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One Up/One Down exhibition to open at the Cultural Center May 6

The West Virginia Division of Culture and History will open a new exhibition, One Up/One Down on Friday, May 6, 2005 featuring Scott Smith’s photography in the Lobby Gallery and Shaila Christofferson’s sculpture in the Balcony Gallery of the Cultural Center, State Capitol Complex in Charleston. The exhibition is free and open to the public through July 11, 2005.

Smith, who lives in rural Putnam County near Culloden, will have 12 digital color prints on display, all made in the last six weeks preceding the exhibition. The photographs depict views from his neighbors’ windows. Smith says, “My neighbors and I are all friends who have made a choice to live on this special ridge. We’ve all been here for 15 to 30 years or so, and at this point in time we are reflecting on what was started here and where we are going as we move into our golden years and beyond as a community. I feel that peering out these windows is a good symbol for this purpose.”

Smith attended the Art Institute of Pittsburgh and later received a bachelor of arts degree in fine arts from West Virginia State College, now University (WVSU) in 1991. His work has been in numerous one-person shows including the Della Brown Taylor Gallery at WVSU; the Pierce Gallery at West Virginia Institute of Technology; Photography: Black and White, at the Stifel Fine Art Center, Wheeling; and the University of Charleston, among others. He also has had work in juried exhibits including West Virginia Juried Exhibition 2003 at the Cultural Center for which he won an Award of Excellence; Museum in the Community, Hurricane; Up Against the Walls, Sunrise Museum in Charleston; and the 2003 Appalachian Corridors Exhibit at the Avampato Discovery Museum at the Clay Center in Charleston to name a few.

Though Smith has been exploring digital photography for the last two years, he remains committed to film-based black and white photography for the inherent quality of the medium. “It takes you out of the context of reality and isolates the world inside the frame,” he says. His subject matter extends from landscapes to still lifes to abstracts, reflecting on a variety of interests and his love of travel and change. His current job as an opthalmic photographer and angiographer for Retina Consultants in Charleston is yet another exploration with the camera.

Christofferson of Morgantown is an assistant professor of art at West Virginia University. She did some study in the fine arts at L’Institut d’Arts Visuels, and received a certificate in French at L’Universite d’Orleans, Orleans, France. She holds a bachelor of fine arts in sculpture and a bachelor’s degree in french from the University of South Dakota and received a master’s degree in sculpture from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Her work has been included in many exhibitions including Personal Spaces at the Cultural Center of Fine Arts in Parkersburg; Sculptors of the New Millennium in Pittsburgh; National Juried Exhibition, in the Art Forms Gallery in Philadelphia; Will’s Creek Survey 2004 for the Allegheny Arts Council in Cumberland, Md.; and Doppelganger, Mesaros Galleries WVU and Oglebay Gallery, Wheeling. In addition, she has had some solo shows including the Kansas City Artist’s Coalition in Kansas City, Mo.; Emily Davis Gallery at the University of Akron, Akron, Ohio; Elsewhere at the Paul Mesaros Gallery in Morgantown and Strange Fruit–Recombinant Forms at La Cite Internationale, Paris, France.

The Balcony Gallery will display more than 12 pieces of her art. “My work is not pretty. It is not intended to be,” Christofferson says of her sculpture. Her most recent pieces “comment on our material culture and everyday lives in both the forms that are represented as well as the means of their production,” she said. Most of the sculpture in the show was created from waste molds fabricated from cast-off, discarded packing materials such as the foam inserts used to protect and package electronics. Christofferson adds “I look forward to being in the studio as I never can predict what forms I will come up with, or what new insight I will gain as I develop my technical skills, hopefully pushing the boundaries of what I already know.”

For more information about One Up/One Down, contact Stephanie Lilly, exhibits coordinator for the Division at (304) 558-0240, ext. 128.

The West Virginia Division of Culture and History, an agency of the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts, brings together the state’s past, present and future through programs and services in the areas of archives and history, the arts, historic preservation and museums. The Cultural Center is West Virginia’s official showcase for the arts. Visit the Division’s website at www.wvculture.org for more information about programs of the Division. The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. -30-