Artists explore biomechanical theme

April 8, 2013
Senior Lee Stark of Jefferson Hills puts the finishing touches on his painting for the Department of Art and Design’s biomechanical art exhibit. He is incorporating mannequins, gas masks and cameras into his submission.

Art enthusiasts can expect the unexpected when California University of Pennsylvania’s Department of Art and Design presents “Deus ex Machina: Explorations of the Biomechanical.”

An opening reception, hosted by the Associated Arts of California, will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday in the Vulcan Gallery inside Vulcan Hall. Live music and food will be provided.

Prizes will be awarded for outstanding works. Serving as judges will be Cal U. faculty members Scott Lloyd, Greg Harrison and Sue Urbine.

Students and faculty from advanced drawing and painting classes will be installing the show, which will explore the connection between bodies and machines, or the structure and function of biological systems. Submissions from students, faculty, staff and alumni were considered for the show.

Maggy Aston, associate professor of the Department of Art and Design, said students were inspired to explore the topic when they composed drawings at last winter’s “Leonardo da Vinci: Machines in Motion” exhibition in the Convocation Center.

Because the connection between man and machine is becoming closer than ever, biomechanical tattoos are becoming more and more popular, she added. Tattoos and certain machine-based styles, such as steampunk, create an array of artistic possibilities.

Todd Pinkham, associate professor of Art and Design, said the exhibition is timely because of the increasing impact of technology.

“Deus ex Machina: Explorations of the Biomechanical” will be on display from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays, Thursday through April 18.

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