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Rose-Hulman Fall Art Exhibit Features Variety of Looks at Life

October 21, 2014

Shepard Lennon

Celebrity Caricatures: James Shepard’s artworks feature a variety of current and past celebrities, including John Lennon in the display “The Fab Four.”

James Shepard has again proved that you can go home again, much to the delight of Wabash Valley arts enthusiasts.

The Terre Haute native has returned to his Indiana roots after a successful art career in California, including working as an artist at Disneyland from 1994 to 2000.

Through December, Shepard is sharing his images of celebrities, animals, and farmers in a display that covers the first floor hallway of Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology’s Moench Hall.

Other aspects of the college’s fall art exhibition feature the works of Rachel Hellmann, Samantha Tribble, and Don Monroe. There will be a special exhibition opening reception Thursday, October 23, at Rose-Hulman’s Moench Hall. The event is free and open to the public.

Shepard is a self-proclaimed right-side-of-the-brain person who specializes in hand-painted signs, large-scale murals, and numerous backdrops for television productions.

“James’ love of capturing the moment in time is evident in his artwork,” says Rose-Hulman Art Curator Steve Letsinger. “He has a great way of showcasing interesting faces.”

Celebrity caricatures featured in Shepard’s Rose-Hulman exhibit include Bob Dylan, Elvis, Morgan Freeman, Taylor Swift, Brett Favre, and Kobe Bryant. There’s also a collage of individual portraits of The Beatles, titled “The Fab Four”.

Meanwhile, Hellmann’s paintings and drawings, featured on Moench Hall’s second floor, explore how perception is affected by the interplay of geometry, light, and color. The geometric language of bars, grids, and linear repetitions echoes the methodical process she uses to create her paintings. This theme is a perfect match to be displayed at a college specializing in science, engineering, and math education.

“I come from a family or carpenters. My early education as an artist taught me the care for craft, love of tools, and pride in working with my hands,” says Hellmann.

Tribble’s portion of the exhibit, also on the second floor, has digital photographs and prints that gravitate strongly toward Japanese aesthetics of harmony, unity, and balance. She creates imagery that provokes thoughts, which then elicits feelings and emotions.

“As an artist I have been given a gift of creation,” she says. “I make the unknown known, the unimagined imaginable, and the impossible a possibility. For me art is alive in all of us, whether you create it, appreciate it, or collect it.”

Monroe, a Sullivan resident, has added 12 new paintings to his display “International Travels,” which are located on the top floor of Myers Hall.

The fall exhibition is open for public viewing from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays. For more information, contact Letsinger at 812-877-8452 or letsinge[at]rose-hulman[dot]edu.