Scenic Scranton Packaged for Display at Gallery Exhibit

Sep 3, 2009

       Most people recognize the Statue of Liberty, the Washington Monument and Mount Rushmore as well-known sites in the United States. Andrés Alvarez, an artist from Medellin, Columbia, sought a different view of American culture and landscape.  His new collection of mixed media paintings, which will be on display at The University of Scranton's Hope Horn Gallery beginning Sept. 14, portrays places like Scranton's Nay Aug Park as the quintessential America.

        Alvarez worked as a Foreign language teaching assistant in the World Languages and Cultures Department at The University of Scranton during the 2008-2009 academic year.  As a visitor to the United States, he wanted to experience the American landscape beyond the popular tourist attractions, which, he believed, were often "packaged" together to give a certain view of American culture.  In Scranton, Alvarez sought out and depicted areas in Nay Aug Park that were part of residents' everyday lives.  To represent the idea of "packaging" a landscape or culture, Alvarez chose to paint his landscapes on cereal boxes.  This combination of commercial materials and natural imagery also expressed the artist's interest in ecology.

        "The paintings show the relationship involved in marketing a thing or place," said Darlene Miller-Lanning, Ph.D., director of the Hope Horn Gallery.  "They also consider how the perspectives of a tourist or visitor can differ from those of a person who has lived in an area for a long time."

        The exhibition, called "Landscape in Situ: Painting by Andres Alvarez," will be on display at the Hope Horn Gallery in Hyland Hall from Sept. 14 to Oct. 9. The gallery is open to the public, free of charge, Sunday through Friday, from noon to 4 p.m., and on Wednesdays from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

        A lecture on the exhibit will take place on Oct. 2 from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. in Brennan Hall, where Essayist Eva Piatek, a 2009 graduate of The University of Scranton, will speak about the paintings. Following the lecture, a reception will be held in the Hope Horn Gallery from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in conjunction with the City of Scranton's First Friday events downtown. Both the lecture and the reception are free and open to the public.

        For additional information, contact the Hope Horn Gallery at 941-4214.

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