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LEWISBURG, Pa. — The Samek Art Gallery at Bucknell University will begin the spring semester with two sculpture exhibitions, "Carving in Context II: Granite Carving by William Lasansky" and "Sculptors since Bucknell," Jan. 28 through March 27.

"Carving in Context II" focuses on small and medium-size carvings by long-time Bucknell professor of art William Lasansky.

For the companion exhibit, 10 of Lasansky's former sculpture students and graduate assistants were invited to exhibit concurrently with their former professor in "Sculptors since Bucknell."

The former sculpture students who are active sculptors, teachers and administrators throughout the United States are William Bennett, Peter Bevis, James Calvin, Georgia Gerber, Bruce Lindsay, Bob Marsh, Jon Riedeman, Allen C. Topolski, Eric Troffkin and Richard Zandler.

Lasansky will join the 10 artists in a discussion about their work Saturday, Jan. 28, from 3 to 5 p.m. in the Gallery Theatre of the Elaine Langone Center. The discussion and exhibit are open to the public without charge.

According to Mills, Lasansky carves granite, one of the hardest materials on earth. His sculpture combines representational and abstract forms that often reference other cultures while also leaving part of the stone in its raw state. Lasansky selects black granite stone primarily from abandoned quarries in Maine, where he creates much of his work.

According to William Bennett in the exhibition brochure, "Lasansky examines these `earth fragments' in search of their sculpture potential. These chosen fragments of the earth are broken, carved, engraved, altered, polished, and enhanced to become sculpture variants of the original `found sculptures' of the earth.

"This sculpture process is old and new. Old in that sculptures have been made like this for thousands of years. New in that this ancient process, as practiced by Lasansky, continues to produce unexpected works in the early days of the second millennium.

"By combining sinuous carved forms and polished surfaces with the rough properties of the natural stone and abandoned quarried fragments, Lasansky creates beautiful and potent complimentary elements that form into compelling sculptures," he said.

"Sculptors since Bucknell" will compliment the focus of the Lasansky exhibition with work by young to mid-career artists working around the United States.

The participating artists work in a wide variety of media, including cast bronze and aluminum, carved and constructed wood, steel wire, cast resin, fiberglass and gold leaf, found objects and mixed media. Subject and style is equally varied, including work that is abstract, figurative, conceptual, formal, whimsical, issue-oriented, and more.

"The quality and breadth of the work in `Sculptors since Bucknell' is impressive. These two Samek organized exhibitions provide a great opportunity to view a remarkable body of contemporary sculpture to the university community and region," said Mills.

"Lasansky joined the Bucknell faculty in 1968 when he established the sculpture area in the university's art department," said Mills. "This is his sixth solo exhibition at Bucknell before retiring in June, marking 38 years as an artist/teacher."

Examples of Lasansky's larger work are on view at the Weis Center for the Performing Arts at Bucknell as well as in State College, the DeCordova Museum in Lincoln, Massachusetts, and in public settings in Iowa.

Gallery hours have been extended one evening a week and on weekends. School and community groups are invited to call and schedule a visit.

The Samek Art Gallery is open weekdays 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Thursdays 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.; weekends 1 to 5 p.m., and by appointment. The Gallery is accessible by elevator. For more information about the gallery, call 577-3792 or see http://www.bucknell.edu/SamekArtGallery/

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Cliff House, 2003, black granite

Cliff House, 2003 by William Lasansky

Yoke Stone, 2003, black granite

Yoke Stone, 2003, by William Lasansky

Swallow Basket, bronze 2003,  by Georgia Gerber

Swallow Basket, 2003, bronze, by Georgia Gerber

Alex and Brian, aluminus 2004, by Bruce Lindsay

Alex and Brian, 2004, by Bruce Lindsay

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