Monteith, guest artist, to display at FHSU

A sculptor from Illinois will exhibit a collection of works in recovered wood and other materials at the Moss-Thorns Gallery of Art at Fort Hays State University beginning Oct. 19.

The gallery is located on the bottom floor of Rarick Hall on the FHSU campus and is open to the public free of charge. Gallery hours are weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Jerry Monteith, associate professor of sculpture and head of graduate studies at Southern Illinois University, will exhibit "Jerry Monteith: Sculptures from 1997-2007."

His exhibit will include wall, floor and free-standing pieces in a variety of woods and other materials.

"Almost all of the wood I have collected locally [from Carbondale in southern Illinois], through people who have cut down trees. I live near the Shawnee National Forest, which was historically dominated by oak and hickory."

Monteith modifies the existing structure of branches to mimic animals or human form, using the textures found under the bark to suggest skin. Walnut, elm, catalpa, persimmon and oak are represented in the works on display at FHSU.

Monteith said that including elements that sit on or modify a larger basic form, such as dyes or bright paints, allows him to develop narratives based on personal experiences. "The trick," he said, "is in decoding the various clues that suggest rather then relate details. In many ways this process involves the solution of a visual puzzle."

The closing reception will be on Friday, Nov. 2 from 7 to 9 p.m. Refreshments will be provided, and admission is free.

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