A second-year Master of Fine Arts graduate student at Indiana University of Pennsylvania originally from Meadville will be featured in a solo art show in Pittsburgh, which is curated by three of his IUP classmates.

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“A Collection of Hardware” by IUP graduate student Tyler Stanton, part of his solo exhibition at Artists Image Resource, Pittsburgh

A collection of 13 pieces by IUP student Tyler Stanton will be featured at Artists Image Resource, 518 Foreland St., Pittsburgh, from April 23 to 26. A closing reception at the gallery is April 26 at 7:30 p.m. The reception is free and open to the community. Stanton's furniture has been exhibited both locally and nationally, including at the 2016 International Wood Fair in Atlanta, Georgia. His study at IUP is focused on woodworking.

IUP students Heather Kaiser, Justin Pope, and Maddie Quinn, all graduate students in the IUP's Fine Arts program, are curating Stanton's show, which focuses on reclaiming discarded objects that contain value beyond their current use.

Kaiser said that she, Pope, and Quinn felt confident the challenge of placing a student from rural Pennsylvania into the Pittsburgh art market would be worth the hours invested.

“A solo show for an IUP student doesn't happen frequently,” Kaiser said, “but what Tyler is saying about our material culture and the narratives inside objects is unique. All his art is focused on western Pennsylvania and local histories that are being lost in communities.

“Tyler has such a powerful and strong body of work—that's inspiring. He's an extremely hard worker, he's precise in the details he includes in his work, and he is a person of great character. It's just inspiring to be around him.”

Stanton, who describes himself as an “artist, maker, educator,” offers this artist statement:

Our lives are formed by the narratives and memories of our pasts. This is true among people and individuals; however, my work strives to expand this quality to the subject of material culture. My practice is unified by the exploration and celebration of objects, objects and materials that have been discarded, overlooked and forgotten and that contain value beyond their physicality and possess innate identities rich in memory and narrative. My work is inspired deeply by the objects and reclaimed materials themselves. My process is a parallel of intuitive and reactive decision making combined with traditional woodworking techniques. The forms I create are a balance of whimsical sculpture and utilitarian objects that act to encase, highlight, and present the identities innate to material culture. I strive to highlight those identities and present materials and objects in a way that allows them to communicate their past or inspire the view to constitute one.

However, visitors to the show won't be meeting the artist.

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IUP graduate student Tyler Stanton works on his rucksack project.

Stanton, who has served in the Army Reserves since 2009, is a carpentry masonry specialist in the 377th Army Corp of Engineers company out of Butler. He will be deployed to Thailand while the show is up. His duty in Thailand will include constructing a library with fellow soldiers.

While in Thailand, he will combine his art practice with his military service to provide a creative outlet to his fellow soldiers through his bandsaw tool kit project; a mobile tool kit designed to be transported on the artist's back. This kit allows the wearer to create site specific artwork utilizing materials found on location. The parallel goals of this project are to create connections between military traditions and contemporary art practices while also engaging artists and viewers alike in the creation of art objects. Stanton received an IUP Graduate Research Grant to develop the project.

Curator Kaiser herself is an 11-year army veteran, accomplished artist, and graduate student at IUP. In fall 2018, Kaiser completed a student-designed granite monument honoring veterans, unveiled to the university community on Veterans Day. Kaiser was asked to complete the project through an internship in her graduate studies. She also received Stanton's advice in the laborious mathematics required to design the tetrahedron.

Stanton is completing a graduate assistantship in the IUP Wood Center, has been a teaching assistant from 2017 to 2018, and worked as a graduate assistant for the IUP Kipp Gallery. He was also a production team leader for the IUP student group that was invited to produce the award for the 2017 Governor's Awards for the Arts. In addition to his Graduate Student Research grant for the bandsaw tool kit project, he received the Amie H. Doucette Memorial Scholarship while an undergraduate at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. He was a Design Emphasis Finalist for the International Wood Fair, and received the Michael V. Gmitter Memorial Scholarship in 2016, the Philadelphia Urban Seminar Scholarship, the Helping Hand for Erie Veteran Scholarship, the Douglas N. Melby Memorial Scholarship, and the Windgate Scholarship.

In addition to his show at Artists Image Resources, he had exhibited his work several times at IUP and at the Westmoreland Museum of American Art in Greensburg, the Three Rivers Arts Festival in Pittsburgh, the Erie Art Museum, the International Wood Fair Design Emphasis Show, at the PrAxis Exhibition FS16 (Furniture Society conference) in Philadelphia, at the Warner Theater in Erie, and at shows at Edinboro University. His work has been featured in the New Growth Arts Review. He is a member of the Furniture Society and the IUP Graduate Art Association.

Artists Image Resources is an artist-run, nonprofit print and imaging organization established in 1996 to serve as a laboratory for artists, educators, and the community.