Saturday, February 07, 2015

Uni-versified And Tertiary Dimensions in Art

On a chilly and brisk winter's day, East Stroudsburg University (ESU) of Pennsylvania held an Artists' Reception in their Madelon Powers Gallery which is located within the campus' Fine and Performing Arts Center for their exhibition titled, “5 in 3D: Five Artists Using 3D Printing” on Thursday February 5th. The exhibit features the works of Doug Bucci, Darlene Farris-LaBar, Bathsheba Grossman, Kacie Hultgren, and Sophie Kahn who utilized the digital technology of the modern age to explore both its scientific boundaries as well as those found in the human imagination. The modest sized venue was filled to near capacity as art lovers, friends, and students of some of the artists featured gathered to experience the intricacies of the work while sharing in the victuals the conversation the warm atmosphere of the exhibit inspired. The reception was followed by an Artist Talk given by Doug Bucci and Darlene Farris-LaBar in the building's Cecilia S. Cohen Recital Hall.

As I first entered the gallery, an intriguing sense of mystery touched my perceptions as my eye was met by the fragmented depictions of the human form created by Sophie Kahn. Her three dimensional work consisted of heads and torsos captured in molds and broken so the results of her work resembled a puzzle which invites the viewer to utilize their imaginations to create and place the missing pieces into their respective slots. However, the work can be simply admired by those who lack the inclination of puzzle solving for their abilities to communicate the undefined qualities of the human experience as explored through the fragmented and piecemeal appearance of Ms. Kahn's interpretations. In either case, the work allows one to flow through the spaces of each piece so one could endeavor to complete the spaces of not only the sculpture but of those populating their self awareness as well. Ms. Kahn's work has been exhibited in Japan, Europe, and in the US and she had done residencies in New York City, NY and Melbourne, Australia. You can learn more about Sophie Kahn and her work by visiting her website at

As my eyes wandered around the room, I was drawn to the work of Doug Bucci whose jewelry and other bodily adornments enticed my attentions. The most prominent of these were the necklaces that were on display within a curio cabinet. The coral like properties of the items coiled themselves around the inner thoughts of the viewer until the experience of becoming entwined with their intricate beauty enhances the perceptions of the individual. As learned later in the Artists' Talk he gave, these necklaces were inspired by human biology and this insight allows one to view them as not only resembling aquatic coral but also resembling the double helix found in the Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) of all living things. Although this comparison may be unique to my perceptions, it nonetheless inspired me to turn my thoughts toward the unifying similarities of all beings which furthered my admiration of the work. Mr. Bucci is a designer and educator in the field of jewelry utilizing the digital processes to explore and display biological systems while examining the effects disease has on the body. You can learn more about Mr. Bucci and his work by exploring his website at

It was after exploring Mr. Bucci's work did I feel a desire to move around the gallery so I could experience more of what the exihibit had to offer. My first stop was at the cabinet that housed the figurines created by Bathsheba Grossman. Their mathematically intrinsic designs moved one deeper into their interwoven properties until the tapestries of both the piece and the viewer intertwined to become one through their emergence. Ms. Grossman lives in Santa Cruz, CA and has been featured in art galleries around the world as well as having her work appear adorning several television series such as “Numb3rs” and “Heroes.” You can learn more about Bathsheba Grossman and her work by exploring her website at

Immediately next to the work of Bathsheba Grossman were pieces created by Kacie Hultgren. The miniscule furnishings she creates brought a smile to my lips as I was moved to explore the minut details each chair and lamp possessed. This exploration led me to an inner world where the manifestations of fantasies and dreams are made as possible as they are for a child whose been given a doll house where her imagination can occupy. Ms. Hultgren (aka PrettySmallThings) is a multidisciplinary designer who has created sets for live theatrical performances. She will be leading a 3D Printing and Design Workshop which will be open to ages 10 through adult at ESU on Sunday March 1st.. You can learn more about Kacie Hultgren, her work, and the workshop by contacting her at

It was after viewing the work of Ms. Hultgren did I ventured to the back of the gallery to view the pieces created by Darlene Farris-LaBar which are collectively titled, “The Interior World of Plants.” Each framed work detailed the essence of the flower that was represented in vibrant colors. The pieces captured the eye along with a sense of wonder as each viewer delved deeply into the recesses of the life giving and reproductive properties attributed to the plant depicted. As we peer into these recesses, we come to realize their vulnerability and the reflective properties of the glass each piece is contained in allows us to see our own images and therefore we capture a transparent glimpse of the vulnerabilities within ourselves. Ms. Farris-LaBar has shown her work world wide serving a diverse community that provides education and awareness about a changing culture and vulnerable environment. She presently shares her skill and creative insights with her students who attend her object design, sculpture, and graphic design classes at ESU. You can learn more Darlene Farris-LaBar and her work by exploring her website at

After some time spent wandering through the Madelon Powers Gallery and partaking all the work had to offer, an announcement was made that the Artists' Talk was about to begin in the Fine and Performing Arts Center's Cecilia S. Cohen Recital Hall. I then walked up the stairs and across the hall to enter the facility in order to find myself a seat. Ms. Farris-LaBar shared an appreciative welcome with the modest gathering and introduced Doug Bucci who spoke first.

The title of his talk was, “Thinking Organically in the Digital Age” in which he shared how many works of art were created from the individual artist's desire to explore and make sense of an infirmity he or she suffered from. Mr. Bucci further explained that his work is an exploration on how to transcend the human experience which include disease and physical infirmities in order to create a deeper understanding of them through an artistic approach utilizing the tools available in the present technological age. His talk also revealed the unique mechanics he utilizes in the construction of his pieces which helps in his endeavors to bring out something meaningful with the hope that others will find something meaningful embodied in them as well.

As Mr. Bucci concluded his remarks, Ms. Farris-LaBar took her place to share her words with the gathering. She revealed that her work explores issues relating to the environment and she constantly seeks ways to convey these issues through the depictions of nature found in her work. She also spoke on the effect art can have on people as they are drawn by its waters and become immersed by the solidarity found in the boarderless qualities of the liquid. This submersion allows the differences we have with the world, nature, and one another to dissolve and we begin to live a life full of the compassion and communal love we are meant to thrive in.

Unfortunately, I was unable to stay for the remainder of Ms. Farris-LaBar's talk. But, I could surmise the direction which her sharings were taking those who listened with their hearts as they brought a wonderful afternoon with the arts to an even more wonderful conclusion. You'll find more photographs taken during the Artists' Reception for the 5 in 3D: 3D Printing in Art and Design exhibition held on Thursday February 5th in The 5 in 3D Reception at ESU Gallery at You'll find photographs taken during this and other events occuring at East Stroudsburg University of PA throughout 2015 in the ESU 2015 Archive at as well as those event relating to art related events in The Creative Arts 2015 Archive at

The ESU exhibition titled, “5 in 3D: Five Artists Using 3D Printing” featuring the works of Doug Bucci, Darlene Farris-LaBar, Bathsheba Grossman, Kacie Hultgren, and Sophie Kahn will continue to be on display at The Madelon Powers Gallery which is located in The Fine and Performing Arts Building on the ESU Campus until March 6th. During my conversations I shared with a number of experienced and discerning artists, I encountered a degree of disappointment with the exhibit which included thoughts of the work being the “same ol same ol” and lacked a certain degree of maturity. Being a novice in the arts and not knowing the intricacies of creating work similar to that which was shown, I would have to concede the views of those I spoke to may contain some degree of validity. Yet, I still recommend seeing the exhibit to anyone who would venture up to ESU's Fine and Performing Arts Building in order to explore the work and form their own assessments. Please feel free to post them as a comment to this article.

The next exhibition scheduled to take place on the campus of East Stroudsburg University will be their Art Association All University Student Juried Art Exhibition with an Artists' Reception to be held on Thursday March 26th beginning at 4pm. The exhibit will continue to be on display in The Madelon Powers Gallery until April 16th. Please explore The Madelon Powers Gallery Facebook Page at for more information.

Photography by Paparazzi Paul

1 comment:

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