James Ehlers and the Annual Juried Student Exhibition

Artist and Professor James Ehlers came to Truman State University this week to serve as the juror for the annual Juried Student Art Exhibition, give engraving demonstrations, and discuss his own artwork.

Truman students had the opportunity to submit a maximum of three works to be reviewed for the juried show.  Ehlers selected the works that will be featured in the exhibition based on common themes; he said he found relationships between works and then placed them in spaces of cohesion.

“I gathered pieces that had political or religious messages in the cube of the gallery,” said Ehlers. “Also, I put food pieces in the general area where food is served during the opening reception.”

Ehlers’ work was exhibited in the side gallery up until the beginning of the jury submission process. A collection of his prints, drawings, and engravings were on display. Inspiration for his work came from numerous sources; including pop culture, history, and news events.

On Wednesday night, Ehlers performed an engraving demonstration in the Printmaking Studio (OP 2260). Since engraving is a long process, he mostly talked about tools and how to sharpen, distinguish, hold, and use them. In doing this, students would gain enough knowledge to experiment with engraving on their own. Ehlers packed some extra tools and plates so students attending the demonstration could practice using the equipment.

Thursday evening Ehlers gave a lecture explaining his selection process for the Juried Student Exhibition and discussed his own work.

By Anna Lang