The Olin Art Gallery, on the campus of Washington & Jefferson College, supports the educational mission of the College through the exhibition of original works by local, regional, and national artists. By exhibiting a wide variety of art forms and styles, the Olin Art Gallery seeks to stimulate the creation and understanding of contemporary art for the benefit of Washington & Jefferson College and the larger community.
Opened in 1982, the Olin Art Gallery supports the display of both three-dimensional and hanging works in its 1,900-square-foot exhibition space. In recent years the Gallery has housed works by such nationally and internationally acclaimed artists as Malcolm and Evans Parcell, Nat Youngblood, and David Sengel. The Gallery annually hosts exhibitions across all artistic media, attracting entries by award-winning artists from across the country and abroad. Several exhibitions are installed each year, including an exhibition of student work at the end of spring term. From time to time, exhibitions will be staged in conjunction with W&J Arts Series performances, as well as special collaborations with various academic departments and programs. Each show includes an opening reception—an opportunity to meet the exhibiting artists and to interact with faculty members and other art students. In addition, the artists are frequently invited to give slide lectures or gallery talks.
All events and exhibitions are free and open to the public.
Olin Art Gallery
285 E. Wheeling St.
Washington, PA 15301
Open Daily 12noon-7pm during exhibition dates
The gallery is closed during college breaks
2012-13 Exhibition Schedule
One Thousand Prayers
September 14-October 21, 2012
Opening Reception and Artis Talk: Friday, September 14, 7-9pm
Closed during fall break: October 13-16
Working primarily in the medium of printmaking, Yoshiko Shimano creates large-scale works on paper that become installations or environmental pieces. Through exquisitely layered and repeated images and textures, these monumental works explore what it means to be human. Originally from Japan, Shimano optimistically uses traditional iconography and spiritual notions to inform her visually contemporary approach to understanding difficult circumstances like wars, natural disasters, poverty and discrimination.
Yoshiko Shimano is an Associate Professor at The University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM. Shimano received her MFA from Mills College, Oakland, CA and her BFA from California College of the Arts, Oakland, CA.
The Chalkboard Series
November 2-December 2, 2012
Opening Reception and Artist Talks: Friday, November 2, 7-9pm
Closed during Thanksgiving break: November 21-25
Exploring the concepts of education and academia as entities through which historical information is explored, learned and processed, Brian Benfer creates large-scale drawings directly on the gallery walls. The “history of place” is revealed using chalk and chalkboard paint. Benfer creates pixilated surfaces or “white noise” by highlighting the remnants, marks or scars from those who previously exhibited in the gallery space. These contemporary “chalkboards” simultaneously reference the format by which information was transferred in the past and to the digital format by which information is conveyed today.
Brian Benfer lives and works in Seattle, WA. He received his MFA from Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ and his BA from Humboldt State University, Arcata, CA.
Using hundreds of handmade porcelain components, Lee Renninger creates a visual sculptural fabric that explores memories, dreams and experiences we leave behind. The resulting de-contextualized traditional female garment or dress form suggest a ghost image of some fragment of a woman’s life. The inherent fragility, strength, purity and beauty of the materials reinforce this notion.
Lee Renninger lives and works in Gulfport, Mississippi. She holds both her MA and BA from the University of Florida, Gainesville, FL.
Three States of Discomfort
February 1-24, 2013
Opening Reception and Artist Talk, Friday, February 1, 7-9pm
Using a hybrid of sculpture, installation, performance and video, Sam Blanchard creates a narrative that examines the social challenges, tests, trials, and tribulations that constitute a “normal” day. These everyday rituals provide points of departure for otherwise obscure scenes. It is this obscurity along with the naïve approach of the antagonist to these situations that often lends a humorous tone to Blanchard’s work. The work further explores what and why it is to be excluded or included, comfortable or awkward, in or out.
Sam Blanchard received his MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI and his BA from Ohio University, Athens, OH.
March 8-April 6, 2013
Opening Reception and Artist Talk: Friday, March 8, 7-9pm
Closed during spring break: March 16-24
Using a diverse range of materials, George Lorio creates sculpture that reflects his surroundings. Recently relocated from south Texas, Lorio’s work explores the challenges and flash-points that have developed in border towns between Mexico and the United States. Employing both visually disturbing and at times aesthetically pleasing imagery, the work comments on the privilege of class, immigration and social hierarchy.
Currently living and working out of Dover, Delaware, George Lorio received both his MFA and BA from the University of South Florida, Tampa, FL.
April 12-21, 2013
Opening Reception and Artist Talks: Friday, April 12, 7-9pm
April 26-May 5, 2013
Opening Reception and Artist Talks: Friday, April 26, 7-9pm
Washington & Jefferson College art and art education majors graduating in spring 2013 exhibit their work across a variety of media in this annual senior capstone event. Each exhibition features half of the graduating seniors from the class of 2013.
2011-12 Exhibition Schedule
WHERE DO I GO FROM HERE: New Work
September 16-October 9, 2011
Patrick Schmidt creates vibrant, decorative paintings that “cross-pollinate" with sculpture, printmaking, craft and textiles. The results are artistic hybrids that playfully modify the traditional format of painting in subtle and not-so-subtle ways. At it’s boldest, Schmidt’s work literally moves off the gallery walls, reaching out into architectural space, ceilings and floors in unexpected ways.
Patrick Schmidt is an Associate Professor at Washington & Jefferson College, Washington, PA. His exhibition record includes solo and group shows in Kansas City, MO; St. Paul, MN; Tallahassee, FL; Pittsburgh, PA; Santa Monica, CA; Washington, DC; Chicago, IL; and New York City, NY. Schmidt’s paintings have been featured three times in New American Paintings, and in New Art International.
October 21-December 4, 2011
Using armatures, fabric, felt and found objects, Betsy Timmer creates figurative sculptures that become connected to the viewer as sympathetic and empathetic characters. These characters feel worn out, weighted down, torn and overstuffed. Fueled by observation of women’s endless ‘to-do’ lists, Timmer’s sculptures explore demands and expectations of a non-stop, bigger, better, faster, more culture. The artist investigates anxiety attacks, negative self-image and crumbling relationships as the physical and mental manifestations of this unsustainable, frenzied pace.
Betsy Timmer lives and works in Lawrence, Kansas. She received her MFA from the University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS and her BFA from Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI.
February 3-26, 2012
As a sculptor and installation artist, Michelle Acuff implicates viewers in a phenomenological situation, in which the experience of objects is ambiguous, corporal, and direct. Acuff’s imagery springs from a handful of diverse sources, in which actual and mediated visions of animals and landscapes blur. It is the product of a suburban imaginary and of an accompanying cultural narrative that positions nature and culture at two extreme ends of a spectrum. This polarization paints nature as an ideal; a space or thing unadulterated, authentic, and real.
Michelle Acuff originally hails from the Midwest where she received her BA from Augustana College, Rock Island, IL and her MA and MFA from the University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA. Currently Acuff lives in Walla Walla, Washington and is an Assistant Professor of Art at Whitman College.
March 9-April 6, 2012
Using new and reclaimed commercial building materials and scrap, Christian Benefiel’s formalist sculptures explore the transformation of craft, the way products are manufactured, shipped and assembled instead of being built. Through abstract form suggested by the natural and synthetic properties of the materials, Benefiel’s work questions the shift from workmanship and trades to automation and labor; product identity to pre-fabrication; and permanence to disposability.
Living and working out of Baltimore, Maryland, Christian Benefiel received his BFA from East Carolina University, Greenville, NC and his MFA from the University of Maryland, College Park, MD. Benefiel has exhibited throughout the eastern United States and Europe, and has just completed a William J. Fulbright Post-Graduate Research Grant in Helsinki, Finland.
2012 W&J Senior Show
April 20-May 6, 2012
Washington & Jefferson College art and art education majors graduating in spring 2012 exhibit their work across a variety of media in this annual senior capstone event.
For additional information please contact Doug McGlumphy, Director, Olin Art Gallery at: firstname.lastname@example.org.