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News Release

Payne Gallery to Exhibit Tobin's Exploded Clay and Glass

Steve TobinBethlehem, Pa., January 17, 2012—Payne Gallery at Moravian College will exhibit noted sculptor Steve Tobin’s unique works of exploded clay during “Tobin Explodes,” which will run from January 26 to March 4. The gallery will hold an opening reception on Thursday, January 26 from 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. Tobin will be present to discuss the exhibit and mingle with guests at 7 p.m. Both the reception and exhibit are open to the public and admissions is free of charge.

The exhibition will feature over 200 works from Tobin’s exploded clay series. “The installation transforms the gallery,” said David Leidich, assistant director of Payne Gallery. Some of Tobin’s pieces weigh over 1,000 pounds. Steve Tobin is best known for his bronze casts of tree roots including the Trinity Root, a huge (18-feet by 25-feet) cast bronze memorial created from the roots of an old sycamore tree from the churchyard of St. Paul's Chapel in lower Manhattan that was destroyed by falling debris on September 11, 2001. Today, the piece graces the courtyard of Trinity Church, near the site of the former World Trade Center towers.

“All of my sculpture explores the relationship between mind-body, order-chaos, geometry-nature,” said Tobin. “The exploded earth series documents the movement from order to chaos and translates an explosion into form.”

Tobin makes his pots by inserting fireworks and pigments inside rectangles or layers of slabs of damp clay and exploding them, then firing them with glass. The resulting shapes look like pots with the interiors of volcanic craters, the fireworks coloring the insides. The glass at the bottom of each pot resembles a lake or pool of melted sugar. The smallest of these pots are arranged on the walls in grids, installation-style, which makes it easier to see their interiors.

Tobin is the sculptor of three familiar steel works of art on Moravian’s campus. The Quakertown native and creator of the two smaller pieces from his Steelroots series that grace the lawn outside the Payne Gallery, Tobin’s Moravian III: A Symbol of Potential and Growth, a massive orange structure crafted from recycled steel, was installed outside the Patricia Payne Hurd Academic Complex (PPHAC) on Moravian’s north campus.

Payne Gallery is located on the Priscilla Payne Hurd Campus of Moravian College, in historic Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. The Gallery is open noon - 4:00 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. The gallery is closed Mondays, major holidays and during school breaks. Admission and parking are free, and the Gallery is wheelchair accessible.

Moravian College encourages persons with disabilities to participate in its programs and activities. If you anticipate needing any type of accommodation or have questions about the physical access provided, please contact the event sponsor, David Leidich, 610-653-5555. For information, call 619-861-1491. For more information, contact David Leidich, assistant director of Payne Gallery at 610-653-5555 or by email: dleidich@moravian.edu. Visit the website at: http://home.moravian.edu/public/art/gallery.

Moravian College is a private, coeducational, selective liberal arts college located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Tracing its founding to 1742, it is recognized as America's sixth-oldest college. Moravian partners with students to build a strong foundation for their future. Visit the College’s Web site at www.moravian.edu.