Out of Destruction, Creation: ‘MorningStar’ at SJU Gallery

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

PHILADELPHIA (August 25, 2009) –  “MorningStar,” an exhibit of burnt wood sculpture and India ink drawings by Alison Stigora, will open the 2009-10 season at Saint Joseph’s University Gallery. The exhibit will be on display from Monday, Aug. 31 to Friday, Sept. 25. An artist’s reception will be held on Thursday, Sept. 3, from 6-8 p.m.

Stigora is heavily influenced by nature, using organic materials to portray the close relationship between creation and destruction. The use of burnt wood allows her to explore the dynamism of destruction and creation in an active way. She collects wood from natural settings and lights it on fire, fashioning her finished sculptures out of the charred remains.

“Burnt wood is a material that bears evidence of survival,” says Stigora. “Survival implies catastrophe, and passing through it. My work explores the destructive forces of nature, the calamitous consequences of ill-conceived human activity, and the vulnerability of humanity. Destruction and creation live side by side. As I work, the process of destroying and recreating is what allows a piece to develop.”

For Stigora, drawing is also integral to the development of her work.  While creating the burnt wood sculpture, she draws it from different angles and perspectives. These drawings give the viewer insight into Stigora’s creative process.

Jeanne Bracy, associate gallery director, finds the combination of sculpture and drawings effective. “Stigora’s burnt wood sculpture is without question the focal point, with its unique materials and impressive construction. Yet it also beautifully complements the many drawings in the exhibit,” she said.

The organic feel of Stigora’s work is inspired by her childhood in rural Pennsylvania, when she became fascinated with the textures and activities of nature.

Stigora has participated in a number of exhibitions, including a group exhibit with the International Arts Movement in New York City, an installation at the Main Line Art Center in Bryn Mawr, and a solo exhibit at the Baldwin School. She received a B.F.A. at Southern Adventist University and an M.F.A. from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia.

Focusing on more than her artwork, Stigora also helps foster the creativity of young students in the area by working with the Community Partnership in the Arts Residency for Fleisher Art Memorial, which gives Stigora the opportunity to teach art in Philadelphia public schools.

The Saint Joseph's University Gallery is located in Boland Hall on Lapsley Lane, off of City Avenue between 54th Street and Cardinal Avenue in Lower Merion. Hours are Monday through Friday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, call 610-660-1840, or visit www.sju.edu/gallery.

Media Contact

Patricia Allen, Associate Director of University Communications, 610-660-3240, patricia.allen@sju.edu

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