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A reception for Curlee Raven Holton, associate professor of art and director of Lafayette’s Experimental Printmaking Institute, will be held 5-7 p.m. today at the David A. Portlock Black Cultural Center gallery, 101 McCartney St.

Art and Transformation, a selection of works by Holton, is being exhibited at the BCC gallery through March 4. The gallery is open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The exhibition is part of Lafayette’s celebration of Black History Month.

The works selected in Art and Transformation reflect Holton’s personal and artistic explorations over the past dozen years. The pieces reflect themes of biblical and biological creation, incorporating ink, paint, paper, and canvas.

“My present work is focused on creating images that represent states of consciousness involved in the process of personal and philosophical redemption,” says Holton. “The Baptismal series incorporates images of the body and water as the redemptive and transforming elements of nature. This work is a natural progression from earlier works that focused on personal awareness and the individual’s relationship to the environment.”

“Creating images that are comprised of little more than his personal story and spirit is the way that Curlee Raven Holton seeks to intervene in the world. For him, art is a means to change himself and an attempt to change others through the creative act,” writes Lewis Tanner Moore in the exhibition catalog. “With subtlety and force, his images challenge, invite, tease, and confront the viewer. Indeed, if we embrace them, they interfere with us and ask us to be in the differently.”

Holton, who joined the Lafayette faculty in 1991, is a master printmaker, educator, writer, and lecturer whose special interests include printmaking, African American art history, drawing, and painting. He founded the Experimental Printmaking Institute in 1996, giving many students and artists the opportunity to explore and expand the boundaries of traditional printmaking. Holton has mounted more than 30 one-person shows and has participated in more than 75 group exhibitions, including the Seventh International Biennale at the National Center of Fine Arts, Cairo, and shows at Centro de Cultura Casa Lamm Gallery, Mexico City.

Last year, Holton received a commission to create the awards for the Pennsylvania Governor’s Awards for the Arts. His works are in the collections of several universities, foundations, and corporations, including the Cleveland Museum of Art; the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Villanova University, and Morehouse College.

Holton has participated in several residencies and special projects and has served as curator for a dozen exhibitions. He has also authored many articles and essays and presented numerous papers. He was the 1999 recipient of Lafayette’s Carl R. and Ingeborg Beidleman Research Award, recognizing excellence in applied research or scholarship.

In addition to teaching, Holton works closely with many students in the art of printmaking through apprenticeships, EXCEL Scholars research projects, and independent studies. Students often have assisted with Holton’s printmaking projects before venturing on their own creative journeys.

Categorized in: Academic News