Penn State Wilkes-Barre to exhibit artwork from current, prior students

‘Whose Art Is It Anyway?’ seeks to identify past creators
A painting of billiard balls in a rack.

This painting is by an unidentified artist that will be displayed during "Whose Art Is It Anyway?"

Credit: Penn State

DALLAS, Pa. — Penn State Wilkes-Barre’s Friedman Art Gallery will display a new exhibit that features artwork by students enrolled in past Penn State Wilkes-Barre art courses, including some artwork that was created by students enrolled in art classes at the campus more than 25 years ago. Organizers said they hope to identify the artists behind those pieces.

The exhibit also includes pieces created by students in two courses, including the ARTH 112: Art & Music History course "Renaissance through Modern Times," taught by Jonathan Pineno, lecturer in arts and humanities and director of the Friedman Art Gallery. In the course, students learn various modern art and painting techniques. The class members discussed environmental art and used recycled materials to create art. Using recycled hubcaps and plastic caps from all types of bottles along with recycled cardboard, paint and glue, class members prepared their unique CAPS (Creative Art Project for Students).

Students in INART 001: Perceiving the Arts, also taught by Pineno, studied various artwork and painting techniques to create their pieces for the summer exhibit. These students incorporated techniques from paintings by well-known professional artist Bob Ross and created their interpretations of paintings while following the painting instructions provided by the artist.

While most artwork in the exhibit can be attributed to specific artists from recent art classes, in 2019, the art gallery curators discovered hundreds of paintings, drawings and photographs that were submitted as assignments for previous art and photography classes dating back to the late 1990s. Some artwork in the exhibit cannot be specifically attributed to the original artists.

“We are proud to share some hidden gems from this artistic cache,” Pineno said. “These pieces had been stored in campus classroom closets and we do not know who created them. We are seeking help learning who the artists were.”

A video of some of the unidentified art has been uploaded to the Friedman Art Gallery’s YouTube channel. Pineno encourages former students and others who may have an idea to visit the “Wall of the Unknown Artists” and identify “Whose Art Is It Anyway?”

This exhibit runs from May 1 through August 5. The gallery is open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Friedman Art Gallery, a gift from Sidney and Pauline Friedman, regularly displays the works of students, local artists, and private art collections. The gallery strives to promote, encourage and exhibit artwork by professional and amateur artists from Penn State Wilkes-Barre and the surrounding communities.