Social issues are the theme for many Lycoming College art professors as they get ready for the school's faculty art show, which opens with a reception from 4 to 5:30 p.m. Thursday in the gallery in Snowden Library.
Lynn Estomin, in particular, has spent the last four years recording the expressions of Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans who are dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder.
"The stories and images I began collecting while creating the Warrior Writers website are powerful, raw, emotional and haunting yet hopeful," she said.
A photograph of a soldier’s tattoo by Lynn Estomin. The photo will be on display as a part of the Lycoming College faculty art show, which will open with a reception from 4 to 5:30 p.m. Thursday in the gallery in Snowden Library at the school.
The Warrior Writers website is a place where soldiers may post art about their day-to-day struggles. It was launched in August 2009.
Estomin doesn't see her work only as activism, she also sees it as simple storytelling.
"As a filmmaker and photographer who deals with political subjects, I am interested in human stories and what they tell us about society," she said.
The story Jeremiah Johnson is trying to tell through some of his work that will be on display for the show is about the housing crisis that overtook the country in 2008. Johnson will exhibit houses made out of credit card applications that he received in the mail and saved over several years.
"Everyone was buying houses on credit, so I thought I'd used the credit card applications to build a house," Johnson said in an interview with the Sun-Gazette in May.
To give the project a local angle, he based the houses on ones he saw in Williamsport.
Seth Goodman also makes work about class issues, but in a different way. He paints cultural kitsch and other things he finds in the underbelly of our society.
"However repulsive or depressing it may be, everything depicted in the work exists in some form in our cultural sphere," he said. "Ultimately, the paintings are asking the viewer how they relate to these truths and what it means if they must turn away. Part social critique and part self-reflection, the paintings are a platform for me to better understand where I fit in as an American, as well as to question [how] my socioeconomic roots shape my identity."
Not all the work that will be on display, however, is social commentary. Some of it is about the artistic process and crafted with purely aesthetic goals.
Professor David Burke will exhibit black and white photographs made with the "straight style of photography."
"The straight style of photography originated in the early 1900s by artists such as Paul Strand, Ansel Adams, Edward Weston and others," he said. "It was a response to the 'pictorialists' who, up until that time were making photos in a soft focus, dreamy style utilizing darkroom techniques and negative and paper manipulation."
The "straight style" aims to cast an objective eye on reality and capture a scene without any sort of alteration before or after exposure.
The other artists who will be featured in the Lycoming College Faculty Show are Michael Darough, Jay Innerarity, Kathy Sterngold and Howard Tran.
The exhibition will be on display until Dec. 15.
For more information, visit www.lycoming.edu/art/CurrentGalleryShows.html.