Paradigm Shift: Gerald Griffin
December 20, 2019 – March 1, 2020
East and McDonald Galleries
This is Chicago artist Gerald Griffin’s second invitation by the Art Museum of Greater Lafayette to exhibit his powerful and exquisitely crafted works of art celebrating the black experience. In 2016, he exhibited a series of very large oil paintings in an exhibit titled Ambiguous Reflections of Race and Identity: A Question of Color in the East Gallery and made possible by a grant from the Purdue University Black Cultural Center (BCC). His works were so striking that the museum’s Collections Committee chose a painting titled Black Friday to purchase for the permanent collection. Today, the seven by eight-foot painting depicting three slaves chained to an auction block is on long-term loan to the BCC, where it is continually exhibited in a special niche on the second floor.
In his new series, Paradigm Shift, Gerald shows his talent, not only in oil painting, but also features works in lithograph print-making, bronze sculpture, and original poetry. It’s an evolution of his last series Ambiguous Reflections of Race and Identity-A Question of Color and is inspired by the current political climate and the revitalization of attitudes of racial intolerance.
Thematically this work further explores ideas of race and ethnicity with the understanding of past societal attitudes of cognitive dissonance concerning these issues.
However, these new works attempt to push the envelope by challenging the notions of our present and future response to those past attitudes. First, in creating work that is focused on a positive creative social response or a “Paradigm Shift”, within our thinking and within the conversation of race, with a strong emphasis on a healing strategy to the often highly charged discussion of history and ethnicity. Secondly, by including different mediums like lithographic works which are multiple originals which further enhances the collectability of the works, it will in turn create more opportunity for wider engagement with the works. Finally, by creating works that move beyond the two dimensional surface to literally step into our living space to engage with the viewer on 3 dimensional and more intimate or tactile level concerning these issues, the idea of perspectives comes into play.
Gerald Griffin earned a BFA from the School of the Art Institute, Chicago and is the owner of Griffin Fine Art and Interior Design.
Gold Sponsor: Purdue University Black Cultural Center
New Artists 2020: A Juried Regional High School Art Exhibit
March 12 – April 19, 2020
East and McDonald Galleries
This year will mark the 41st anniversary of this exhibition. Organized and hosted by the Art League, this juried exhibition will highlight the work of talented high school artists from eleven area high schools. High school art teachers select the best works by their students to submit for the show. Professional artists in each category will select those to be included. There are usually over 300 entries and only 1/3 will be chosen for the exhibit. Cash awards are given by category and for the “best of show.” In addition, there are several special awards bestowed. One of our most-visited exhibitions, New Artists annually draws over 4,000 visitors from throughout our region.
One in Four: Mental Health America, Photos by Charles Jischke
March 20 – May 31, 2020
Mental Health America’s awareness campaign features the One in Four photo exhibit.
One in four families is impacted by mental illness
One in four of all adults will experience a mental health disorder at some point in their lives
The One in Four photo exhibit includes powerful black and white portraits of local residents who acknowledge their personal connection to mental health challenges. Each person photographed has either experienced a mental health challenge, has a family member who has experienced a mental health challenge, or knows of a family who has been impacted by mental illness.
Charles Jischke was named manager of Purdue Athletics photographic services in 2017. Prior to that, he served as a photographer for Purdue Marketing and Media from 2014 to 2017 and as tour photographer for Billy Idol from 2010 to 2014. Jischke earned his bachelor’s degree in music production and engineering from the Berklee College of Music and his master’s degree in business administration from Purdue’s Krannert School of Management. He has settled in West Lafayette with his wife, Susan, and his two children.
Scott Frankenberger: 45 Years- An Indiana Legacy
May 8 – August 30, 2020
Scott Frankenberger’s beautiful and functional pottery has been sought after by hundreds of collectors. His work is represented in galleries across the United States and in the Art Museum’s Shop. A potter since 1974, Scott works from his studio in West Lafayette, Indiana. For the first 25 years of his career, h produced pottery out of a basement studio. He now enjoys a spacious, well-lit workshop.
Most of Scott’s work is functional porcelain, intended for use in the home or workplace. He enjoys embellishing the surfaces with a variety of marks and textures, as well as building up a layered blend of colors from overlapping glazes, slips, and overglaze decoration.
From the most basic cup or bowl to large scale sculptural forms and murals, you can see a complex surface that invites the viewer to “fall in” and roam through the form, colors, textures, and markings. It is very important that the piece feels good in the hand, with a pleasing heft and balance during use, while simultaneously inviting the mind and eye to roam the surface and form for surprises and pleasures.
This exhibit will span the artist’s 45-year career, where you will discover not only subtle variations in style over time, but also many of his experimental non-functional art.
I began my college studies as a math major, but was soon seduced by art classes, both studio and appreciation lectures. After a half-year abroad enjoying many museums in Europe, I was hooked. I received my BA from Lawrence University in 1971, and later specialized in ceramics for my MA at Purdue University in 1979. I’ve been a studio potter ever since.
It Goes Without Saying: Works by Joe Rohrman
September 18 - November 29, 2020
To create something that has never been here before is one of the deepest yearnings of any artist. Beginning with nothing more than an idea, concept, and vision, artists will then use various media to achieve their desired final product. In whatever form used, serious artists consistently attempt to deliver expected results with maybe an element of surprise. My medium of choice has been clay for the past forty years of my career and I have attempted to create three-dimensional, unique, representational, art that speaks, in a quirky way, to a wide audience.
The largest portion of the artwork included in this exhibit consists of figurative clay sculptures. The cast of characters on display are loosely based on individuals I have chronicled over the decades. Like the art of caricature, humor and satire enter my narrative in the form of exaggeration and distortion. Thus, those who are physically nondescript, and conversely, those considered beautiful or handsome are not subjects that interest me. They simply do not communicate the characteristics and disposition I attempt to convey. My art attracts people because my people are unattractive.
As a whole, there is an element of social leveling at work here that all these figurative pieces collectively share. They are essentially my historical account of contemporary society. There is no pretense, no smiling for the camera, just folks caught in a moment that hasn’t necessarily caught up to the 21st century. My aim is that there is little or no ambiguity in the message of my art, that “it goes without saying”. Just enjoy and leave the analysis for your therapist. - Joe Rohrman
A native Hoosier, Joe Rohrman was born January 17,1950, Indianapolis, IN.; graduated Southport High School (Indianapolis.),1968; received his BS Degree in Arts and Crafts,1975, and Masters of Art Education,1980, from Herron School of Art/Indiana University. He spent most of his career creating his art in a small lakeside studio at his home northeast of Indianapolis. More recently, having relocated to Noblesville, IN, he now enjoys a larger space within the home itself.
Joe taught elementary art for 30 years. He retired from Franklin Township Community School Corporation in 2005 and has been working full time on his art since. Recognized as an Educator that has most influenced the Academic Excellence of Franklin Central High School Students, 1998, 2000, 2003-05; he was a Shining Star Nominee Award, for Excellence in Teaching, WTHR Channel 13 and Star Financial Bank, April, 1993. His wife, Sarah, is a painter who also holds two degrees from Herron and is a retired art teacher.
Joe discovered his interest in ceramic clay as a medium while working on his master’s degree in the late 70’s and went from painter to clay sculptor. He began exhibiting in 1978 and has since competed and received awards in numerous local, regional and national juried exhibitions. He has been featured in several newspaper and magazine articles, some regarding his unique art and others about his work in art education. He’s been represented by a number of galleries, has participated in group and solo shows, and has created pieces for corporate and individual commission requests. His work is placed in various private and public collections including permanent collections in the Art Museum of Greater Lafayette, Sheldon Swope Art Gallery, Anderson Art Museum, and Richmond Art Museum.