Curated by Jen Blalock and Ashley Bouton, the University Museum's “XX” is a showcase of artwork
from the museum’s permanent collection created by female artists. “XX”
will open Monday, May 23, 2016, with a public reception from 6:00 to 8:30
p.m. The show will run until June 11. Admission is free.
The exhibit is representative of various times, cultures,
and styles from Cassatt to Kollwitz and beyond. Each artist’s unique
perspective is reflected in the imagery of these selected works. Artists were
chosen based on originality of expression from content to technique to
The concept behind “XX” was born in the University Museum’s
storage area where, as graduate assistants, Blalock and Bouton work cataloging
and organizing the museum’s permanent collection. Through this task, the two
have become familiar with the treasures held within the collection and the
infrequency with which these treasures are enjoyed by the public. Realizing the
incredible female artists represented in the collection such as Mary Cassatt
and Käthe Kollwitz, they soon agreed they should curate an exhibit showcasing
“XX” will feature prints from both artists as well as those
of Susan Currie, Norma Morgan, and more.
Ceramics from Maria Montoya Martinez will also be on display in addition
to paintings by Eunice McCloskey and Anna Marie Schnur.
Paintings range from the abstract to the realistic, from
folk to fine art. The diversity
and originality of the work has inspired Blalock and Bouton as female artists
and they say that they hope to share that inspiration with fellow artists and
everyone who visits the exhibit.
Jen Blalock is a graduate of the University of Central
Arkansas where she received her BA in ceramics. She holds a Master of
Arts in Teaching: Art Specialization degree from the
University of North Carolina at Pembroke. She also studied abroad at the
Pädagogische Hochschule in Ludwigsburg, Germany. Blalock taught all
levels of high school art for over five years at South View High School in Hope
Mills, N.C. before attending IUP, where she is currently working towards her
MFA in drawing.
Her work was included in the fourth annual Armstrong
National 2D Competition Exhibition at Armstrong Atlantic State University in
Savannah, Georgia, and in the Bank of the Arts Juried Exhibition–With a Twist!
at the Craven Arts Council in New Bern, N.C. among others. She
co-curated and participated in Mireia Sentis’ Words and Objectivity show recently
in Kipp Gallery with a group of fellow art students.
Ashley Bouton was raised in Indiana, Pa. where she developed a
passion for the arts at a young age. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Art Education
from California University of Pennsylvania and went on to earn her Master of
Arts degree from IUP with a concentration in painting. She is currently
continuing her graduate studies at IUP as a Master of Fine Arts painting and
drawing candidate, with an expected graduation date of May 2017.
Since 2013, Bouton has participated in over 20 local and regional
exhibitions in the Pittsburgh area. Her list of volunteer work includes serving
as president of IUP’s Graduate Art Association (GAA), representing the GAA on
the board of directors for the University Museum, as well as being a member of
RAW: Natural Born Artists, which is an internationally known art association.
She has curated this year’s annual GAA art auction as well as the GAA show in
the Miller Gallery of Sprowls Hall at IUP. She also co-curated and exhibited in
Mireia Sentis’ Words and Objectivity.
She is co-curating a workshop in Peru
with the organization Threads of Peru, expected to take place in 2017. Bouton
will be conducting brief periods of field study on the Navajo reservation
in Arizona over the course of her upcoming thesis year and will be attending an
artist residency in Balchik, Bulgaria, upon graduation.
The University Museum is located on the first floor of John Sutton Hall on the IUP campus. Summer hours for the University Museum are
Monday and Tuesday noon–5:00 p.m. and Thursday 2:00–7:00 p.m. The Museum will
also be open on Saturday, June 11, from noon to 3:00 p.m. For more information, call