Gallery lobby hosts inspired menagerie of masks

Published 04.14.2021

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Deven W. Carson chose to honor his favorite animal – the buffalo – and added a variety of accents including faux hair, copper and turquoise (and purposely chose to embellish only the right eye for added intrigue). A barn owl offered inspiration to Ryan D. Beck, a building automation engineering technology student from Port Matilda. Instead of cutting out a big knot in the wood block he was carving, he opted to add a unique "branch" element to his artwork. Artistic expression comes in all shapes and styles. An African goddess adorned with copper and a natural beauty mark was crafted by Skyla E. Feerrar, a graphic design student from Avis. Jutting from the wall at an eye-catching distance is a "primal multi-animal" creation (at top) by Scott R. Martin, of Blue Bell, enrolled in residential construction technology and management. Vincent A. Travascio's crescent moon offers another unique dimensional piece. A variety of creative creatures has gathered in the lobby of The Gallery at Penn College – and the campus community is invited to view the inventive offerings.

Crafted by students in two Spring 2021 classes of Wood Sculpture (ART142), 25 wood masks are on display. The masks are made from a block of pine wood and were carved by hand with gouges, mallets and rasps.

Students took inspiration from African masks and were required to utilize basic design principles such as repetition, variation and negative space. Instructor David A. Stabley encouraged them to enhance the uniqueness of their pieces by incorporating color, texture and mixed-media additions.

"I like art in general, but I never did anything like this before," said Deven W. Carson, a welding and fabrication engineering technology student from State College. "It's cool to get out of my element and do something I'm less experienced in. It's fun!" For Vincent A. Travascio, a building automation technology student from Wildwood, New Jersey, "This is just something else to do, working with my hands; it comes naturally to me."

The lobby exhibit is available for viewing during regular gallery hours – 2 to 8 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesdays and Fridays – and will be on display through May 7. (There is currently no exhibit in the gallery, however "Not a Breath of Wind," an exhibit of kinetic sculptures by John Powers is available at the gallery website. Graphic Design 2021, the annual portfolio exhibition of graduating graphic design students, will run April 26 through May 7 in the gallery.)

The Gallery at Penn College is on the third floor of the Madigan Library and accessible via the building's front elevator or stairs.