October 17, 2014

Jessica Pope
Communications and Media Relations Coordinator

Fine Arts Gallery Hosts Mixed Media Wall Constructions Oct. 20-Nov. 7

Art created by Laura Tanner.

~2014-2015 is the Year of the Arts at Valdosta State University

VALDOSTA — The Valdosta State University Fine Arts Gallery’s third exhibition of the 2014-2015 art season features mixed media wall constructions by Matt Mitros and Laura Tanner. He specializes in ceramics, sculpture, and three-dimensional art and calls Tuscaloosa, Ala., home; she uses a variety of materials, including common household items, to create her pieces and lives and works just outside New Orleans, La. 

Julie A. Bowland, VSU Fine Arts Gallery director, Department of Art professor, and noted landscape painter, said, “Matt Mitros and Laura Tanner are artists who work in mixed media to create dynamic and engaging wall pieces that are very different from each other, yet [when] combined [their works] are a powerful study in artistic contrasts.”

Born in Philadelphia, Pa., the award-winning Mitros has exhibited his works in more than 100 solo, two-person, invitational, group, and juried shows since 1999; he has a couple of exhibitions already on his calendar for 2015. His “Wall Collections” exhibit marks his second time at VSU. He was among the 35 artists from 18 states chosen to be featured in the 2014 Valdosta National and received the First Place Juror Award.

Mitros serves as an assistant professor of art teaching ceramics in the Department of Art and Art History at The University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Over the course of several years, he has served as visiting artist, lecturer, instructor, leader, adjunct professor, juror, and curator at a number of museums, galleries, studios, art centers, colleges, and universities throughout the United States. He received a Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) from the University of Washington in Seattle, Wash., and a Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) from Pennsylvania State University in State College, Pa.

Bowland shared, “Matt Mitros explores the relationship between the mechanical — man-made — and the natural — organic — world in his sculpture and mixed media and resin panels. The organic forms are roughly textured, symbolizing nature’s struggle of survival. In contrast, the machined forms of the man-made have clean lines and represent human’s quest for efficiency.”

Contemporary artist Tanner serves as lecturer of drawing in the Department of Fine and Performing Arts at Southeastern Louisiana University, located in Hammond, La. She holds a Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) from the University of Illinois in Champaign, Ill., and a Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) with a minor in art history from Florida State University in Tallahassee, Fla. She is originally from Atlanta.

“Laura Tanner works with a decidedly female point of view,” Bowland noted. “Using a variety of mixed media — including Rives BFK paper, cotton thread, latex paints, sewing needles, contact paper, and Mylar — her assemblages are largely influenced by women’s role in old Southern gothic literature.

“Her mixed media paper installations explore the contemporary possibilities of such crafts as quilt making that are directly informed by her childhood.”

VSU’s Department of Art will sponsor a gallery talk with both Mitros and Tanner from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 20, in the Fine Arts Gallery. An opening reception for the exhibition will follow from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. and is part of the 2014 Ignite: Celebrate the Year of the Arts Homecoming festivities sponsored by the Office of Alumni Relations.

Both events are open to the public.

VSU’s Fine Arts Gallery is located on the first floor of the Fine Arts Building, at the intersection of Brookwood Drive and Oak Street. It is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Fridays. Admission is free of charge. 

Contact Julie A. Bowland at (229) 333-5835 or jabowlan@valdosta.edu to learn more or to schedule a guided tour of the exhibition.

Visit https://www.facebook.com/vstatenews?ref=hl to view additional images.

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Valdosta State University’s 2013-2019 Strategic Plan represents a renewal of energy and commitment to the foundational principles for comprehensive institutions.

Implementation of the plan’s five goals, along with their accompanying objectives and strategies, supports VSU’s institutional mission and the University System of Georgia’s mission for comprehensive universities. 

The Matt Mitros and Laura Tanner mixed media wall constructions exhibition meets the following goals: 

Goal 1: Recruit, retain, and graduate a quality, diverse student population and prepare students for roles as leaders in a global society.

Goal 3: Promote student, employee, alumni, retiree, and community engagement in our mission.

Goal 4: Foster an environment of creativity and scholarship.

Goal 5: Develop and enhance Valdosta State’s human and physical resources.

Visit http://www.valdosta.edu/administration/planning/strategic-plan.php to learn more.