Posts Tagged ‘Nutting Gallery


6 X 6 X 6

P1020487 - Version 2    Last week was the opening of the Art Faculty Exhibition at West Liberty University’s Nutting Gallery. This annual event, which  takes place every January, has a different theme each year. For example, last year was The Dog Show, and in 2013 it was The Meat Show. This year the exhibition was titled “6 X 6 X 6”. Work entered in the show could be any subject or media, but each piece could be no larger than six inches in any direction.

Members of the art faculty vote on the next exhibition theme about eight months in advance, so we have plenty of time to consider the theme and build a new body of work. Last September I began thinking about how I might address the theme, but I did not actually begin work until our winter break in mid-December. Since size (limit of six inches in any direction) was our only controlling factor, I felt this was a time I could playful and and just have fun with it.

I purchased a sheet of 4’x8′ finished 3/4″ plywood that was primed on one side. From this sheet I cut forty 6″x6’squares. A few days into this project I increased the number of wood squares to sixty. As I began covering the wood squares with metal, paper, paint, and other media, the process reminded me of the pages of a sketchbook

A sketchbook is a book or pad with blank pages for sketching, and is frequently used by artists for drawing or painting as a part of their creative process. The content of sketchbooks usually falls within two broad categories: Observation and Invention. Observation focuses on documentation of the external world of the artist, while invention follows the artists’ internal journeys as they develop compositional ideas.

The sketchbook I created is made up of sixty wood “pages”. Each 6”x 6” page contains images in a variety of media. Like a traditional sketchbook, many of these pages are a documentation of the world as I see it or have lived it. These pages include such things as my childhood heroes, or various stories from my life. Other pages explore the creative process, and are nothing more than rough sketches of an idea that may be developed into a larger, more refined work down the road. Here, as in any sketchbook, they all mingle into one big visual salad.


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The Dog Show


This past week the Nutting Gallery at West Liberty University opened the annual Art Faculty Exhibition. This exhibition is one I have always felt privileged to be a part of ever since I began teaching at WLU. This year’s exhibition runs January 22 through February 13, 2014. Art faculty members exhibiting are Sarah Davis, Brian Fencl, James Haizlett, Martyna Matusiak, Moon Jung Kang, Nancy Tirone, Lambros Tsuhlares, Neal Warren, and myself, Robert Villamagna.
Each year the Art Faculty Exhibition features a theme and this year the art faculty selected the theme of “dogs”. The dictionary defines dog as a domesticated carnivorous mammal that typically has a long snout, an acute sense of smell, and a barking, howling, or whining voice. The works in The Dog Show cover a wide range of media including drawing, painting, mixed media, digital, construction, printmaking, photography, and installation. The art faculty worked their fingers to the bone in preparing for this exhibition, and it has proven to be a doggone good show that is worth barking about.
Having a new theme for the exhibition each year does a number of things. It brings a freshness to the annual exhibition, it challenges the members of the art faculty, and it shows students how a diverse group of artists each approach a single problem or idea, each in their own unique way and in a variety of media. Below, I have attached a series of photographs of the exhibition and opening reception. For additional information about The Dog Show or other exhibitions at the Nutting Gallery, you may contact me, Robert Villamagna at 304-336-8370 or at


Frankenstein! The Exhibition

The Nutting Gallery at West Liberty University opened the exhibition Frankenstein! on Halloween, October 31, 2012. The exhibition consists of work by 38 artists, each work being based on Mary Shelly’s novel, Frankenstein.

The artists in this exhibition include Betsy Cox, Patricia Croft, Ron Donoghue, Brian Fencl, Jenny Filius, Dan Gerdeman, Jim Haizlett, Kyle Hallum, Cheryl Harshman, Gary Henzler, Darcy Huffman, Mark Janicko, Moon Jung Kang, George Kocar, Victoria Lavorini, David Lesako, Mitch Lyons, Angela Mascolino, Steve McCallum, Laura McLaughlan, Paul Padgett, Eric Pardue, Susan Phillips, Eric Price, Shawn Quinlan, Cecy Rose, Bob Sako, Paul Schifino, Theresa Cress Sharp, Melanie Steffl, Nancy Tirone, Robert Villamagna, Neal Warren, Ken Westfall, and Jonathan Walsh.

I work on the exhibition schedule a year or more in advance. While I was planning the 2012-13 exhibition schedule, I realized that the third show of the fall semester would begin on October 31. Halloween! This was too good to pass up, and thus the Frankenstein theme was born.

Of the thirty-eight artists participated in the exhibition, sixteen of the artists in the Frankenstein exhibition come from WV, seven from Ohio, fourteen from Pennsylvania, and one from Seattle. Seven of the artists are WLU art faculty, and nine are WLU alumni. There is a wide range of media being represented, including painting, drawing, sculpture, clay, fiber, and mixed-media. Here is a slide show of the exhibition:

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More Central PA Festival of the Arts 2012

Booth Villamagna, aka B-8

I had a successful show this year at the Central PA Festival of the Arts. My sales nearly tripled over last year, and I am quite pleased. In the awards department, well, I am having a bit of a drought. I have not won an award of any size, at any show or festival, since St. Louis about three years ago. Not sure what that means, if anything, except to my ego! Ha, ha!

In addition to the chance of selling my work and maybe getting a hunk of prize money, there are some additional reasons that I do the arts festival at State College. I have these great neighbors that are on “our street”. Not only are they talented artists in their own right, but they are fun people to be around. A few of us have made it a tradition to have dinner on the second night of the festival at Faccia Luna, which Chris and I look forward to each year.

On the first night of the festival, the CPFA holds a dinner for the exhibiting artists. More food, more adult beverages, and more talk. For the past three years, the Palmer Museum of Arts offers breakfast for the artists, and it is a wonderful opportunity for Chris and I to see what is going on at the Palmer.

Chris and I also enjoy shopping the over 300 artist booths, and sometimes if the moon and stars line up, we can TRADE with another artist. Woot woot! This year we purchased a wonderful piece from kinetic sculptor and artistic ninja, Tomas Savrda. We had not seen Tomas since he was our neighbor at CPFA 14 years ago! This year Tomas was presented with an award.

Of course, don’t think that doing the arts festival is a stroll down easy street. The booth tent must be erected, panels installed, work hung. Then four long days of meeting the public and hopefully selling your work. All this wraps up with everyone’s favorite, the illustrious tear down. And this year, we did it in the pouring rain! However, the likes must outweigh the dislikes, because Chris and I have been doing the CPFA since 1996. And I owe so much to my beautiful wife, Chris, for not only her hard work, but for always believing in me. She is the greatest!

Just a small part of the Central PA Festival of the Arts

Our neighbor of many years, fiber artist Susan Levi-Goerlich from Columbia, MD.

Another neighbor, potter Pam Cummings of Harrisburg, PA.

Chris with glass jewelry artist Loretta Fehling of Nokomis, Florida. Loretta’s contagious laugh affects everyone in our neighborhood!

A sampling of work by jeweler Kim Young (aka “the Kimster!”) of Richmond, Virginia.

At the artist party with Mitch Lyons, Kim Young, and Chris & Robert Villamagna.

Also at our artist party table was watercolorist Dave Gill and friends.

A example of Dave Gills watercolor skills.

I met clay artists Robert Kastrinos, Orlando, FL, after Chris had purchased one of this oil lamps. His tea pots were amazing!

One of Robert Katrinos’ amazing tea pots.

After 14 years it was so good to reconnect with friend and kinetic sculptor Tomas Savrda. Chris and I were excited to purchase one of his pieces, “Cowboys and Indians”.

Cowboys and Indians in motion.

This guy referred to himself as the Analog Tele-Phongrapher, making old-school amplifiers for new-school devices. Wild! If I had a bunch of money, that big one would have been ours!

I’m sorry to day that I do not recall this artist’s name, but his wire animals were just great!

Yes, you can even get a free hug at the arts festival!

Newlyweds Umut Demirguc and James Thurman stopped by B-8! Both are metals artists par excellence! Some of you may remember when James had an exhibition at West Liberty University’s Nutting Gallery a few years ago.

The man, the myth, the legend…..Mitch Lyons! And after a rainy-day trade, Chris and I now have a piece of Mitch’s work! Woot, woot!

One of our new neighbors, and our only neighbor from France, Philippe Laine with hand painted pillows and lamp shades.

An artist does what he must to keep cool at the art festival!

Annie Matsick wants to be my buddy once she sees that I won the Solon de Refuses Bagel Award! Nice shirt Annie!

What a way to wrap up an art festival: Loretta’s friends bring us home-made sticky buns! They were delicious!


The Meat Show

"If You're Happy and You Know It, Clamp Your Hams", by Robert Villamagna


Nutting Gallery at West Liberty State College is showing the annual Art Faculty Exhibition, “The Meat Show”, January 18 through February 19, 2012.. Art faculty members participating in this years exhibition are Brian Fencl, James Haizlett, Moonjung Kang, Paul Padgett, Nancy Tirone, Lambros Tsuhlares, Robert Villamagna, and Neal Warren.

Each year the Art Faculty Exhibition features a theme and this year the art faculty voted to follow the theme of “meat”. In this exhibition we are primarily focusing on meat as the edible flesh of animals, especially that of mammals. For the most part, this means the skeletal muscle and associated fat and other tissues. The result can be anything from images of meat to images of the Burger King and the musician, Meatloaf, or visual statements about the consumption of meat and vegetarianism.

The consumption of meat has various traditions and rituals associated with it in different cultures, which one may find among these works. The ethical issues regarding the consumption of meat, as well as objections to the act of killing animals, is also touched upon in this exhibition. However, the exhibition is not a “carnivores vs. vegetarians” debate, but rather eight artists exploring the theme of meat, each in his or her own way. The works in the Meat Show cover a wide range of media including drawing, painting, mixed media, digital, construction, photography, and video.

Having a new theme for the exhibition each year does a number of things: it brings a freshness to the annual exhibition, it challenges the members of the art faculty, and it shows students how a diverse group of artists each approach a single problem or idea, each in their own unique way and in a variety of media.

Here is a slide show of the opening and some of the works in the exhibition.

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How to make a piece of meat

Each January, West Liberty University’s Nutting Gallery is the venue for the annual Art Faculty Exhibition. And each year for the past twelve years the exhibition has a theme. This year the theme is MEAT. In my current blog entry I will show how one piece from my meat series came about. In the next few weeks I will post photos of the installed exhibition.

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Workshop with Amanda Preusser

I’ve really ignored my blog in recent weeks (months?), and decided I would get back into it by posting some images from a workshop we had this week at West Liberty University. Currently in the Nutting Gallery is the exhibition Incised, Gouged, Pulled: Keith Dull & Amanda Preusser, featuring the work by these two printmakers. Keith, who teaches printmaking at Ashland University, was on campus earlier in the week to give a lecture on his color reduction linocut process, and he did an excellent presentation. Yesterday, Columbus artist and teacher Amanda Preusser, presented a one-day workshop on monotypes and monoprints.

Amanda opened the workshop with a brief Powerpoint presentation to make sure we didn't confuse our monoprints with our monotypes.


Amanda assists Nancy Tirone at the press.


A few of the workshop participants hard at work.


Prof. Padgett proudly shows off his first print of the day.

My first print of the morning.

Melanie Steffl at work on her plate.

Amanda and Ohio artist Bob Sako at the press.


Workshop participants at the table: Cheryl Harshman, Nancy Tirone, Paula Lucas, and Rachel Shipley.

The result of my second plate of the morning.

Brian Fencl discusses his latest print with Nancy Tirone.

Lambros Tsuhlares proudly points to his results of the day.

Our thanks to Amanda for a great workshop!