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August 23, 2013
CONTACT: Gordon Ovenshine

Edwards explores region's industrial past

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. -June Edwards, Slippery Rock University associate professor of art, explores abandoned industrial architecture in her mixed media painting exhibit, "Furnace Works," which will be presented Sept. 3-20 in SRU's Martha Gault Art Gallery.

The exhibit includes 16 pieces that Edwards created over the past year.

Edwards said the paintings are based on the Carrie Furnace Works, a western Pennsylvania steel mill that opened in 1906 but is long abandoned.

"The hulking, rusted forms of a decaying steel mill near Pittsburgh initially attracted my attention because they were so visually interesting," she said. "Their huge volumes coated with rich browns and grays in pronounced textured fueled by play of light and shadow seemed to be very beautiful."

She added that the subject combined all of the elements of the language or art. Her goal was to create shapes, textures and color to create dynamic statements.

"As an artist, my intention is to create visually compelling collage compositions," she said. "But I also want to acknowledge the labor-intensive phase of a once vibrant and powerful industry. The buildings and structures have long lost their vitality, but I can imagine the energy that was once there - the human effort required to build and operate these abandoned industrial places."

The opening reception is 5-7 p.m. Sept. 3. Gallery hours are noon-5 p.m. Monday-Friday.

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.