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The 55th Annual Faculty Exhibition has opened in the new Pogue Gallery in the Hallie Brown Ford Fine Arts Center at East Central University.

A reception for the artists will be held from 4 to 6:30 p.m. April 9 [FRIDAY], the last day of the exhibit. Refreshments will be served.

The Art Department holds the exhibit to feature items from each faculty member.

"Traditionally, this has been the function of the faculty show," said Dr. Brad Jessop, chair of the Art Department. "Each member of the university faculty demonstrates his or her expertise and new concepts for their students.

"This year the faculty has been busy exhibiting throughout the region. In fact they have had 39 exhibits, including several one-person exhibits at major venues and universities."

Several of the artists are working with themes of identity, consumption and policies that have broad-based impact on peoples' lives and the artist's experiences with them.

Kate Rivers is exhibiting collages that investigate socially invested imagery. Her collages use images of bird's nests as metaphor. She has had one-person exhibits in Dallas, Oklahoma City and Santa Fe this year.

Aaron Hauck's current work consists of digital collages using images appropriated from the Internet and a polar bear rug made from Wal-Mart sacks.

"The work is intended to be a commentary, not an attack, on our current American culture," Hauck said. "Our culture is becoming more and more commercially driven and we are grasped in its stranglehold. As much as I dislike it, I am its product."

Jessop has a new series of collages, watercolors and paintings. These works take a critical view of social norms and contradictions with them.

"Principally, the work is about the postmodern condition," Jessop said. "In this series of collages I examine the roles currently thrust upon us, by the media, outside forces or politicians, and visually contrast those roles with my own perceptions and choices."

Adjunct faculty showing works are Wayneath Weddle, who is exhibiting a new series of pots with art nouveau forms; Paul Walsh, with paintings in acrylic that are derived from observation and imagination; and Bill Roach, with two pendants made from a number of materials.

Joining the exhibit this year is Linda Schaefer, instructor of communication, whose photographs from her India, Klan and Romania series feature striking color, poignant characters and haunting black and white images.

The exhibit is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Admission is free.

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