Pennsylvania photographer Stephen Althouse at the exhibition of his artwork at the Museum and Contemporary Art, Liege, Belgium, Jan-Feb. 2004.
LOCK HAVEN, Pa. - The public is invited to an artist’s reception in conjunction with the latest art exhibit in the Sloan Fine Arts Gallery on the Lock Haven University campus. The works of internationally-recognized photographer Stephen Althouse will be on display from January 25 to February 20. Gallery hours are 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.Lock Haven University is a member of the Pennsylvania State
System of Higher Education (PASSHE), the largest provider of higher education in
the commonwealth. Its 14 universities offer more than 250 degree and certificate
programs in more than 120 areas of study. Nearly 405,000 system alumni live and
work in Pennsylvania.
The opening reception and lecture will be at 8:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 27. Visitors will have an opportunity to meet Althouse and to hear him speak about his work. There is no charge for this event.
In showcasing the photography of Stephen Althouse, Lock Haven University’s Sloan Fine Arts Gallery joins a star-studded list of galleries and museums which have hosted a one-person exhibit of his work. Four other recent one-person exhibits were held at the Boca Raton Museum of Art in Boca Raton, Florida; the Butler Institute of American Art in Youngstown, Ohio; Beaux-Arts des Ameriques in Montreal, Canada; and Galerie Ruhnke in Potsdam/Berlin, Germany. Sponsorship in the form of an artist’s grant from Innova fine art papers helped to support these exhibitions.
Althouse has had over 30 other one-man shows nationally and internationally. In addition, works by Althouse have been included in some 45 group exhibits in the United States, Canada, Europe, South America and Japan. Work by Althouse is part of the permanent collections of over 60 museums.
Althouse grew up on a farm in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. He supplemented his Quaker education by traveling throughout South America as an exchange student. After graduating from the University of Miami with a degree in sculpture, he worked in southern Spain before returning to the United States to continue his education. He received his Master of Fine Arts in Sculpture from Virginia Commonwealth University, where he also taught fine art photography for two years. He made Miami his home base for 30 years as Professor of Photography and Chairman of the Department of Fine Arts at Barry University, and combined this with frequent international travel as well as teaching in Paris, London, Madrid, and in Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands. He was recently awarded the lifetime rank of Distinguished Professor, and currently his residence and studio is in a predominantly Amish community near Rebersburg in central Pennsylvania.
Althouse’s utilization of photography grew out of a need to document, and thereby preserve, his fragile pieces of sculpture which had evolved into loose assemblages of found objects. He discovered that he could manipulate and change the perceptions of his works through lighting, camera angle, and scale.
Althouse’s varied experiences and interactions serve as catalysts for his unusual visual expressions of life. Working similarly as when he was a sculptor, he combines found or fabricated objects into cryptic assemblages and then photographs the assemblages onto large format film. Lacing his images with visual autobiographical narrative themes that recur and criss-cross throughout his images, Althouse creates a mysterious and enigmatic visual language of personal symbols and metaphors.
“Swords into Plowshares – The Spiritual Ecology of Stephen Althouse,” the museum catalogue published by the Boca Raton Museum of Art, September 2009, describes Althouse’s photographs as “creating haunting images of old and outworn things to ponder the nature of the world from which they have come.” The authors add, “The photographs of Stephen Althouse rearrange our perceptions of some of the most profound ideas that give form to our experience…..They teach us that through careful discernment of the world around us we might be able to see sacred possibilities in even the most mundane and ordinary objects, and thus reconstitute our perceptions and our lives.”