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Opening reception for Lew Alquist exhibition Friday, Sept. 30

The Georgia Southern University Betty Foy Sanders Department of Art will present work by the late sculptor Lew Alquist from Sept. 28 – Oct. 28  in the Contemporary and University Galleries at the Center for Art and Theatre.

Alquist incorporated found objects, kinetic energy, sound and scent into his work—provoking the senses to make the invisible more visible.  His work primarily examines similarities, parallels, overlaps, and adjacencies between technological development and human evolution, but it also points to issues of political and industrial corruption as relevant today as when the work was created, in the 1970s-1990s.   

“Discovering Alquist’s work has been a great surprise, like discovering a rich, dense novel that reveals crucial things you didn’t know you needed to know about,” said Gallery Director Jason Hoelscher. “Not as well-known as he should have been, Lew seems to have been something of an artist’s artist, known mainly to the cognoscenti. His work manages to touch on important political events of the time, while also offering intriguingly idiosyncratic (and often hilarious) new viewpoints from which to consider the art world of his era, ranging from postminimal materiality to art-as-technology and technology-as-art. With this exhibition we really hope to introduce Lew’s work to a larger, contemporary audience—not only is the work itself top-notch and provocative, but his statement that ‘Not everything is art, but everything is art supplies’ deserves to be right up there in the pantheon with any other profound phrase about art’s inherent potentials.”

A presentation on Alquist’s work will be given during an Artist Talk on Friday, Sept. 30 at 5 p.m. in Visual Art Building, Room 2071. A reception will follow from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in the Center for Art & Theatre. All events are free and open to the public.

Alquist’s wife Jane Pleak, who taught ceramics at Georgia Southern for nearly 30 years, curated the exhibition.

In honor of Alquist, Pleak started a memorial fund to help the BFSDoArt bring visiting artists to the University to enhance student learning through workshops and lectures. To contribute, go to and choose “Make A Gift” from the right sidebar. Designate your gift by selecting “other” and typing “3694 Lewis Alquist Visiting Artist Fund” in the processing instructions.

NOTE: This exhibition was originally set to open on Monday, Sept. 26 but will now be opening Wednesday, Sept. 28. The Reception and Lecture dates remain unchanged. We apologize for any inconvenience. 


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