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Penn State New Kensington exhibit features works created through visual communication

| Sunday, July 12, 2015, 9:16 p.m.
Eric Felack | Trib Total Media
Artists Brenda Stumpf and Joshua Hogan with their collaborative artwork that is on display at the Penn State New Kensington campus galley in Upper Burrell, as seen on Monday, July 6, 2015.
Eric Felack | Trib Total Media
Artist Joshua Hogan with sculptures he completed with Kyle Ethan Fischer that are on display at the Penn State New Kensington campus galley in Upper Burrell, as seen on Monday, July 6, 2015.
Eric Felack | Trib Total Media
Curator Nicole Capozzi makes final placements of the artwork for 'The Unspoken' exhibit on display at the Penn State New Kensington campus galley in Upper Burrell, as seen on Monday, July 6, 2015.
Eric Felack | Trib Total Media
Artists Nicole Schneider and Shawn Watrous made this collaborative artwork that is on display at the Penn State New Kensington campus galley in Upper Burrell, as seen on Monday, July 6, 2015.
Eric Felack | Trib Total Media
Artists Kuzana Ogg and Jennipher Satterly made this collaborative artwork that is on display at the Penn State New Kensington campus galley in Upper Burrell, as seen on Monday, July 6, 2015.
Eric Felack | Trib Total Media
Artists Kuzana Ogg and Jennipher Satterly made this collaborative artwork that is on display at the Penn State New Kensington campus galley in Upper Burrell, as seen on Monday, July 6, 2015.
Eric Felack | Trib Total Media
Artists Kuzana Ogg and Romi Sloboda made this collaborative artwork that is on display at the Penn State New Kensington campus galley in Upper Burrell, as seen on Monday, July 6, 2015.

Eight artists collaborated in pairs, with only the physical pieces of their ongoing creations as communication.

The resulting pieces are featured in a three-month exhibit in the art gallery at Penn State New Kensington.

The 45 pieces of various mediums form “The Unspoken” exhibit, which runs through Sept. 26.

“The mediums artists use define the form of their visual expression,” says Nicole Capozzi, exhibit curator and owner of BoxHeart Gallery in Pittsburgh. “Each work of art is an expression of the artist's subject in the context of the value, culture and events specific to their life. This visual shorthand reveals to the audience a new way of seeing a familiar thing, and a new way of interpreting that thing, intentional or not, from a toolbox of associations that are already familiar.”

While this is a new exhibit for the Penn State New Kensington art gallery, it is the third series for “The Unspoken,” started in 2004 by artists Joshua Hogan, who is Capozzi's husband, and Brenda Stumpf.

“In 2004, Brenda and Josh came up with the idea for ‘The Unspoken' — artwork created very organically without planning or discussion that would highlight the similarities and differences in their genres,” Capozzi says.

Hogan and Stumpf are joined in the current artwork exhibit with artists Kyle Ethan Fischer, Kuzana Ogg, Jennipher Satterly, Nicole Schneider, Romi Sloboda and Shawn Watrous, who is also an instructor in art at the New Kensington campus.

“In each pairing, one artist began by selecting the media and implementing his or her process,” Capozzi says. “The artwork, in process, then traveled to the other artist of the pair, where this new visual language was connected to his or her experience in order to construct new meaning and continue the visual dialogue.

“The resulting artwork is a stunning and fascinating display of form, color, texture and composition, processed as another form of language with its own vocabulary, grammar and syntax. Yet, within each of the artist pairings, the artwork seems to tell different versions of the same story in such very different ways.”

Capozzi exhibited the first Unspoken series at BoxHeart in 2004. The second series was exhibited in Cleveland.

“Around 2012, Brenda and Josh began the third Unspoken series,” Capozzi says. “This series of 14 works traveled back and forth until it was completed this year.”

Capozzi says the visual communication of the artists is the all-important to their collaborative works.

Visual communication is the key to conveying a case for change and often the strategy that provides direction for that change,” Capozzi says. “When blended with verbal and kinesthetic language, visual language becomes the tool that not only creates effective dialogue around issues, but also identifies actions for improvement.

“As we continue to become a multicultural society, understanding how people communicate visually is crucial to our understanding of one another.”

Debbie Black is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media.

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