has exhibited internationally. In 2005, he was awarded the Gold Prize at the 4th Cheongju International Craft Biennale in Korea. He won Best of Show in 2008 at the “Beyond Basketry” exhibit, and was awarded the Seventeenth Annual Betty Bowen Memorial Award from the Seattle Art Museum in 1995. Bergner presents a series of hanging sculptures along with a site-specific installation in the exhibit. He uses industrial materials, like metal mesh and glass frit, to create organic structures that reference and idealize biology and cosmology. “His forms speak equally to the micro and the macro,” said Rowley. “By creating pieces on a scale roughly matching our own, it emphasizes the connections we have to what seems otherworldly. They seemingly radiate energy, as if connected to the forces that generate a light from within.” Bergner and Mitchell achieve the quality of luminosity through their own take on what attributes to it. They focus on necessities of a work, which allows it to speak volumes without reliance on the application of scale to give prominence. The Prichard Art Gallery hours are Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The Gallery is closed Monday. The gallery, an outreach facility of the University of Idaho, is located at 414/416 S. Main St. on the corner of Fifth and Main streets in downtown Moscow. Admission is free. Additional information is available at # # # The University of Idaho Founded in 1889, the University of Idaho is the state’s flagship higher-education institution and its principal graduate education and research university, bringing insight and innovation to the state, the nation and the world. University researchers attract nearly $100 million in research grants and contracts each year; the University of Idaho is the only institution in the state to earn the prestigious Carnegie Foundation ranking for high research activity. The university’s student population includes first-generation college students and ethnically diverse scholars. Offering more than 150 degree options in 10 colleges, the university combines the strengths of a large university with the intimacy of small learning communities. For information, visit Media Contact: Roger Rowley, University of Idaho Prichard Art Gallery, (208) 885-3586,

About the University of Idaho
The University of Idaho helps students to succeed and become leaders. Its land-grant mission furthers innovative scholarly and creative research to grow Idaho's economy and serve a statewide community. From its main campus in Moscow, Idaho, to 70 research and academic locations statewide, U-Idaho emphasizes real-world application as part of its student experience. U-Idaho combines the strength of a large university with the intimacy of small learning communities. It is home to the Vandals. For information, visit