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Ohio Northern Retired Sculpture Professor Selected for Darwin Exhibit in Maine


Judith GreavuThere is grandeur in this view of life... that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.
Charles Darwin, from On the Origin of Species

Professor Judith Greavu, a retired sculpture professor from Ohio Northern University, has been selected for the exhibit “Spineless Wonders: Invertebrates as Inspiration”, on view at the Atrium Art Gallery September 8 - December 18 on the campus of the University of Souther Maine’s Lewiston-Auburn College. The exhibition celebrates the diversity of species for the 2009 bicentennial of Charles Darwin’s birth and the 150th anniversary of On the Origin of Species.

Paintings, prints, sculpture, poetry, video, sound, and work in clay, metal, fiber, glass, wood, and stone by 56 artists from around the country are all be part of the multi-dimensional exhibition. A poetry chapbook accompanies the exhibit, featuring poets who express a passion and curiosity about the invertebrate world.

Invertebrates make up a vast group of species that includes worms, insects and their larva, spiders, jellyfish, shellfish such as crabs and shrimp, squid, and more—97% of all animal species are invertebrates.

In his lifetime, Darwin was as well known for his authoritative studies of barnacles and earthworms as he was for his theory of evolution.

Prof. Greavu works in a range of media, including bronze. In this exhibit, her interests explore issues of concern for the health of the world’s oceans, rivers and lakes. An artist’s residency in the Florida Everglades in 2006, learning about spoiled habitats and endangered animals, let to further images, including a sculpture representing a 9.5 foot alligator and several paintings.

Greavu currently lives and works rural Dola, Ohio, near Ohio Northern University’s campus. Retired from Ohio Northern as an associate professor of art, she received her BS in art education from Ball State University in 1963, and her MFA in painting from Bowling Green State University in 1967. She has traveled the world and has given workshops and lectures all over the United States. Her exhibition record includes solo shows, group exhibitions, and juried shows.

Other artists in the exhibit include Joseph Scheer, aka “Mothman,” internationally recognized for his awe-inspiring large format photographs of moths; entomologist Steven R. Kutcher (supervisor for the movie Arachnophobia, and consultant for Jurassic Park and Spiderman) who works with insects to create paintings by insects; and world-renowned origami master Robert Lang who specializes in arthropods. The exhibition will also feature Catherine Chalmers’s Safari, a 7-minute visually stunning video following a cockroach’s view of jungle life.

From softball sized dust mites and a “skeleton”of a praying mantis to giant bronze flatworms and fashionable handbags with squids, Spineless Wonders is an awe-inspiring view of how artists see and interpret the invertebrate world.

School and group tours are available free of charge. For Spineless Wonders, the gallery is partnering with Thorncrag Nature Sanctuary, a local 357 acre wildlife preserve (with an interest in invertebrate ecology as part of their focus on habitat), the Auburn Public Library, and the Lewiston Public Library to promote the exhibit and help with related programming.

The Atrium Art Gallery, located in the expansive center of University of Southern Maine’s Lewiston-Auburn College, presents a year-round schedule of exhibitions highlighting Maine artists with solo and group exhibitions of painting, drawing, photography, sculpture, and contemporary crafts.

The gallery is open to the public, free of charge, Monday through Thursday from 8a.m.–8p.m., Friday from 8a.m.–4:30p.m., Saturday from 9a.m.–3p.m. and closed on Sunday. Gallery talks for groups are available. USM LAC is located at 51 Westminster Street, Lewiston, ME 04240. For more information, contact the gallery at 753-6554.

Ohio Northern offers both the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees with majors in advertising design, art education, graphic design and studio arts. The department of A&D holds memberships in national organizations such as the National Art Education Association, College Art Association, Foundations in Art: Theory and Education and the National Council on Education of Ceramic Arts. The department is recognized in the second edition of “Creative Colleges: A Guide for Student Actors, Artists, Dancers, Musicians and Writers” as one of the best creative programs nationwide. For additional information about the department of art & design, contact the department at 419.772.2160.

image: A bronze sculpture by Judith Greavu on display in Spineless Wonders.