“SLAG: The Anti Art Glass Exhibit” Opens Feb. 24 at the Prichard Art Gallery

Friday, February 12 2010

Written by Becca Johnson
MOSCOW, Idaho – “SLAG: The Anti Art Glass,” the single most important exhibit in the University of Idaho's Prichard Art Gallery history, opens Wednesday, Feb. 24, and runs through April 10. SLAG has been created to expand perceptions of glass art.

"These groups of artists are equally diverse in their cultural backgrounds, geographic locations and artistic approach to glass," said Roger Rowley, director of the gallery. "They expand assumptions about glass art and blur the lines of artistic practice between media."

“Elegance of form and interplay with light are not the overriding theme in any of the art," said Rowley. "This isn’t to say there aren’t any elegant forms. Conversely, some of the artists actively subvert notions of beauty in their work.”

Each of the artists has a story to tell. Walter Zimmerman’s life experiences lead to questioning of one’s place. Marc Swanson’s concern with the natural world can be seen in his work. Elizabeth Lyons translates her experiences of work and construction through feminist ideals. Renée Stout approaches autobiography through make-belief characters and voodoo traditions. Einar and Jamex de la Torre channel the culture of the Mexican-American borderlands including Mesoamerican iconography.

“In the end, the diversity of the backgrounds of the artists in SLAG is readily apparent,” Rowley said. “The SLAG artists are largely from the margins of the dominant American culture and inhabit the margins of the glass art tradition. This enlivens the exhibit with numerous avenues to look at their work.”

This is where artists dealing with different social issues use representation like the grotesque to enrich what glass art can be.

“There is beauty but there is something else as well, each in its own way exquisite,” Rowley said.

On Tuesday, Feb. 23, University of Idaho students will have a unique opportunity to hear from several of the artists, including Einar and Jamex de la Torre. They will give a lecture in the university's Teaching and Learning Center, Room 40, at 5 p.m.

The exhibit's opening reception will be held Wednesday, Feb. 24, from 5:30-8 p.m. Artists Elizabeth Lyons and Walter Zimmerman will attend the opening in addition to the de la Torres. The reception is in collaboration with the Lionel Hampton International Jazz Festival Community Kick-off and is co-sponsored by the Moscow Chamber of Commerce.

The Gallery recently received $7,000 from the Elizabeth Firestone Graham Foundation in New Mexico to support this exhibit. This foundation provides funding for catalogs to accompany contemporary art exhibitions, especially those supporting emerging and under-recognized artists and produced by smaller organizations outside the nation’s cultural centers.

The Prichard Art Gallery hours are Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; 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 www.uidaho.edu/galleries.
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About 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 130 degree options in 10 colleges, the university combines the strengths of a large university with the intimacy of small learning communities. The university is home to the Vandals, the 2009 Roady’s Humanitarian Bowl champions. For information, visit www.uidaho.edu.

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 www.uidaho.edu.