Since 2016, the Penn State Wilkes-Barre Friedman Art Gallery has hosted annual art exhibits featuring artwork by Penn State Wilkes-Barre students, faculty and staff, local high school artists and other professional and amateur artists. Because of current health concerns, virtual classes, limited access to the Friedman Art Gallery and other mandated protocols that continue to affect educational systems, especially the arts, organizers devised virtual alternatives to promote artists.
The “Art in the Natural World” virtual art exhibit presented by the Friedman Art Gallery features artwork from 23 students enrolled in the Penn State Wilkes-Barre Science 60, Art in the Natural World course taught by Luciana Caporaletti. The students explored the outdoors to learn about the flora and fauna of northeastern Pennsylvania.
Some of the activities included making bird feeder experiments, sculpting pinecones, writing naturalist poetry and identifying birds, trees and arthropods using field guides. The works of art in this virtual exhibition are sketches of specimens collected and/or observed by the students. Through these activities, many of the students connected with nature in a meaningful way.
Caporaletti is a lecturer in biology and a doctoral student in the Recreation, Parks, and Tourism Management program at Penn State University. She teaches general biology, ethnobotany, environmental science and art in the natural world. Her research interests include ecotourism and wildlife conservation. In her free time, Caporaletti can be found hiking in the woods with a pair of binoculars and a field guide.
With the opening of the Abram Nesbitt Academic Commons in 2008, Sidney and Pauline Friedman gifted Penn State Wilkes-Barre with the Friedman Art Gallery. This gallery space regularly displays the work of students, local artists, as well as private art collections.
The Penn State Wilkes-Barre Friedman Art Gallery strives to promote, encourage, and exhibit artworks of professional and amateur artists from the Penn State Wilkes-Barre campus and surrounding communities.
The Virtual Science 60 Art Exhibit “Art in the Natural World” video will be playing in the Friedman Art Gallery and on YouTube through the end of August.