Friday, September 19, 2014

Artist Talk: Leah Yerpe

On Thursday evening, Sept. 11th, artist Leah Yerpe gave a talk about her current exhibition, Constellations in The Robert L. Ringel Gallery in Stewart Center.

Leah Yerpe during her artist talk in Robert L. Ringel Gallery

Leah's interests stem from dance, body language and how the figure is used in mythology.  During her talk, Yerpe discusses her attraction to the shapes that the each body makes through posture, comfort and circumstance. Yerpe invites her models to move, with as little guidance as possible, in a way similar to interpretive dance while Yerpe photographs them quickly.  She then creates a library of cut out figures to digitally mock up out compositional ideas.  Certain poses, movements, or the shape made when the figures interact remind her of mythological stories and legends. She explained that in Greek Mythology figures are often turned into constellations, an idea that is both beautiful and disturbing at the same time, a duality she tries to capture in her work.  To see more of her work see her website at

To see write ups about this exhibition:

*Leah Yerpe's talk was recorded and will be made available soon.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Artist Talk: Jenny Morgan

This semester has been off to a great start.  This month we have had both Jenny Morgan and Leah Yerpe come to campus for an artist talk/reception.

Christine Wuenschel (left) Assistant Professor of Drawing and Jenny Morgan (right).
Christine and Purdue Galleries worked together to bring Jenny Morgan to Fountain Gallery.
Jenny Morgan's exhibition Transcendental Supra-mental, is currently up in the Fountain Gallery downtown now through October 11th.

On Sept. 4th Jenny Morgan came to Fountain Gallery and gave an artist talk on the growth of her work and the pieces currently hanging on the gallery walls.  She began the discussion with a piece she completed in high school, and even then her fascination with the human figure is evident.  She discussed the importance of her personal comfort with her own body and her interest in the existence that transcends the body in the form of auras, relationships and spiritual energy. That energy is something that is made visible in her work through use of transitional color, glowing halos, small orbs that exist around the body, and the selective blurring/sanding of the figures. These technical approaches set her apart from traditional portrait painting, but instead invite a contemporary lens that allows us to reflect on the fluidity of our own existence.

See coverage of this exhibition and artist talk below:

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Living Graphic Novel Contest Winner

Congratulations to Alexandra Dewitt who won our Living Graphic Novel Photo Contest!  Thanks to Robots and Rogues: New and Used books for donating a copy of "A Wrinkle in Time"! Congratulations Alexandra and thank you to everyone that participated!

Winning Photo!

Fall Exhibitions @ Purdue Galleries

We are ready for the new semester and excited to bring these great exhibitions to Purdue.  

Stay tuned for more details, but start marking your calendars now!  Starting September 2nd we will have Transcendental Supra-mental, oil paintings by Jenny Morgan, in Fountain Gallery and Constellations, drawings by Leah Yerpe in the Robert L. Ringel Gallery.  Both exhibitions challenge both the figure and scale in a unique way, be sure to stop by and take a look.   

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Living Graphic Novel Photo Contest!!

This week marked the opening of one of our latest exhibitions, Living Graphic Novel: Education, Collaboration and Outreach through the Comics.  This exhibition, currently in the Fountain Gallery downtown, is an example of some of the work done through a collaborative arts program by Purdue Galleries and Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette.  Living Graphic Novel offers the opportunity for participants to write, illustrate and appear in short stories in the style of graphic novels or comic books.

For the past two years, the LGN project has been supported in part by Arts Education in American Communities grants from the National Endowment for the Arts.  This exhibition documents the individual projects accomplished during that grant period.

Visitors to the exhibition have the opportunity to interact with a backdrop on display using costumes, props and speech bubbles to stage and photograph their own graphic stories.

Since this exhibition documents and encourages a wide variety of community participation, we have decided to create an online photo contest lasting the duration of the show.  We are encouraging visitors to use the backdrops, props and speech bubbles to stage their own photograph, then post the photo to instagram/facebook/twitter using the hashtag #LIVINGGRAPHICNOVEL  The photo with the most likes will receive a feature on this blog and receive a special prize.  You can follow the progress of the competition and see some featured entries on Facebook at  We are excited to see the results - feel free to stop by and get creative!  Our gallery attendant Rita is already on her way!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Country Music and the Rise of Modern Conservatism

As the Fountain Gallery's exhibition Honky Tonk: Portraits of Country Music by Henry Horenstein continues, we are welcoming students, professors, artists, musicians and the community to join in. We invited Purdue's Assistant Professor of History, Dr. Kathryn Cramer Brownell to give a lecture from a historical point of view.  After discussing the exhibition with her, Kathryn thought a discussion on country music and the rise of modern conservatism would be a great fit.

On April 1st, Kathryn gave her talk to a no-"Fools," standing room only crowd of students and community members.  She started by clarifying the two perspectives country musicians had on the south in the 70s-80s. Some musicians expressed the attitude that the south was a difficult place with a shameful past, while others chose to take pride in a growing new south, one filled with the hard-working everyday people who enjoyed a simple, traditional lifestyle.  The latter approach spurned the liberal leanings associated with northern cities.  It became fertile ground that political figures such as Richard Nixon used to initiate the rise of the Republican Party in the south, previously a strongly Democratic region. 

The relationship between popular culture and politics is something that can be seen today.  Not only do political issues gain popularity through being paired with pop culture icons, but in the case of country music, the interest generated by its political ties helped country music gain a nationwide following.

Brownell's research and teaching examine twentieth-century United States political history with a focus on the relationships between media, politics, and popular culture.  Her forthcoming book, Showbiz Politics: Hollywood in American Political Life (University of North Carolina Press), explores the institutionalization of Hollywood in American politics.  This book traces the key personal relationships, institutions, and government policies that established the foundation for a celebrity political culture and made entertainment a central feature of American politics. 

To read more about Brownell and this lecture, take a look at the Journal and Courier article about her talk here.

Honky Tonk - Art, Music and Fun with Jeris Eikenberry on Piano

We are excited about our current exhibition at the Fountain Gallery. Honky Tonk: Portraits of Country Music by Henry Horenstein is a collection of photographs taken between 1968 and 2010 that documents the changing world of country music and its fans. Shot in bars, music ranches, and famous venues like Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium, Horenstein not only shows us the performers on stage, but also the dedication and love the fans have for the performers and the music. Horenstein began this project at a time when he saw the world of country music changing and wanted to capture it as it was before it turned into the big business that it is today.

On March 21st, Fountain Gallery had a reception during Lafayette Third Friday and invited piano player Jeris Eikenberry to play Honky Tonk/Ragtime music.  The music created a great atmosphere and tied in nicely with Henry Horenstein's photos.  Jeris is quite the musician and entertainer and helped make the evening one to remember.

This is one of 3 events being presented during the Honky Tonk exhibition. Please be sure to follow us @PurdueUniversityGalleries on Facebook and @PurdueGalleries on Twitter and Instagram to stay up to date on our exhibitions/events both in the on campus galleries and in the downtown Fountain Gallery.