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A collection of prints and photo-based work spanning the years 1988-2005 by New York artist Glenn Ligon will be exhibited Feb. 4-March 15 at the Richard A. and Rissa W. Grossman Gallery in Lafayette’s Williams Visual Arts Building, 243 North Third Street, downtown Easton. He will interact with Lafayette art students and those working in the Experimental Printmaking Institute, as well as area high school students from Lafayette’s Community Based Teaching Program.

Ligon uses language as imagery in his work to communicate by incorporating culturally charged quotations to address social issues. His “word paintings” contain excerpts and repeated lines from writers such as James Baldwin, Ralph Ellison, and Zora Neale Hurston.

“The Grossman Gallery exhibition will focus [on] the idea of revision: moments in my practice where an existing image or body of work is revised by translation into another medium (painting into prints, for example) or by the addition of texts and/or images,” states Ligon.

A reception for the artist will be held 5-6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 15, in the Grossman Gallery. Ligon will give a public lecture 4 p.m. Friday, Feb. 17, in Williams Center for the Arts room 108.

Ligon recently participated in The Painted Word: Language as Image in Modern Art, a selection of post 1960s artwork curated by Robert S. Mattison, Metzgar Professor of Art, at the Williams Center for the Arts gallery.

Born in 1960 in New York and raised in the Bronx, Ligon had a childhood passion for literature that evolved into fascination with the political and social uses of language, which are demonstrated in his artwork. He studied at Rhode Island School of Design before receiving a B.A. from Wesleyan University in 1982. Ligon is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships, including selection for the prestigious Whitney Museum Independent Study Program in 1985.

Considered one of today’s most prolific artists, he has exhibited at Detroit Institute of Arts; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Museum of Modern Art, Soloman R. Guggenheim Museum, and Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; and Institute of Chicago, among others.

Directed by internationally known abstract painter Ed Kerns, Eugene H. Clapp II ’36 Professor of Art, the 23,500-square-foot Williams Visual Arts Building is one of the leading high-tech facilities for art education and exhibitions in the nation. It includes sculpture and painting studios, a community-based teaching studio, the Grossman Gallery, a flexible studio area with movable walls for honors and independent study students, a seminar room, a conference room, and faculty studios and offices. Honors students, faculty, and visiting professional artists work together with area high school and adult art students through the Community-Based Teaching Program led by sculptor Jim Toia, director of the Grossman Gallery in the Williams Visual Arts Building.

The building was recognized for excellence in design quality with the Silver Medal from the Pennsylvania chapter of The American Institute of Architects, the highest award given by the organization. It was chosen from a pool of applications by 100 practicing architects in Pennsylvania. It also received the Adaptive Reuse Award from the Easton Heritage Alliance.

Gallery hours are 10-5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. For more information, contact the Grossman Gallery at (610) 330-5831.

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