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Feb. 21, 2013
CONTACT: Gordon Ovenshine

'Romancing the Tone' opens March 4

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. -Words are symbols of language, but they can also double as art. Slippery Rock University's Martha Gault Art Gallery in Maltby Center will display examples of such art when it offers the language-based "Romancing the Tone" exhibit March 4-15.

An opening reception will be offered from 5-7 p.m. March 11.

Curated by Pittsburgh artist Casey Droege, "Romancing the Tone" will feature the works of Droege and national artists Derya Hanife Altan, Lenka Clayton, Corey Escoto, Rachel Foster, David Leggett, Rebecca Mir and Sayward Schoonmaker.

Each artist utilizes text as an entry point into a personal, cultural or historical reference. In doing so, the artists ask the audience not merely to look at their work, but to "read" it.

"It's going to be a challenging show. The work is conceptual; it is not objects," said Sharon Massey, SRU instructor of art. "These pieces are going to make people expand their understanding of visual art, that it doesn't have to be object based."

Massey provided a description of the contributors.

Droege, whose art has been exhibited in California, Illinois, and Pennsylvania, examines the language of texts to objectify the human experience.

Hanife Altan uses language material to heighten simple concepts, induce emotional awareness, and extract the sublime from the ordinary.

Clayton is a conceptual artist whose work exaggerates and reorganizes the accepted rules of everyday life, extending the familiar into the realms of the poetic and absurd.

Escoto brings together text and material to create simple gestures that are humorous and bleak, with just a dash of hope.

Foster processes art through language and transforms pre-existing facts.

Leggett uses images, text and pop culture references to disarm the viewer, prompting them to look at the sexual, racial, class or religious issues just under the surface of things.

Mir looks at language as one tool of communication, delving into relationships with nature that are linguistically one-sided.

Schoonmaker believes in emotional knowledge and longing. Her work takes many forms but often illuminates the intersection of language and experience, emphasizing how they influence, rub against, and convalesce with each other.

Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.