Montana State University Billings Department of Art’s Annual Faculty Exhibition opens Aug. 28 and remains on view through Sept. 25 at the Northcutt Steele Gallery.
This group exhibition presents the diverse talents of faculty working across a broad range of media and features “Gathered,” a series of mixed-media works by recently hired painting and drawing faculty member Jodi Lightner. Artists participating in the exhibition include Mark Earnhart, Shanna Fliegel, Jill Foote-Hutton, Neil Jussila, David Knobel, Sarah Knobel, Connie Landis, Randi O’Brien, Marcia Selsor and Markus Urbanik.
“Gathered” explores the emotional valences of familiar forms, such as ropes and chairs, which often mirror human interactions and the ways we gather, connect and swirl around each.
Consisting of a series of scrolled paintings on Mylar (a translucent film with a matte finish), a sound installation, paintings and assemblage, Lightner’s skillful arrangements of forms — aural, visual, and spatial — address how we collect and organize ourselves, and disperse once again. The resulting constellation of works is meditative and haunting, offering viewers a space to contemplate the endurance and fragility of the bonds that have held — and continue to hold — us together.
Lightner joined the faculty at MSUB in 2012 after she was awarded the emerging artist in residency at Penn State Altoona, where she also taught. She received her MFA from Wichita State University in 2010 and has exhibited at national and international venues including Angle Gallery in Seattle; Cara and Cabezas Contemporary in Kansas City; Gertrude Herbert Institute of Art in Atlanta; Montecastello di Vibio in Italy; and Xuchang University in China. Her work is represented by Kim Weinberger Fine Art in Kansas City and is held by corporate collections, including Empire Bank.
A talk by Lightner followed by a catered reception for all participating artists is set for Sept. 4 beginning at 5 p.m. The reception and exhibition are free and open to the public.
The Northcutt Steele Gallery is located on the first floor of the Liberal Arts on the Montana State University Billings campus. The gallery is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and by appointment. For more information visit www.msubillings.edu/gallery or www.facebook.com/northcuttsteelegallery.