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Fall 2007 Art Lecture Series features Ceramist Beth Cavener Stitcher

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NEW PALTZ -- On selected Wednesdays during the semester, distinguished artists, curators, and critics are invited by the Student Art Alliance at the State University of New York at New Paltz to give a presentation about their work, followed by questions from the audience.

Kicking off the Fall 2007 Art Lecture Series is ceramist Beth Cavener Stitcher who will give a presentation about her haunting creations that express misguided interactions between nature and human beings, on Wednesday, September 19 at 7:30 p.m. in Lecture Center 102.

Stitcher creates sculptures that focus on human psychology – stripped of context and rationalization – and articulated through animal and human forms. Private experiences and public personas are areas she investigates, and does so by collecting stories from individuals who were willing to confide their most intimate experiences relating to gender identity, fantasies, fetishes, and abuses. What results are sculptural pieces that convey animal body language and the communication of human natures like desperateness, coyness, loneliness, fear and unspoken longing.

Writing about her work Stitcher states that…”I have learned to read meaning in the subtler signs; a look, the way one holds one’s hands, the tightening of muscles in the shoulders, the incline of the head, the rhythm of a walk, and the slightest unconscious features. I rely on animal body language in my work as a metaphor for these underlying patterns, transforming the animal subjects into human psychological portraits. I want to pry at those uncomfortable, awkward edges between animal and human.”

Beth Cavener Stitcher received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in sculpture at Haverford College and her Master of Fine Arts degree in ceramics at Ohio State University. She is the recipient of several grants and awards including a Virginia A. Groot Foundation Grant and an Ohio Arts Council Individual Artist Fellowship. Her extensive exhibition history includes shows in New York, Baltimore, Arizona, Wisconsin and Taiwan. Stitcher’s work has been written about in Ceramic Art and Perception, Clay Times, and Ceramics Monthly.

The Artist Lecture Series is sponsored by the Student Art Alliance, a funded member of the Student Association. All presentations are free and open to all.

Future presenters include photographer Stephen Shore on September 26; Barbara Seidenath, metals, on October 3; animator, Laurent Barthelemy on October 17; Julianne Swartz & Ken Landauer, sculptors, on October 24; painter Susanna Coffey on November 14; and curator Breda Skrjanec, printmaking on November 28.

For additional information about art lectures and other arts events call (845) 257-3872 or visit the web at