WLU faculty and staff display art in the Nutting Gallery on campus

Dr. Susan Ridley’s painting “Plastic Oceans.”

The art faculty and staff at West Liberty University currently have various art pieces on display in the Nutting Gallery, which is located in the Hall of Fine Arts on campus.
The faculty members that participated in the art show are Professor Aaron Anslow, Professor Sarah Davis, Professor Tom Estlack, Professor Brian Fencl, Professor Terri Giller, Professor Dr. Jeffrey Grubbs, Professor Moonjung Kang, Dr. Martyna Matusiak and Dr. Susan Ridley. The gallery will be on display until Feb. 16, 2021. There are various types of artwork currently on display like paintings, photographs, sculptures and silkscreens.

Professor Brian Fencl said, “The theme of the exhibition is “nature.” As a group, we go through a process of submitting ideas for the theme and then voting until a favorite is picked. What makes the show so interesting is how each faculty member interprets the theme and then pushes their skills to interpret the theme. This is a show that has a lot of contrast to it. From the wild, natural lines of Dr. Grubb’s bringing nature into the gallery contrasted with Thomas Estlack’s geometric tower or my tonal works contrasted with the bright colors in Professor Giller’s paintings, the show just works.”

Professor Terri Giller said, “I started a “birds and patterns” series in the spring of 2021, with a goal to create 100 birds and patterns on a small 4×4 inch canvas. I have completed most of those, with some 8×8 paintings and, as you see, a fabric hand-sewn Great Horned Owl. I like experimenting with the juxtaposition of the patterns and the birds. Sometimes I’ll choose patterns that mimic or exaggerate the texture or markings of the birds, and sometimes I create patterns that intend to express the energy or attitude of the particular bird species. My hope with this art series is to draw attention to common bird species, and hopefully, get people to pay attention to the birds around them.”

On Professor Thomas Estlack’s website, he described his piece called “Ephemeralization” that is on display by saying, “In this work, there are very few basic elements, straight lines and the joints used to hold them together. Once you have that, there are limitless possibilities. I’ve installed numerous sculptures with these same pieces over and over again. The mirrors are duplicating what is above them, with no effort. The piece reaches into the ceiling as if it’s continuing to grow.”

Dr. Susan Ridley said in a quote regarding her painting called “Plastic Oceans”, “This artwork is a commentary on the pollution of our oceans and its devastating impact on the ecosystem. The inspiration for the painting came from a YouTube video on animals that ask for help. There was a video segment of a sea turtle covered in netting and the people who helped to cut the net and set the turtle free. Artistically, I specialize in landscapes, seascapes, animals and abstracts inspired by nature. Therapeutically, I believe in the healing power of creative expression to heal, empower and transform. The Faculty Show was a wonderful opportunity to make a statement about the harmful effects of pollution and a reminder that we should all do our best to limit our carbon footprint and to respect nature and all who live on this beautiful planet.”

Sophomore Creed Kidney who is majoring in both illustration and creative arts therapy said, “I loved this year’s show. I mean, every year I think the faculty wow all the art students, and just students in general with what they’ve been working on in their own personal time as artists, which I really think is the coolest part about the show. These are artists and designers that teach us every day and seeing them get to work at their craft and also have a space to exhibit it is so awesome. It just shows us what talented and devoted faculty we have here at West Liberty.”

The hours of the Nutting Gallery are Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m.