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Environmental Visions Opens at Ohio Northern

To correspond with the celebration of a campus-wide awareness campaign, “Polar Bear Nation,” the Ohio Northern University gallery program hosts a group exhibition called “Environmental Visions.” This select group of artists and designers shares views about our environment and the challenges we face as stewards of our land, air and water. The featured artists include Kelly Adams; Bob Barancik; Koriel Jock; Lucia LaVilla-Havelin; Susan Strong Muir; Shelly Murney; Patricia Tinajero; and Jing Zhou. The exhibit is on display January 5 through February 20 at the Elzay and Stambaugh Studio Theatre galleries.

The show is curated by Prof. Melissa Eddings, gallery director and associate professor in the art & design department. “This initiative provides a unique opportunity,” says Melissa, “for our community to see and discuss issues which artists have addressed in their work. In many ways, the exhibit highlights a major theme that has relevance to all of us. With many environmental issues already facing our country and the world, it is important that our students continue to educate themselves and others about these issues.”

Global WarmingOne participating artist and designer featured in the exhibit is Jing Zhou, a professor at Monmouth University. Born in Chongqing, China, Jing is a prolific interdisciplinary artist and versatile graphic designer. Her award winning artwork has been widely shown and collected nationwide and abroad, such as Best of Show and Achievement Award from national juried art exhibitions, SIGGRAPH Art Gallery Exhibition, Horizon Interactive Awards, Lucie International Photography Awards, permanent collection of the WRO Media Art Center in Poland, the Museum of the Living Artist/San Diego Art Institute, etc. Numerous books and magazines, such as Computer Graphics World, have published her work. Jing is also a Gold Medal recipient of the Art Directors Club of New Jersey, Silver winner of the Summit International Creative Awards, and winner of the American Corporate Identity 23 Design Competition. Her clients include international organizations such as Greenpeace.

Jing explains, “My artistic creations reflect my interest in spiritual experiences, and Eastern and Western art, literature, and philosophy. To me, creating art is a process of expressing my nature via being human.”

Jing’s goal in one of her posters, Using Energy Efficiency To Fight Global Warming, is to alert people about global warming and reveal the causes of global warming. “The concept of this poster has incorporated five visual elements: a thermometer, a map of the world, icons of industrial activities, scientific data of global warming, and the poster’s title,” explains Jing. “After carefully combining them, I’ve created a simple, yet eloquent voice in this poster about global warming and the importance of energy efficiency.”

Also involved in the exhibit is Patricia Tinajero, an assistant professor at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. Patricia earned her BFA in sculpture and drawing from Florida State University and her MFA in sculpture from the University of Colorado-Boulder. She has earned solo and collaborative exhibitions at the Lexington Art League, the Espaço Arte-Instalação do SESC-Bosque in Brazil, Islip Museum of Contemporary Art in New York, the Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center to highlight a few. Her work also has been accepted at the Essex Art Center in Massachusetts, Nature Art Gallery in New York, Project X in California, Urban Centre for Contemporary Art in Michigan, LMACK Project in Germany, and the Eco-cycle in Colorado.

In general says Patricia, “My work explores object and space, in terms of class structure and cultural construction, in the context of everyday domestic environments. Household items, particularly everyday objects, serve to create domestic landscape... I catalogue and archive collected everyday materials to connect with environmental values concerning time, space, and memory, exploring the shift between two-dimensional and three-dimensional spaces, as well as places to put the work on the in-between in order to contrast presence and representation, in both spatial and pictorial manifestations.”

About her work, Patricia explains, “I have spent time with other artists in the Amazon basin. We left dismayed at the effect of the introduction of plastic and non-biodegradable materials into the Amazon… where they do not have a trash collection infrastructure... The ecological concerns [in my work] are timely and urgent. The piece is meant to raise awareness about our role as consumers in an ecosystem composed by producers, consumers and degraders. The life support systems that allow life on Earth are quickly being degraded by human’s actions.”

Chair of the department of art & design at Ohio Northern, Prof. Brit Rowe states, “As artists and designers in our society, we have powerful means to work in many media to effectively mobilize public opinion and the positioning of critical issues of our time, like environmental issues. This exhibit showcases that point.”

A reception will be held Friday, January 9, 5–7p.m. at the Elzay Gallery of Art. Admission to the Stambaugh Gallery is free and open to the public, daily from noon from 5 p.m. The Stambaugh Studio Theatre Gallery also is open prior to Freed Center events. For additional information, to schedule a tour or to be placed on the arts exhibition mailing list, please contact the department of art and design (419) 772-2160 or