Ashland University's Coburn Art Gallery to Host Art Exhibition

8/17/10 ASHLAND, OH -- The Coburn Art Gallery at Ashland University will be hosting an art exhibition titled "Contemporary Painting," which will feature artists Elizabeth Snipes, Joseph Morzuch and Benjamin Duke.

The exhibition will open with a reception on Thursday, Sept. 2, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. The work of each of the three artists focuses on contemporary realism, each with their own investigation into social reality in American life.

Admission is free and open to the public. The exhibition will run through Oct. 10. The gallery is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday and 12 noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. For more information, call 419.289.5652 or email<>.

Snipes's work explores a curiosity and fondness for a traditional subject, the human figure, and utilizes representational and abstract vocabularies to examine an interest in interpersonal interactions. In her paintings and drawings, shifts between multiple painting and drawing languages create tensions between figures and ground relationships. Her images fluctuate between being recognizable and confusing, present and absent, familiar and foreign, representational and abstract. She earned a master of fine arts degree from Clemson University in 2007 and currently teaches as assistant professor of art in the painting and drawing area at Missouri State University. She and her husband currently reside in Springfield, Mo.

Joseph Morzuch combines and layers images culled from a variety of sources and work in modes ranging from an indirect realist approach to aggressive expressionism. The references  employed include cartoons, comic books and printed ephemera, found photographs, doodles, and reproductions of art historical paradigms. His materials within a painting range from oil and acrylic paint, spray enamel and ink, to traditional drawing materials and collage. Morzuch earned a master of fine arts degree from Southern Illinois University Carbondale. He has exhibited his work regularly at the national and international level for the past five years. His work has been included in a number of juried exhibitions including those curated by Philip Pearlstein, Susanna Coffey, Jed Perl and Judy Pfaff. He has taught drawing at the college level for the past four years and currently lives and works in Jonesboro, Arkansas, with his wife and three dogs.

In Duke's paintings, he asks "Is this the way the world is?" Then he reshapes and retools his painting experience to answer that question. But while the question begins with the world, it ends with the work itself: "Is this the way the world is in this work?" "Am I in the world or is the world in me? He alludes to his life, to writer's works, to imagery and it is his hope that this record of allusion conjures and creates the same. Duke received his master of fine arts at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore Hoffberger School of Painting, and has been teaching painting and drawing at Michigan State University since 2006.

Duke has had numerous solo and group shows at the national and international level, including at the Fitton Art Center in Hamilton, Ohio; "Weak Painting Group" exhibitions at The Kuandu Museum of Fine Art in Taipei and Da Xiang Art Space in Taichung City, Taiwan, and several solo exhibitions at Ann Nathan Gallery in Chicago.

Duke's work has been represented since 2006 by Ann Nathan Gallery, a well-established and respected downtown Chicago Gallery with a focus on contemporary realism. Duke also was awarded international residencies at Bamboo Curtain Studios, Taiwan, from May to July 2009 and The Kuandu Museum of Fine Art December 2009 through January 2010 at Taipei National University of the Arts, the premier Art University in Taiwan.

A catalogue titled Benjamin Duke 2001-2010: Ten years of Work with essays by Brian Kubarycz, a scholar of contemporary literature, and Su YuAnn, an independent curator and critique, was published by Garden City Publishing in June 2010.

For more information about the exhibition, contact Cynthia Petry, director of the Coburn Gallery/adjunct professor of art Ashland University, at 419-289-5652.

Ashland University (<>) is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University values the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong, applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students.