ISSUED: 19 October 2016
MEDIA CONTACT: Valerie Owens
SHEPHERDSTOWN, WV — The Scarborough Society of Shepherd University will sponsor a program featuring Shepherd University art professor Sonya Evanisko on Tuesday, November 1 at 6 p.m. in the Scarborough Library Reading Room. Evanisko will discuss the creation and care of Japanese kokedamas and their relationship to contemporary art. The event is free and open to the public, and a reception will follow the lecture.
Kokedama is a style of Japanese bonsai, where a plant’s root system is wrapped in moss and bound with string, transforming it into a sculptural art form. Evanisko suspends her hanging moss orbs in the air by using pulleys, hooks, and other mechanical implements. Her contemporary sculptural work blends artificial and consumer items such as stuffed birds, plastic mushrooms, and velvet leaves with natural plants and mosses, with the dichotomy of the natural versus the artificial questioning humans’ propensity to obtain and then discard items.
Evanisko, who has worked at Shepherd since 1993, teaches courses in painting, drawing, visual thinking skills, and professional practices with an emphasis on empowering students to have successful careers. She received a Master of Fine Arts degree from Indiana State University in Terre Haute, and a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Evanisko received Shepherd’s Outstanding Academic Advisor Award in 2015 and was named 2015 West Virginia Professor of the Year in a ceremony during a banquet held in the Great Hall of the Culture Center in Charleston. In 1995, she developed the curriculum for and taught the first art business course at Shepherd.
Evanisko’s work has been exhibited at regional and national exhibitions including the Cork Gallery at Lincoln Center, New York; Perez Art Museum, Miami, Fla.; Umlauf Sculpture Museum, Austin, Tex.; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, Wash.; Chicago Loop Alliance; Millennium Arts Center, Washington, D.C.; International Biennial of Contemporary Art, Florence, Italy; and many other venues including the West Virginia State Museum in Charleston, the Stifel Fine Arts Center in Wheeling, the Huntington Museum of Art, and Tamarack in Beckley.
The Scarborough Society is a friends of the library organization sponsored by the Shepherd University Foundation. Annual membership dues help support library acquisitions, technology, and programs. Membership is open to all interested supporters of the Scarborough Library. For further information about the lecture series or the Scarborough Society, contact the Shepherd University Foundation at 304-876-5397 or visit www.shepherduniversityfoundation.org.
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