Contemporary arts + culture
The Woskob Family Gallery is a contemporary art space in downtown State College that brings a cohesive and carefully curated program of exhibitions and events to central Pennsylvania. Run by Penn State’s College of Arts and Architecture, the gallery serves as a laboratory for exploring how the arts can catalyze creative placemaking.
The gallery’s mission is to forge new relationships between the university and local communities, increase the perception of downtown State College as a cultural destination, and spark new creative enterprises. Through partnerships with the borough, local government, and arts and cultural organizations, we seek greater local investment in arts and culture projects.
The gallery is generously supported by the Borough of State College.
First Friday event on September 2 | 5-8 p.m.
Our new installation titled “Talisman for Unknown Territories” by Naomi Reis is on view now. Exhibition opening on September 2, 5-8 p.m.
6-7:30 p.m., September 2 | Workshop for all ages. Join us for a craft workshop to create ivy window displays inspired by our current installation, “Talisman for Unknown Territories” by Naomi Reis. We will design and string cut-paper ivy arrangements to take home.
Naomi Reis: Talisman for Unknown Territories
Consisting of a video, window installation and sculptural objects, the piece addresses our collective anxiety about the future within a warming and divisive global landscape. The title comes from the translation of terra incognita, the cartography term for undocumented regions on a map.
The video “Destabilized Landscapes” was taken via helium balloons attached to a Go-Pro and flown over landscapes shaped by human interventions. Piloted by the wind, the footage—at times calm and steady and others violent and shaky—serves as a metaphor for the Anthropocene, as we move into unknown territories.
The installation features hanging vines made from printed washi-paper cutouts of Boston ivy, along with hand-crafted talismans made from locally grown wild grasses. Vines symbolize tenacity, regeneration, connectivity, while the talismans are an interpretation of Japanese Shinto ropes that mark the boundary between sacred space and ordinary life. The talisman over the entrance invites good fortune with its seven strands of wild grasses, topped by a circle symbolizing wholeness; the wall talisman is modeled after a prawn shape, a symbol of longevity.
Special thanks to the artist Julia Oldham for making the video component possible. This work bookends Reis’ lecture for the John M. Anderson Endowed Lecture Series, Borrowed Landscapes: Artistic Practice as Space Making (September 28, 2020).
Naomi Kawanishi Reis makes 2D works and installations featuring non-fictional spaces: idealized landscapes featuring utopian architecture, conservatory gardens, and still life, collaged together and recreated using everyday materials like paper, blades, and brushes.
She has exhibited at Praise Shadows (Brookline, MA), @KCUA (Kyoto, Japan), Transmitter (Brooklyn, NY), Youkobo Art Space (Tokyo, Japan), Mixed Greens (New York, NY), and the Brooklyn Academy of Music, among others. In 2018 she received a Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters & Sculptors Grant, and in 2015 was a New York Foundation for the Arts Finalist in Painting. Reis received an MFA from the School of Design at the University of Pennsylvania, and a BA in Transcultural Identity from Hamilton College. Born in Shiga, Japan, she currently lives on unceded Lenape land in Brooklyn, NY.
Nichole van Beek: Grow Forward Together
Grow Forward Together is a window installation made from kombucha cellulose painted with bio-based inks creating a soft stained-glass effect.
Stacy Levy: When Art Works
The screened videos (Mold Garden and Tide Flowers) show two installations by Pennsylvania-based environmental artist Stacy Levy.
Catie Dillon: Remain in Light
Dillon choreographs a dreamlike dance as playful shapes and riotous colors set the stage for exploratory looking.
Megan Gottfried: Room to Room
Room to Room is a dynamic environment made of reclaimed fabric. Megan stitches together strangers’ stories into an intimate installation.
Alex Russell: kaleidoscope answers
“How are you doing?” is a very common question that has become difficult to answer since the pandemic began upending our lives in 2020. This installation, kaleidoscope answers, is an attempt to respond to that question.
Dana Lynn Harper: Field Guides
Field Guides is playful and boisterous exhibition exploring the artist’s belief of spirit guides.
News from A&A
Opera ‘A Marvelous Order’ to make world premiere Oct. 20 in Eisenhower Auditorium
In conjunction, Palmer Museum presents an exhibit of works by opera’s director The Center for the Performing Arts at Penn State will present the world premiere of the contemporary