Art on display at Misericorda University

The untitled oil piece is just one of Robert Stark’s works on display piece in the Pauly Friedman Art Gallerty at Misericordia University. -

DALLAS TWP. – Misericordia University is presenting the colorful exhibition, “The New American Landscape 2017,” a collection of original oil paintings by abstract expressionist artist Robert Stark in the Pauly Friedman Art Gallery.

In the MacDonald Gallery, Tunkhannock artist James Dougher is providing the exhibition, “Cryptic Artifacts,’’ featuring mixed-media wall relief constructions of Informed Primitivism and small freestanding sculptural objects.

Both exhibits are on display from April 1 through June 3.

The exhibitions are supported in part by The Sandra Dyczewski Maffei Endowment. A free meet-the-artist opening reception is 5 to 7 p.m. Saturday, April 1.

Stark is a well-known artist who has lived and painted at his Susquehanna Studio in Union Dale, Susquehanna County, for 50 years. He also maintains a studio in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where he and his wife spend their winters.

Known for abstract expressionist landscape painting and photography, his work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at many venues including the Corcoran Gallery of Art, the Phillips Collection and the Cosmos Club in Washington, D.C., The Cheekwood Museum of Art in Nashville, Tennessee; the Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art in Loretto, and Morris Museum of Art, Augusta, Georgia.

His paintings have traveled to more than 140 world capitals under the U.S. Department of State’s Art in Embassies program, including Algiers, Bangkok, Buenos Aires, Havana, Kathmadu, Lagos, London, Manila, Stockholm and Tehran. He is represented in museum, corporate and private collections across the country.

The exhibit will include a catalog featuring a critique of Stark’s 2017 exhibit by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Henry Allen, a cultural critic for the Washington Post from 1970 to 2009, and the recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism in 2000. In his Oct. 18, 2016 critique, Allen writes, “His (Stark’s) instinct for the edgy impact of color – the edge being located somewhere inside your brain – has now culminated in the paintings in this show, a meld of bleakness and beauty, very American, a vision akin to that of Jack Kerouac with his ‘sad’ highways. Since the beginning, Stark’s work has had a tincture of hard melancholy that makes me think of America and the raw-boned facts of small-town existence he must have learned as a boy in Sidney, N.Y., a poignance that drove him toward beauty – a kind of glory.”

Stark earned a Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Denver. He studied photography formally and informally with Minor White, 1962-1968, and studied Restoration and Conservation of Paintings with Robert Scott Wiles at the Corcoran Gallery of Art from 1970-1974.

Dougher holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Kutztown University where, under the guidance of James Carroll in the mid 1970s, he met and studied some of the most influential and groundbreaking artists of the time, including Philip Glass, Steve Reich, Vito Acconci and Richard Serra. He has since studied decorative finishes at The Finishing School in New York, and has spent years restoring 18th and 19th century furniture and studying its construction. He has worked professionally in graphic design related fields for more than 30 years.

Dougher describes his exhibit, “Cryptic Artifacts,” as a group of small constructions that took form in an effort to give new life to mundane and ephemeral objects, which possessed an innate and intrinsic beauty, or, at the very least, stirred an unexpected interest.

“Sequence, nature, and introspection are themes,” Dougher said. “I’m fascinated with the things people live with, decide to put up on their walls, imbue with value or meaning, and revere as objects. Mimic them, create them, and recreate them. There is hope to inspire others to pursue their own creativity and think about objects in new ways.”

The Pauly Friedman Art Gallery is closed on Mondays and for all university holidays and snow days. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday 1 to 5 p.m.

For more information, contact Dona Posatko, gallery director, at 570-674-6250.

The untitled oil piece is just one of Robert Stark’s works on display piece in the Pauly Friedman Art Gallerty at Misericordia University. untitled oil piece is just one of Robert Stark’s works on display piece in the Pauly Friedman Art Gallerty at Misericordia University.
Submitted photo