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August 31, 2011

Exhibit at Oklahoma State University gallery in Stillwater explores artists' divergent visions

'Divided Vision: David Morrison and Bonnie Stahlecker' on exhibit in Stillwater

STILLWATER, Okla. — A new exhibit at an Oklahoma State University gallery explores a variety of themes through several artistic media.

“Divided Vision: David Morrison and Bonnie Stahlecker” opened this week at the Gardiner Art Gallery at OSU’s Bartlett Center for the Visual Arts. The exhibit is a collection of work by the two Indiana-based artists.

Stahlecker said the title of the exhibit is reflective of the nature of the two artists’ work. She and Morrison, her husband, each have several themes that run through their work, she said. Those themes, as well as the various media in which they work, differentiate her work from Morrison’s, she said.

Stahlecker works primarily in book binding and sculpture. A major theme in her work is memory and how it can be preserved or lost. She also deals with the gravity of memory and its power of preventing people from moving forward with their lives.

Another theme is that of protection. In a series of shield-shaped wall hangings, Stahlecker deals with how people protect themselves from things they fear, whether those fears are founded or not.

Morrison, a professor of art at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, works primarily in sculpture and printmaking. Several themes are manifested in Morrison’s work, he said, including that of the relationship between humankind and spirituality, as well as people’s desire to control the environment.

A series of abstract prints deals with how humans try to confine nature and how nature, in turn, attempts to break free of that confinement, Morrison said. Much of Morrison’s work also pairs religious and secular imagery.

Another theme in Morrison’s work is the variable nature of beauty and its dependence on the person who perceives and interprets it. For example, a lithograph titled “Iconic Bracelet No. 4” pairs classical iconography with the image of a studded leather bracelet and a nose ring.

A closing reception will be held Sept. 22 from 5 to 6 p.m., followed by an artists’ lecture from 6 to 7 p.m. In conjunction with the exhibition, Stahlecker will offer a two-day public workshop on book binding Sept. 23 and 24 at Stillwater Public Library. To enroll in the workshop, contact OSU Art Department head Chris Ramsay at (405) 744-6016 or chris.ramsay@okstate.edu.

“Divided Vision: David Morrison and Bonnie Stahlecker” will be on display at the Gardiner Art Gallery until Sept. 23. The gallery, at the corner of Knoblock and Morrill, is open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Admission is free.

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