(January 25, 2011)

Contact: Rick DelaHaya, Centenary News Services, 318.869.5073

Centenary professor joins others for art exhibit

By Sherry P. Shephard

Courtesy of the Shreveport Times

SHREVEPORT, La. — What do Bruce Allen, Marie Bukowski, Nicholas Bustamante, Bill Gingles, Jay Gould, Kevin Kennedy, Todd Maggio and Joey Slaughter have in common?

Artist Bruce Allen's "Fault" is on display in the "Educ8" exhibit at Gallery Fine Art Center. (Special to The Times)

Well, for starters, they're all artists and art professors. Secondly, they all have work on display in the "Educ8" exhibit that's up through Feb. 26 at Gallery Fine Art Center in Bossier City.

Gallery manager Grace Pepin said the exhibit is pretty exciting.

"It actually comes full circle to one of the original goals of the gallery when it was founded by Dr. Robert Robinson and Jennifer Robinson," she said. "They wanted to keep Louisiana art and Louisiana artists in the region."

Allen and Gingles teach art at Centenary College and Bukowski, Bustamante, Gould, Kennedy, Maggio and Slaughter are at Louisiana Tech University in Ruston.

"We are very excited to have these professors here," Pepin said. "One of the most exciting things is that we have such a strong variety."

The exhibit includes photography, prints and sculptures.

Gould said his work is constructed photography.

"It merges environments with scientific themes and visual metaphors in order to fuse the seen with the unseen and the real with the imaginary," he said.

Allen said the pieces he has on display were all initially created at an iron casting workshop in Michigan.

"I went to the workshop without particular pieces to create in mind and I allowed the process of creating sand molds to inspire ideas about what to make," he said. "After the workshop, I thought about what I had made and combined the cast iron with other materials to create new meanings."

Of the pieces on display, Allen said his favorite is "Fault."

"It is my favorite piece because it raises many issues about war, spirituality, morality and decay," he said.

Allen said his work deals with artistic and creative processes and issues in contemporary society.

"I guess you could call it contemporary," he said.

One of the pieces Gould has on display is titled "Bonds."

"It is an ocean landscape from San Francisco that is combined with graphs to explore the idea that subatomic particles are fickle things, whose minute characteristics and attractions determine much of our physical universe whether we realize it or not," Gould said. "This piece muses on that concept by questioning whether their properties might also affect the mutual attraction and love between two human beings."

In all, Pepin said the exhibit includes about 20 pieces of art.

Allen said the inspiration behind his work includes wars, weather, birth and death.

"I like to work in a variety of media as well," he said. "The techniques used and properties of those materials also inspire me to create works that communicate ideas about our culture."

Allen said the exhibit showcases the variety of styles and media of artists who are teaching art to the college students of this area.

"While this is just a small sample of the artists and teachers in the region, it shows the high quality and diversity of this creative group," he said.

Gould said, "I enjoy having the opportunity to exhibit beside some of my fellow educators. Some I have shown with before, some I have not, but I respect and enjoy all of their work and it is a pleasure to have my own images surrounded by their pieces."


What: "Educ8: Louisiana Professors" exhibit.
When: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday through Feb. 26. Gallery Fine Art Center, 2151 Airline Drive, Suite 200, Bossier City.
Admission: free.

About Centenary College of Louisiana

Centenary College is a private, four-year arts and sciences college affiliated with the United Methodist Church. Founded in 1825, it is the oldest chartered liberal arts college west of the Mississippi River and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Centenary is one of 16 colleges and universities constituting the Associated Colleges of the South and has been recognized as "One of the Best 371 Colleges" by the Princeton Review and one of "America's Best Colleges" and one of "America's Best Private Colleges" by Forbes.com. In 2008 Centenary College celebrated 100 years in Shreveport and Bossier City.