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Robert Peppers: Collage Improvisations, on view Sept. 18—Oct. 13, 2018 in the Trisolini Gallery, Baker Center.

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Longtime Faculty Artist Presents a Multitude of Forms Inspired by Jazz, on Exhibition in the Trisolini Gallery, Baker Center

Celebrating the work of longtime faculty painter Robert E. Peppers, Ohio University’s School of Art + Design presents a retrospective exhibit, “Robert Peppers: Collage Improvisations,” on view in the Trisolini Gallery at Baker Center from Sept. 18 to Oct. 13. The Athens community, current and former students and fellow artists are invited to a public reception from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 27, in the gallery, with refreshments provided.

The work in the exhibition reflects the artist’s ongoing development of visual forms influenced by his love of Jazz music. Peppers’ artmaking practice evolved from a need to take formal elements apart, then reconstruct those elements in order to exhilarate the human spirit.

“I am deeply inspired by the experience of listening to jazz, even to the extents of seeking to create pictorial equivalents for specific musical works. The process is fairly simple. What begins as doodles, I sketch while listening to a jazz tune gradually evolved into Thought-Forms. Sometimes, a mental image is literally conjured up from the song-title in conjunction with the music,” said Peppers.

The concepts of visual imagery generated from music reaches back through a lineage of now-celebrated artists like Wassily Kandinsky, Joan Miro, Jackson Pollack, Stuart Davis and Romare Beardon, all of whom achieved a range of tone and effect through color, texture, form, line and various mediums.

“The basis of Jazz Aesthetics is a rebellion against rigidity. There is a willingness to explore, instead of following a straight, preconceived order,” Peppers said. “The end result is an artwork that is in a constant state of evolution and renewal. It responds more to an attitude than to conventions.”

“It is inspiring to hear from so many alumni about Robert Peppers’ extended reach and influence through his teaching and creative approach to artmaking,” Painting + Drawing faculty member, and director of the School of Art + Design, Julie Dummermuth said. “His compassion for others, dedication to our program and innovative research have been the heart and soul of the Painting + Drawing program for three decades. He continues to encourage us all, to embody a spirit of generosity, curiosity and rigor. To this day, he remains as one of my dearest of mentors.”

Leading up to the reception in Trisolini Gallery, the School of Art + Design will host a lecture by OHIO Painting + Drawing alumnus and 2018 Guggenheim fellow Craig Drennen from 4 to 5 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 27 in Mitchell Auditorium, followed by a “Welcome Back Celebration” happening on the fifth floor from 5 to 8 p.m., and an awards presentation for the “State of the Arts” exhibition at 6 p.m. in the Ohio University Art Gallery.

The "State of the Arts" exhibition can be viewed in the Ohio University Art Gallery in Seigfred Hall 536, from Sept. 18 until Oct. 8, with open gallery hours from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday-Saturday and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday.

The Trisolini Gallery is located on the fourth floor of Baker Center, 1 University Drive on the campus of Ohio University.

This College of Fine Arts event is made possible through support from Arts for OHIO.