Schmucker Art Gallery presents fall exhibitions

From late October through early December, Schmucker Art Gallery at Gettysburg College will present three exhibitions, including one by renown artist Sam Van Aken.

More information on the exhibitions is below, and for additional information, contact Schmucker Art Gallery Director Shannon Egan at 717-337-6125, or

October 21 - December 10, 2011
ARTIST'S TALK: October 21, noon
OPENING RECEPTION: October 21, 5-7 p.m.

An installation of hybridized fruit trees, grafted orchids, light displays, prints and collages by contemporary artist Sam Van Aken.

Through a process of sculpting by way of grafting and pruning, each tree on exhibit, part of an ongoing series entitled Trees of Forty Fruits, has the capacity to grow forty varieties of fruit from the family of stone fruits including peach, plum, apricot, nectarine, and cherry. The Trees of 40 Fruit are allegorical sculptures. Like the Tree of Life in the Garden of Eden, these trees represent the beginning of a narrative that transforms the site in which they are located. The far-reaching implications of these sculptures include issues of genetic engineering, biodiversity versus food monoculture, and, ultimately, the relationship of humankind with nature.

One of the most challenging aspects of the work is the planning or envisioning of how each graft, time of blossom, and fruiting will change the aesthetic and balanced quality of the tree. It is at this point that the process becomes sculptural. In speaking of his project, Sam Van Aken has said: "Nature poses a challenging collaborator. Where a bronze sculpture would provide an easier ally, working with living material can be temperamental. But it is this living quality that I feel gives the tree its greatest impact and potential."

Born in Reading Pennsylvania, Sam Van Aken received his undergraduate education in Communication Theory and Art. Immediately following his studies he lived and worked in Poland under the auspices of the Andy Warhol Foundation and the United States Information Agency. Returning after several years in Europe, Van Aken received his MFA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2001. Since this time his work has been exhibited nationally and internationally receiving numerous honors including a Joan Mitchell Award, Association of International Curator's of Art Award and a 2009 Creative Capital Grant. Sam Van Aken is currently an Associate Professor in the Art Department at Syracuse University.

Briana Hartgers ‘12, Florence at DuskART FROM ABROAD
October 21- November 12, 2011
OPENING RECEPTION: October 21, 5-7 p.m.

An exhibition of selected works by Gettysburg College students recently returning from Off-Campus Studies

Pictured at left: Briana Hartgers ‘12, Florence at Dusk

November 19 - December 10, 2011
CLOSING RECEPTION: December 9, 2011, 4-5 p.m.

Students enrolled in Gallery Director Shannon Egan's "Art and Public Policy" course curate an exhibition of art and artifacts from Special Collections and College Archives, Gettysburg College.

Special thanks to Carolyn Sautter, Chris Ameduri, Catherine Perry, and Ken Mott. Exhibition supported in part by the IW Foundation.

The 1,600-square-foot Schmucker Art Gallery is a lively art space that displays seven to eight different exhibitions each year. Included in the gallery calendar are shows by local, national, and international contemporary artists, a faculty exhibition, a student exhibition, the annual senior art-major show, and exhibits of works selected from public and private collections. The Schmucker Art Gallery is located on the main floor of Schmucker Hall (conveniently located at the intersection of N. Washington and Water streets) and is fully accessible. Free parking is available in one of the Visitor parking lots on campus, or free two-hour parking can be found on the streets adjacent to Schmucker Hall. The main entrance is through the quadrangle side of the building.

Founded in 1832, Gettysburg College is a highly selective four-year residential college of liberal arts and sciences with a strong academic tradition. Alumni include Rhodes Scholars, a Nobel laureate, and other distinguished scholars. The college enrolls 2,600 undergraduate students and is located on a 200-acre campus adjacent to the Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania.

Posted: Mon, 17 Oct 2011




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