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.
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Catie Dillon: Remain in Light
After years of global uncertainty, Catie Dillon’s mural, Remain in Light, is a turn toward new beginnings.
Dillon choreographs a dreamlike dance as playful shapes and riotous colors set the stage for exploratory looking. Repetitive forms and patterns — invoking ideas of meditation, continuation, and growth — echo, evolve, and entwine. Referencing architecture, stained glass windows, and the facades of tiled buildings, Dillon reconfigures existing environments into newly invented spaces. Piece by piece, this space is constructed like a sprawling map serving as a guide to a brighter future.
Like the light from the sun, Dillon’s whimsical wall painting is an energizing force. It is a place to bask, explore, reflect, heal, and feel joyous rejuvenation. It is Dillon’s wish to remain here, in light and in hope, forever.
Catie Dillon (B. 1996) is from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She graduated from the Pennsylvania State University with a BFA in painting. Dillon has been an artist-in-residence at Open Wabi Residency in Fredericktown, Ohio, Fish Factory Residency in Stodvarfjordur, Iceland, and PADA Studios in Barreiro, Portugal. Her work has been exhibited in a recent solo exhibition at the McDonough Museum of Art in Youngstown, Ohio, and in group exhibitions in New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Italy, and Portugal.
Dana Lynn Harper: Field Guides
Field Guides is playful and boisterous exhibition exploring the artist’s belief of spirit guides. Spirit guides are believed to be supernatural beings that provide support, guidance, and love when we need it most. This abstract idea is translated into layers of texture, pattern, and color. Utilizing textiles, paper, and plastics; aspects of personality, aura, consciousness, and spirit are made visible. Each being borrows the form of celebratory objects, like piñatas, paper lanterns and pom poms. These playful forms are combined with ornamentation inspired by the growth of plants and flowers.
Materials are dismantled and reconfigured into layers of a new imagined being, a soul without the body. Through this interpretation, the immaterial is made tangible. The formation and complexities of spiritual growth are similar to the formation of each figure, sculpture and drawing. Through play and experimentation, the figures appear. Instead of an overarching plan, each decision informs the next. Each layer builds upon the one before it, focusing on the present moment rather than anxieties of completion. There is a parallel between the unpredictable growing of the spirit and the materialization of each piece, both occurring through freedom, patience, and play.
Harper holds a BFA in Art & Technology from The Ohio State University, she lives and works in Columbus, OH. Recipient of The Bunton Waller Fellowship from Penn State University, where Harper received her MFA in 2013. Harper has been the recipient of an ArtPrize Artist Seed Grant and The ArtFile Emerging Artist Grant, Ringholz Foundation Award, OAC Professional Award and Manifest Prize. She has had solo exhibitions across the US, most notably at The University of Kentucky, Front/Space Gallery & Museum in Kansas City, MO, Manifest Gallery and ROY G BIV. Harper has been an Artist in Residence at Kutztown University, Teton Art Lab, Bunker Projects, Second Sight Studio, Sculpture Space and ArtSpace Raleigh. She was awarded a scholarship through The NEA to attend Women’s Studio Workshop in 2015 and has received a fellowship to attend in Vermont Studio Center in the fall of 2022. Harper has made public installations in collaboration with The Columbus Museum of Art as well as The University Arts District in Columbus, Ohio. She will exhibit at Sculpture Center in 2022.
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.
For myself, the answer means I have to process a myriad of conflicting emotions. Am I happy or am I sad? Yes. Am I coming together or am I falling apart? Yes. Do I feel like dancing or crying? Yes. Am I present in my body or am I worried about the future? Yes.
The video installation titled “interrupted self-portrait” shows myself caring for the Penn State Community Garden plot, and moments between my visits. When visiting the garden every day, it can seem like it is barely changing. However, when my mental health declines and I do not visit it for weeks, the unruliness of the plants within it mirrors the way I have cared for myself. I created the sculpture “keep it light” to encapsulate holding opposing feelings at once—like wanting to share your feelings honestly, and not knowing how it will be received. It was inspired by a tomato nibbled by a rabbit in my garden, freezing rain, a lonely disco ball waiting for dancers, comets, and craters. Preserved flowers from my garden are also featured in the sculpture.
This work was created as a monument to everyone who is experiencing overwhelming and complicated feelings right now that they feel unsure about sharing. I hope it can offer a gently reflective space for viewers to answer the question “How are you doing?” honestly, even if it is just inside their own hearts, and even if they can only reply “Oh, fine. How are you?”
Alex Russell is an MFA Candidate in Drawing and Painting at Penn State University. Previously a health researcher and sustainable arts educator, Russell alchemizes local and personal landscapes, patterns of connection, and resilience into artworks that are navigational tools in the face of uncertain futures. Russell creates these tools by drawing on gardening, sculpture, installation, performance, and social practices. She is a Penn State University Sustainability Institute Teaching Fellow.
Yeonhye Park: The Eternity of the Moment
Yeonhye Park depicts the complexity of human emotions by using a wide range of art languages such as cut-out painting, clay work, canvas-based painting, and sculpture.
Jack and the Beanstalk
Inspired by Flora Annie Steel’s 1918 edition of “Jack and the Beanstalk,” the collaborative team of MFA Scenic Design candidates and BFA Lighting Design students from the Penn State School of Theatre used their collective skills, knowledge, and creativity to create a storybook world for Jack and his beanstalk in the windows of the Downtown Theatre.
Brian Alfred: Kinda Lovely
Kinda Lovely is a music video Alfred created for the musical artist Poolside in 2020. The video animation captures the vibe of California and the feeling of Poolside’s music.
Joshua Frankel: Animation from A Marvelous Order
The animations presented are from the body of work created by Frankel for “A Marvelous Order,” a forthcoming multimedia opera about cities and how they change, about power and how it is confronted, and about two nearly-mythological figures from 20th century New York—Jane Jacobs and Robert Moses—who clashed through a battle of ideas that manifested itself in the streets.
Rachel Hayes: Syzygy
Rachel Hayes was commissioned to create our 2019-2020 Woskob-Wall installation. Hayes creates fabric structures that vibrantly explore painting processes, quilt making, architectural space, light, and shadow.
Dannielle Tegeder: Seigolomsoc/Cosmologies
Seigolomsoc/Cosmologies, a wall drawing in two acts, encompasses the gallery walls with a visual dialect for viewers to decipher.
News from A&A
Broadnax directs 'Thoughts of a Colored Man' on Broadway
Penn State Theatre Professor Steve H. Broadnax III is the director of “Thoughts of a Colored Man,” which premiered on Broadway in October 2021 after runs in Syracuse and Baltimore.