"Elation: In Red" is a new piece is by Jason Burgess, an artist based in Lancaster, Pa. who was a BFA student in art, attending IUP through 2001. The work has been installed in the rooftop garden at the University of Pennsylvania’s Singh Center for Nanotechnology.
Burgess cites the environment of the Singh Center as the main inspiration for his creative process. While creating Elation: In Red, he considered not just the building itself, but also the artwork inside and outside it.
While at IUP, Burgess studied under art professor emeritus James Nestor. In addition to his studies at IUP, he also participated in a semester-long exchange with the Academy of Fine Art at the University of Zagreb in Zagreb, Croatia. There, he was given a two-person show under the auspices of the Croatian Association of Fine Artists.
He was recognized with a Certificate of Merit from the Pittsburgh chapter of the National Society of Arts and Letters for his participation in the Sculpture at Carnegie Steel event held in conjunction with the International Sculpture Conference in Pittsburgh in 2000. In 2001, he received the outstanding student achievement in sculpture award presented by the International Sculpture Center.
Burgess is in very good company at the Singh Center, where other represented artists include Anthony Smith and Alexander Calder. From a young age, Burgess has been captivated by Calder’s bold monumental works. Calder’s use of red was particularly intriguing to Burgess, as he instead interpreted the sculptures as being orange: “I always saw orange and would defend that it was the reality of the pigment to be labeled orange.
“Calder’s red caused me to investigate and learn a new perspective in order to accept his deeper sense of color—a perspective that assumes that life and the universe are not always as they seem. I hope the inclusion of these words ‘in Red’ will act as a means for the viewer to further investigate their own perceptions and misperceptions while they confront the universe, as a partner in it.”
Elation: In Red’s form is meant to evoke life and nurturing, which relates to the Singh Center’s function as an educational building: “This work is Elation. The elation of knowing that the unknown ahead only waits to be the discovered. The Elation of real hope, when we trust we have the power to reach for all we may need to live and succeed in the known—as well as the currently unknown universe.”
College of Fine Arts