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Oddities, faculty art exhibition opens at West Liberty

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West Liberty University presents a mix of art created by faculty in its 2013 art faculty exhibition through Feb. 14 in the Nutting Gallery.

Faculty participating in the exhibition include Brian Fencl, James Haizlett, Martyna Matusiak, Moonjung Kang, Nancy Tirone, Lambros Tsuhlares, Robert Villamagna and Neal Warren.

"This year the art faculty selected the theme of oddities," Robert Villamagna, gallery director, said in a news release. "The dictionary defines oddity as an odd person, thing, event or trait. Odd is an adjective denoting the quality of being unpaired, occasional, strange or unusual, or a person who is viewed as eccentric. In other words, the work in this show will focus on the strange and unusual.

"The works in Oddities will cover a wide range of media including drawing, painting, mixed media, digital, construction, photography and installation," he explained.

"Having a new theme for the exhibition each year does a number of things," Villamagna said. "It brings a freshness to the annual exhibition, it challenges the members of the art faculty and it shows students how a diverse group of artists each approach a single problem or idea, each in their own unique way and in a variety of media."

In talking about his work for this exhibition, Fencl explained, "I used the theme as a catalyst to revisit old ideas and work that I put away because I either lost interest in the image or the piece wasn't successful. I approached those pieces with the mindset of ‘What else can I add to it?' Of all of the themes we have worked with over the last five or six years this one is the least confining. It naturally fits my work and people's expectations of it."

James Haizlett looks forward to the annual exhibition.

"For me, the faculty show is a chance to take some risks, do some experimenting, and generally have fun with the theme," Haizlett said. "Last summer I bought an old mig welder and have been teaching myself how to weld. For this show I gathered up a bunch of old used car parts and broken farm equipment and laid them out on the floor of my barn. Then I started moving them around and piecing them together to see if I could come up with some interesting shapes that seemed to fit together. ‘Mechanical Bird' is the first piece I created. The name pays homage to some of my students who formed a short-lived company with the same name. I always liked that name, and when the metal bird started taking shape I thought ‘Mechanical Bird' fit the piece pretty well."

Admission to the Nutting Gallery is free and open to the public. The Gallery is open 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. weekdays; evenings and weekends by arrangement. For information contact Villamagna at 304-336-8370 or at rvillama@westliberty.edu.