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Local artists present bronze exhibit

ST. CLAIRSVILLE, Ohio (Jan. 6, 2007) -- The public is invited to see four local artists' work in the upcoming gallery exhibit, "4 x 4 ? Sculptors Who Work in Bronze," at Ohio University's Eastern Campus Art Gallery  Jan. 8 through Feb. 1. 

A reception honoring the artists will be held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday Jan. 11 and is open to the public.  The artists include Bryan Rapp, Saundra Hough, Duane McCausland and Tom Doepken. 

Figurative sculptor Bryan Rapp grew up in Meadville, Pa.  "As a sculptor, my subject interest is, primarily, 18th Century North American history during the French and Indian War.  As I learn more about my region's rich and often neglected past, I am inspired to create three-dimensional interpretations.  Through my artwork I want to raise awareness of this crucial time period in North American history in hopes of motivating others to seek a deeper understanding of the various peoples ? and their respective cultures ? that once violently clashed here so long ago," says Rapp.

His fascination with history began when he was a boy trying to trace his family tree.  Rapp studied at West Virginia University and the Art Institute of Pittsburgh.  In 2002 he was diagnosed with a debilitating bone disease.  It was at this time that Rapp began to sculpt in clay and find a home for his creative energy as well as a therapeutic medium for his battle with the bone disease. 

Since his recovery, he has been an apprentice at Alan Cottrill's Studio and Coopermill Bronzeworks in Zanesville, Ohio, working with the lost wax casting process.  Currently, he is a full-time sculptor and a part-time instructor of children's sculpting workshops at the Pomerene Arts Center.

Saundra Hough gained her understanding of visual form by studying at West Liberty State College, Columbus School of Art and Design, Ghost Ranch in New Mexico, The New York Art Student's League, and West Virginia University.

"I aspire to create, through myth, form, and symbol, sculptures which are representational of the unknown, unseen, and unproven.  Use of petroglyph, hieroglyph, and passage as markings which are a connection for me to provide a portal through time, image, and imagination," Hough said. 

Her work is in a number of local private collections.  Recently, she completed a bas relief portrait of Coach Mike Linsky for John Marshall High School.  When her time permits, Hough operates a gallery in downtown Wheeling, W.Va. exhibiting her own work and sculptures of other artists.

Duane McCausland worked for 13 years in the computer design industry and considers himself self-taught in painting, sculpture, and graphic design.  For the last six years he has worked as a lost wax and casting technician preparing patterns for a bronze art foundry. 

He maintains a private studio on 12th Street in Wheeling, W.Va., and his sculptures may be found in local collections.  McCauseland said of his sculptures in this exhibit, "This body of work, while continually evolving, nevertheless expresses a lifetime of toil and of art.  The very same hands which hope to give the viewer enjoyment are the hands which, without prejudice, bear my soul."

Tom Doepken of Valley Grove, W.Va., studied at Kenyon College, Bethany College, and Ohio University where he apprenticed and later assisted master foundry-man David Klahn.  Like most artists, he has worked at many things to finance his artistic production.  He began teaching at Ohio University Eastern Campus in 1977 where he has served as the directory of the Art Gallery for many years.  Doepken is a member of the Pittsburgh Society of Sculptors, The American Foundry Society, and an original member and associate of Artworks Around Town in Wheeling. 

According to Doepken, "Art can take a zillion directions.  My direction is usually to fantasize, my favorite being to reveal the tao of pumpkins, which are large and for the most part round, beautifully mysterious and secretive.  My pumpkins are like pages in a huge book, each telling a part of a great myth.  Native Americans say that Death, having taken a multitude of people into his kingdom, became enamored of a chief's daughter and took her as a wife.  She served him well, but Death did not know that she had hidden a pumpkin seed in his food.  The pumpkin seed grew and grew and grew until Death exploded and his pieces, with millions of pumpkin seeds, covered the earth."

For gallery hours or more information, please contact the Ohio University Eastern Campus at 740-695-1720 or 1-800-648-3331. 

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Media Contact: Director of Marketing & Public Relations Crystal Lorimor at 740-699-2356 or lorimor@ohio.eduu

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