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Freyberger Gallery presents STEAMpunk!

The Penn State Berks Freyberger Gallery will present the exhibition STEAMpunk! from January 13 to March 4, 2011. An opening reception will be held on Thursday, January 13, at 6 p.m. in the Freyberger Gallery. In the event of campus closure due to inclement weather, the reception will be held on January 20 at 6 p.m. This event is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.

The label "steampunk" originated in the 1980s as a twist on the term "cyberpunk" to describe an art and design movement that incorporates mostly found and repurposed objects that are usually mechanical in nature, and grounded in antique locomotion and the Steam Age. Artists tend to focus on Victorian and Edwardian era technology, in which the Industrial Revolution has begun but electricity has not yet been invented.

Last winter, the Museum of the History of Science in Oxford, UK hosted a Steampunk exhibition that attracted more visitors than any previous show at the museum. The exhibit, curated by New York-based designer and artist Art Donovan, featured work from around the globe, including Japan, Australia, Great Britain, and the United States.

“Imagine the technology of today with the aesthetic of Victorian science,” described Donovan.

Based on that landmark exhibit, the Freyberger Gallery will feature artists who are working with the Steampunk genre. The exhibition will include a Victorian wheelchair, a mechanical arm, robots, ray guns, and much more. The gallery itself will be transformed to resemble a Victorian parlor.

Featured artists include Thomas Willaford, Brute Force Studio, Harrisburg, PA; Steve Wetzel, Wezco Art Company, Supply, NC; V. Holecek, Schamballah Studio, Kansas City, MO; Sarah Cavillo, Big Spaceship Design Studio, Brooklyn, NY; Eric Freitas, Royal Oak, MI; Jeff Kahn, Kahn Studio, Lenharstville, PA; Allan Brintzenhoff, Kutztown, PA; and Paul Karabashian, Hamburg, PA.

The gallery will show the films The Fabulous World of Jules Vern (1958) and The Mysterious Explorations of Jasper Morello (2005), an Oscar-nominated Australian film. There will also be various workshops, a Victorian literature display, a Victorian photo shoot for students, and many other activities. Additional information including dates and times and dates for these events will be posted to the Freyberger Gallery web site (berks.psu.edu/Information/Community/freyberger.htm) in January 2011.

With the college’s baccalaureate degree programs in Electro-Mechanical Engineering Technology, Information Sciences and Technology, and Theatre, the STEAMpunk! exhibition is a perfect complement to our curricula. To date, no other colleges, galleries, or art galleries in Berks County have explored the Steampunk genre.

The Freyberger Gallery is open Monday through Thursday, from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.; Thursday evenings until 8:00 p.m.; and Sunday from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.

For more information, contact Marilyn Fox, Gallery Director, at 610-396-6140 or via e-mail at MJF14@psu.edu.
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