Alumni return to display mature artworks

The 2015 Alumni Juried Exhibition opened in the Lockhart Gallery on Friday Feb. 6. The exhibit features works produced by Geneseo alumni in the last two years. Although it is made up of only a handful of pieces, the exhibit boasts a striking diversity in media. Pieces range from small, Polaroid-film collages to steel-fabricated sculptures and even a few watercolor paintings. John Reuter ’75 graduated from Geneseo after studying photography; the exhibit displays some of his most recent photographic endeavors, most notably “Untitled.” The photograph is not just one image, but an instant photo manipulated with ink and color added from behind. The result is a picture unlike any other.

Contrary to the ultra-realism that photography typically provides, Reuter’s photos are full of distortion and uncertainty. Some like “Untitled” appear to have the depth of oil painting, with the collaging creating shadows and depth.

“They aren’t something just shot out of the camera,” Reuter said. “There’s an initial photographic image, but the images are deconstructed, taken apart, part of the dye is removed, and the collage elements—acrylic paint, inkjet collages—are put in from behind. It’s all done from behind, so [when] you look at them from the front it still looks like a continuous photograph.”

Zachary Dietl ’06 graduated from Geneseo after receiving his bachelor’s of fine arts with a dual concentration in painting and sculpture. He is currently pursuing a master of fine arts degree at Rochester Institute of Technology. In contrast to Reuter’s 83mm × 108mm film, Dietl’s works were large. His two pieces “Amplification” and “Translation,” are freestanding, steel-fabricated sculptures.

“I was interested in steel as a medium that you could use to build structures very easily and very vast,” Dietl said. His process reimagines the building process. Traditionally, steel is used to carry out a pre-established design, but Dietl’s work does something else entirely. Instead of letting the design mold the piece, Dietl strives to let the piece mold the design.

“I set up a set of dimensions or processes that I would have to follow,” he said. “Those parameters would kind of determine a final form without having a sense of what it would look like visually until I did it.” The pieces in the gallery are the most favorable results of multiple studies in this method. Ultimately, Dietl noted that the process was a rewarding experiment in unpredictability. “I knew it would do something cool, but I didn’t know what,” he said.

Also featured in the gallery are watercolors by alums Kimberley Cooper and Emily Gibbons ‘08, photographs by Julie Doering, Julie Lance and Andrew Smith and a sculpture by Sarah Zaklik.

The 2015 Alumni Juried Exhibition will be on display through March 12 in the Lockhart Gallery at 26 Main Street.