The University of Toledo Department of Art Faculty Exhibit, “Transitions & Journeys,” transforms Gallery Space with Lighting, Shadow, Imagery
“Transitions and Journeys” is a two-person exhibition of artwork created by UT Art Department Faculty members Arturo Rodríguez and Deborah Orloff, while they were on sabbatical during the 2008-2009 school year. It will run October 11 through November 22, 2009. An opening reception will be held Friday, October 16 from 6 to 9 p.m. in the UT Center for the Visual Arts.
Rodríguez is an associate professor of art in printmaking and director of the printmaking area. Orloff is a professor of art and teaches and coordinates photography in the new media area.
Title: Con dos manos (2009)
Type: Styrene relief in ink
Source: Arturo Rodriguez
For this exhibition, the artists utilize the CVA Gallery and extend the show into the public space of the first floor. The gallery will be transformed into a dramatic darkened space to create a unique visual experience in which the works themselves provide the only light in the gallery.
In the gallery, Rodríguez’s hand cast shadow puppets are reminiscent of childhood games while his video installation evokes dream imagery projected in water. He says his work is rooted in himself and the fact that he is a unique and uneven mixture of elements from Cuban and American cultures—not really a blend, but not fully one or the other either.
“In my mixed media prints, I like to take images that one might find on the walls of an ‘average American home,’ and combine them with some of my earliest visual memories about the United States: cartoons. For me, this way of working is akin to culture in Cuba itself and to a lesser degree Cuban-American life in Miami.
“In working with this disparate visual imagery, I become aware of compositional problems that are inherent when working with two distinct visual realities. As a result my aim is to ‘morph’ the works into a symbiotic whole. Scarcity and imported imagery are part of the motivation in the work. For me this way of working constitutes an accurate metaphor for Cuban aesthetics.”
Deborah Orloff’s life-size scaled projection situates the viewer in her elusively shifting landscapes. In the auxiliary space adjacent to the gallery, viewers can see Orloff’s large-scale photomontages from her Holzwege series as well as recent mixed media prints by Rodríguez.
In describing her work, Orloff says, “I create ambiguous landscapes through the layering of multiple photographs. I combine the images digitally to create surreal, new spaces where one photograph disappears into the next.
“These invented landscapes function as metaphors for the universal experience we all have inevitably, when our lives suddenly change; just when you think you know where you’re going, unexpected circumstances dictate a change of plans.
Ultimately the images are meant to be ethereal and optimistic, conveying the sense of wonder that exists when we open ourselves up to new possibilities and realize that change is often fortuitous.”
About the Artist – Arturo Rodríguez
Born in Cuba, raised in Miami, Florida, Arturo Rodríguez accepted a faculty position at the University of Toledo in 2001, after teaching four years at the Savannah College of Art and Design. He currently runs the printmaking area in the Department of Art where he teaches full time. He received his MFA from Indiana University in 1997 and his BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute in 1994.
Although his primary medium is mixed media prints, he also works in video, sculpture and installation. His work has been included in exhibitions in North America, Europe and Australia. He has been the recipient of numerous grants and awards and regularly gives public lectures about his work.
View his work: http://www.utoledo.edu/as/art/faculty/Rodríguez.html
Email: arturo.Rodrí[email protected] <mailto:arturo.Rodrí[email protected]>
About the Artist – Deborah Orloff
Originally from New York City, Deborah Orloff moved to Ohio in 1994 to accept a faculty position at the University of Toledo. She currently runs the Photography area of the New Media program in the Department of Art where she teaches full time. She received her MFA from Syracuse University in 1992 and her BFA from Clark University in 1986.
Although her primary medium is photography, she has also worked in video, mixed media and installation. Her work has been included in exhibitions in North America, South America, and Europe at venues which include: the Whitney Museum of American Art, Dallas Museum of Art, Columbus Museum of Art, The Delaware Center for Contemporary Art, and the Royal Scottish Academy in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Title: Holzwege 30 (2009)
Type: 23x34” chromogenic print (photographic print)
Source: Deborah Orloff