Fall 2009 Issue

Tools, shrouds and other sacred offerings

Distinguished Professor Stephen Althouse, who served on the faculty for more than 30 years including three as the chair of the department of fine arts, will present his solo photographic exhibition, “Tools and Shrouds,” at the Sloan Gallery of Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania from January through March 2010.

The show comes on the heels of a two-month run at the Boca Raton Museum of Art September 9 through November 8. Althouse’s work was also on display earlier this year in Montréal and Berlin.

The “Tools and Shrouds” exhibit consists of a series of 35 pieces completed during the past decade. It includes Althouse’s most recent work as well as a series of images which the artist created in 2003 and 2004 while serving as artist-in residence at the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Liège, Belgium, through a Fulbright Research Fellowship.

Althouse’s fine art photographic prints are large scale black and white images often reaching sizes of 5 feet by 8 feet. The images frequently include cloth, creating a spiritual tone and a reminder of his rural upbringing on a Pennsylvania farm.

A pair of photographs in the collection was inspired by a meeting with a metal worker.

“He was laboring in a cold dark metal shop,” Althouse says, “and although it was winter, he was dripping with sweat and soot as he used his tongs to handle glowing hot metal. As I watched and talked with him, I began reminiscing about my younger years when I did similar labor with my late grandfather working at the stone quarry. It opened a floodgate of memories and emotions. The laborer saw me staring at his tools. He carefully presented them to me in a gesture of a sacred offering.”