University News

Artist Katie Murken Presents Solo Exhibition at William Paterson University Galleries

Katie Murken explores the dualities of nature and architecture, serendipity and pattern, communication and distance, and inhabitance and vacancy in Katie Murken: The Forest for the Trees, a solo exhibition of recent work including a large-scale installation that will be on view at the William Paterson University Galleries from January 22 through February 15, 2013. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and on February 3 and February 10 from noon to 4 p.m. Admission is free. An opening reception for the exhibit will be held on Sunday, January 27, from 2 to 4 p.m.; in case of snow, the reception will be held on Sunday, February 10, from 2 to 4 p.m.

In her solo exhibition, on view in the Court Gallery of the University’s Ben Shahn Center for the Visual Arts, Murken presents a large-scale installation, “Continua,” as well as several prints from her series, Freedom from Want and Need.

“In both of the works there is a primary element that is repeated, or extended, to create a more complex space.  I use form to create a meaning,” Murken says. “In the case of the Freedom series, the form is that of a tree, which is repeated in space to create an image that references an internal emotional landscape.  With ‘Continua’ I use modular blocks of color created with phone books to create a sensory experience that evokes larger mathematical and optical patterns.  Both works employ the form of a vertical pillar (a tree or a stack) which is repeated in space to create a forest or gathering of sorts.”

In her works, Murken strives for a material sensibility that evokes something of itself and something beyond itself. “This allows me to construct actual and illusionistic environments whose transformative power is rooted in the fundamental human need to understand and to shape one’s surroundings,” she adds.

Murken was selected to receive the one-person exhibition as the grand-prize winner of American Impressions 2012, a national juried exhibition of works by professional printmakers and book artists held at the William Paterson University Galleries in spring 2012.

Trained as a printmaker and book artist, Murken coordinates site-specific installations that position her hand-made objects, books and drawings in relationship to diverse environments.  She has shown her work regionally and nationally, including exhibitions at the Contemporary Arts Center, Las Vegas; Antenna Gallery, New Orleans; The Print Center, Philadelphia; The Pittsburgh Center for the Arts; and the 23 Sandy Gallery in Portland, Oregon. In 2011, Murken received the Alumni Travel Grant from the Center for Emerging Visual artists for a residency at the Babayan Culture House in Cappadocia, Turkey.  She currently teaches a Book Arts course at Tyler School of Art, Temple University in Philadelphia.  A graduate of Penn State University with a bachelor of fine arts in printmaking, Murken holds a master of fine arts degree in book arts and printmaking from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia.

Katie Murken: The Forest for the Trees is one of two exhibitions on view concurrently in the William Paterson University Galleries. On view in the East and South Galleries is Ink, Press, Repeat 2013, a national juried exhibition of traditional and digital print media and book art by 32 professional artists from across the United States.

This exhibition is made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts. The William Paterson University Galleries are wheelchair-accessible. Large-print handouts are available. For additional information, please call the William Paterson University Galleries at 973-720-2654.

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