'Objects of Mourning' Exhibit Coming to The Gallery at Penn College

Published 11.08.2010


'Object of Mourning 3,' 2007, silver, copper, doily, latex, rubber, soldering, mixed mediaThe Gallery at Penn College, on the third floor of Pennsylvania College of Technology's Madigan Library, will host "Objects of Mourning," an exhibit by artist Renee Zettle-Sterling, Nov. 11 to Dec. 14.

Zettle-Sterling's meticulously crafted metal and found-object pieces investigate how everyday objects can be sources of meaning beyond their physical properties. In her "Objects of Mourning" body of work, she investigates how objects can help us move through the difficult passage of mourning.

"During the process of mourning, objects can link us to loved ones that have passed or moments in life that are fleeting," she said. "This has inspired a strong interest in the objects, such as hand fans and doilies, which are, sadly, no longer used or valued as they once were. I feel that these once beautifully decorative and valued objects carry with them the potential to become a source of meaning beyond their physical properties and an outlet for displacement, emptiness, loss, as well as sentimentality."

Some of the pieces that make up the exhibit incorporate clothing and fabric that belonged to her deceased family members, as well as an especially personal piece that includes one of the BBs that hit and killed her brother. It also includes a device, titled "Object of Mourning: Tears #3," for mixing tears with bubble solution, "so that one may blow bubbles using their tears a cathartic piece," she said. "Bubbles, besides being enjoyable, are ephemeral and temporary like us."

She explores an assortment of media and techniques to create small-scale, body-oriented devices and jewelry, as well as large, site-specific installations. Zettle-Sterling's training is varied, ranging from the study of metalsmithing and sculpture/installation, to papermaking/fibers from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. Her work has been widely published, and she has shown extensively both nationally and internationally.

Zettle-Sterling is an associate professor of art and design at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Mich., where she teaches 3-D design, metalsmithing and sculpture. She is the sister of two Penn College alumni: Thomas Zettle, '95 (deceased) and Christopher Myers, '98.

The gallery will host a gallery talk and Meet the Artist reception with Zettle-Sterling on Nov. 11. The gallery talk begins at noon, and the reception will take place from 4:30-6:30 p.m., with artist's comments to be offered at 5:30.

The gallery is open Saturday and Sunday, 1 to 4 p.m.; Tuesday and Thursday, 2 to 8 p.m.; and Wednesday and Friday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. All exhibits are free and open to the public. The gallery will close Nov. 24-28 for Thanksgiving Break.

For more about the exhibit and The Gallery at Penn College, visit online , e-mail or call 570-320-2445.

To learn more about Zettle-Sterling's work, visit on the Web .

For more about the college, visit online , e-mail or call toll-free 800-367-9222.