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Imaginative, Narrative Painting Exhibit Opens Gallery Season at Ohio Northern University

Jason GodekeThe Elzay and Stambaugh Studio Theatre galleries at Ohio Northern University will host “First People, Last People,” an exhibit of paintings by Jason Godeke, from Sept. 7–26.

Godeke, an assistant professor of drawing and design at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania, creates paintings that brilliantly balance fantastical subjects and classical style. Included in his visually realistic paintings are toy figurines taking part in imaginative, tension-filled scenes.

“I have long been intrigued by toy figures, which lie somewhere between person and thing,” Godeke said. “A plastic figure wears its stereotype on its sleeve; there is no pretense of it having the particularity of a real person. A figurine is a myth or an archetype. At its best, a toy figure allows us to project our own psyche onto its blank expression. It’s also mass-produced and impersonal. In making a painting of a plastic statuette, I aim to give that machine-made copy a handmade uniqueness.”

A native of Northern California, Godeke spent his junior year of high school in The Netherlands, where his interest in drawing and painting first took shape. He wrote, “In my paintings, I explore theatrical narratives. I find themes in personal experience (e.g. family life, my work as an emergency medical technician), myths, and historical events. I am interested in creating a tension between a traditional, attractive form and specific, sometimes disturbing subject matter. The challenge for me is to bring contemporary relevance to a timeworn mode of representation.”

Godeke earned his bachelor’s degree in studio art from Yale University and a master of fine arts degree from State University of New York at Stony Brook. He has been represented by the R.B. Stevenson Gallery in San Diego since 1995.

Admission to both galleries is free and open to the public, daily from noon to 5 p.m. while school is in session. The Stambaugh Studio Theatre Gallery is also open prior to events held at Ohio Northern’s Freed Center for the Performing Arts. For additional information, to schedule a tour, or to be placed on the arts exhibition mailing list, please contact the department of art & design at 419-772-2160 or Visit for the latest information about times, locations and additions to the schedule.

The 2010–11 academic year marks the 50th anniversary of the Bachelor of Arts degree in art at Ohio Northern University. Growing from a single-discipline school, the department offers both the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees with majors in advertising design, art education, graphic design and studio arts with concentrations in two-dimensions, three-dimensions and art therapy. 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 also 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 or the University’s 2010-11 Arts Exhibition Season, contact the department at 419.772.2160.

image: Last Procession, oil on canvas, 17" x 48"