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Socio-environmental-themed exhibition opens Jan. 27
Saturday, December 17, 2016

Socio-environmental-themed exhibition opens Jan. 27

Artist Sharbani Das Gupta works on “Fool’s Gold” at her studio in Las Cruces, New Mexico.

An exhibition featuring works that address socio-environmental issues will open Jan. 27 in the Cathy and Jesse Marion Art Gallery.

“Sharbani Das Gupta: Out of Step,” features five ceramic and mixed media installations by the New Mexico-based artist that all look at socio-environmental issues.

Das Gupta will present a lecture about her work as part of the Department of Visual Arts and New Media’s Visiting Artist Program on Thursday, Jan. 26 at 8:30 p.m. in McEwen Hall Room 209.

The exhibition opens with a reception on Friday, Jan. 27 from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Marion Gallery. It is on display through Feb. 26. The gallery is located on the main level of Rockefeller Arts Center on the Fredonia campus.

In conjunction with the exhibition, Dr. Sherri Mason, professor of chemistry and chair of the Department of Geology and Environmental Science at Fredonia, will present a lecture titled “The Perils of Plastic” in the Costello Community Room at Rockefeller Arts Center on Wednesday, Feb. 8 at 7 p.m. A reception follows the lecture.

All programs are free and open to the public.

The installations in “Out of Step” include “Urban Blooms,” which has clay plants with exposed roots sprouting through plastic Dixie cup flowers and “Fools Gold,” in which two clay sails, simulating the knotted rope pattern on glass buoys, float in an ocean of plastic recovered from a dismantled green house. It references the ever-expanding plastic trash islands that clog the oceans and choke its life.

“Time Capsules,” depicts the aftermath of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear plant disaster while “Mind Maps” is an interactive piece that invites viewers to try on masks and rearrange cubes inscribed with imaginary topographies that subtly change as the masks are changed.

“In Hindsight” features videos of moving clouds projected onto pylons. The installation blurs the boundary between dream and memory while hinting at a future when sea and sky may no longer be separate.

After completing school in Kolkata, India and college at the National Institute of Design in Gujurat, Das Gupta studied clay under Ray Meeker and Deborah Smith at Golden Bridge Pottery in Pondicherry. She later worked as a studio assistant at the University of New Mexico’s porcelain studio.

Das Gupta has exhibited in India, the United Kingdom, China, Greece and the United States. Her work was featured in the publication Ceramics: Art and Perception (CAP). She has written for CAP, Ceramics Ireland, New Ceramics and Dao Magazine.

In 2015 Das Gupta participated in the two-person show “Terra Firma” was sponsored by the Brown-India Foundation and exhibited at Santa Fe Clay and the Las Cruces Museum of Art. Her work was also featured in the 2016 exhibition “50 Women: A Celebration of Women’s Contribution to Ceramics and Standing Wave” at the 2016 NCECA in Kansas City.

Das Gupta has been an artist-in-residence at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft and the Skopelos Foundation for the Arts, Skopelos Island, Greece. In 2013, she was awarded a residency as part of a delegation of contemporary Indian ceramic artists at the FuLe International Ceramic Art Museum (FLICAM) in Fuping, China and in 2014 she participated in a residency at Naori Eco Art Festival in South Korea. In December 2016, she completed a residency at Benyamini Contemporary Ceramics Center in Tel Aviv, Israel.

An exhibition brochure is available free of charge. For a copy, visit the gallery or contact Director Barbara Räcker at 673-4897 or Free group tours of the exhibition may also be arranged by contacting Räcker.

Marion Art Gallery hours are Tuesday through Thursday from noon to 4 p.m., Friday and Saturday from noon to 6 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m.

Funding for this exhibition and publication is provided by the Fredonia College Foundation’s Cathy and Jesse Marion Endowment Fund and Carnahan Jackson Humanities Fund and the Friends of Rockefeller Arts Center.

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