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News Release

Payne Gallery Presents "Eastern European Prints and Posters"

Featuring the Charles E. Merrill, Jr. donation and Polish "Cyrk" Circus Posters

23 January - 2 March 2003

 

Payne Gallery of Moravian College is pleased to announce an exhibition of prints and posters by artists from Eastern Europe. The exhibition will open on January 23rd and continue through March 2nd. The public is cordially invited to the opening reception on Thursday, January 23rd from 7:30-9:00p.m.

EAST EUROPEAN PRINTS AND POSTERS offers a look into the artistic production in this part of the world that has not readily been available. It will feature a selection of 25 colorful "CYRK" Circus Posters created before and 16 black-and-white etchings made after the collapse of Communism in 1989.

The post-1989 etchings were collected by Charles E. Merrill, Jr. and donated to Moravian College in DATE. Himself an artist, Mr. Merrill has long championed the arts and culture of Eastern Europe. (Two of his own works will be exhibited along with this collection of prints.) His donation offers an intense, personal vision of artistic life and truth being created in Eastern Europe today. Now that the censors are off, this vision is very different from the official one that was once sponsored by the state.

During the Communist era, all posters had to be approved by an agency of the Communist Party. Artists got their messages across to the public by creating images with hidden meanings. The 25 original posters, on display in the U.S. for the first time, include many hard-to-find images and 5 "censored" posters.

This exhibition of prints is part of Payne Gallery's ongoing program of exhibitions that focus on artistic media, and that support the offerings of the Art Department of Moravian College. Printmaking is the most democratic of media because the printed image is reproducible and circulated, sometimes widely (such as the CYRK Posters) and sometimes in small editions (such as the etchings in the Merrill donation). Either way, the opportunity for communication is fundamentally different from the unique statement that artists make in painting. This exhibition affords our students and the viewing public the advantage of seeing both artistic skills and artful communication strategies at the same time.

PAYNE GALLERY of Moravian College is located in the Pricilla Payne Hurd Campus
of Moravian College, between Church and Main Streets in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 11am to 4pm; and from 6pm to 8pm Tuesday through Thursday. For additional information, please telephone 610.861.1680 [weekends 610.861.1667].