Members of Lakeland College's art faculty will have some of their latest works featured as part of the first exhibit of the Bradley Gallery's 2014-15 season.
An opening reception is set for Friday, Sept. 19, beginning at 4:30 p.m. in the Bradley Gallery, located in the Bradley Fine Arts Building on Lakeland's main campus. The exhibit will be on display through Oct. 31.
Attendance at the reception and admittance to the Bradley Gallery are both free and open to the public. The Bradley Gallery is open from 8 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday through Friday, when the college is in session.
This exhibit will feature the works of Bill Weidner and Denise Presnell-Weidner, both associate professors of art at Lakeland and co-directors of the Bradley Gallery, as well as adjunct instructors Mark Weber and Pat Robison. Weber is manager of graphic services and sales at Midstar Printing Co. Robison is owner and operator of Two Fish Gallery in Elkhart Lake.
Presnell-Weidner has been enjoying a productive time that has seen her work displayed in numerous solo, two-person and group exhibitions during the last several years. During the past year, Presnell-Weidner's work has begun to focus on water imagery.
"What began as straight-forward monotypes turned into something else as I began to keep the plate and combine it with the paper print," she said. "The work became a message to me from something beyond me, intriguing me to take it further with my lithographs."
She is currently working on a series that combines two plates, one being the reflection of the other. "I have eight of each in process, but I will combine them as diptychs, then at least one will involve two of each prints to become a four-print image, reflected in whatever is the most inquisitive image," Presnell-Weidner said. "These prints ask questions, they don't give answers."
Her recent paintings have also been highly influenced by the printmaking process. She is currently painting on polyester plates and also focusing on water reflection as the imagery. She begins with photographs which are filtered and manipulated on the computer, then she uses the images as the sources for her paintings, prints and pastels.
"In the process of painting, drawing or printing, the images are further manipulated and arrive at something quite different than the original source," Presnell-Weidner said. "I am not interested in copying or capturing nature – I am interested in taking nature and turning it into something even I hadn't thought of. I want my work to surprise me."
Weidner said his latest works are products of the time he has to devote to painting, which varies depending on the time of year.
"As a professor of art, I find time to paint eight or more hours a day during the summer months when I am not teaching," he said. "During the academic year, most of my painting time is limited to Saturdays and Sundays when I again find eight or more hours a day to paint. In addition, sometimes I will also feel energetic enough in the evenings to get in a little painting time before I go to bed.
"Contrary to what I have often been asked, no, painting is not a relaxing thing to do. Pulling weeds out in my garden is a relaxing thing to do."
Robison will be showing a selection of ceramic sculptures that were created this year. He also teaches ceramics at Two Fish School and the John Michael Kohler Arts Center.
The work Weber will display relates to the two courses he teaches at Lakeland – communication graphics and commercial illustration. Weber has extensive background in development of logos, corporate identity, advertising, packaging, literature and preparing creative work for social media.
"I'm very passionate about teaching illustration because it allows me to promote the basic skill of drawing or, should I say, the art of speaking visual ideas commercially," Weber said. "Commercial illustration simply asks the artist to present an image or concept to aid the sale of a product. Everything from billboards, magazine articles, movie posters, website promotions, advertising, etc., uses commercial illustration. The artist will be asked to tell a quick visual story to promote or lead the viewer to the desired result, which is usually a sale."