PCC Louis Carlos Bernal Gallery, under the direction of David Andres, presents Rearranging the Sands an exhibit featuring the works of Barbara Penn, Benjamin McKee and Joe Dal Pra. The exhibit runs January 28 through March 8. A gallery talk is scheduled for Wednesday, February 6 at 1:30 p.m.; followed by a reception from 5–7 p.m. and a video screening “The Shadows of Men” by Jason Stone at 6:30 p.m. in the Center for the Arts Recital Hall.


The expression “rearranging the sands,” has been used recently to euphemistically refer to various ineffective U.S. military excursions in the Middle East, insinuating that these are exercises in futility, belittling the real impact of war. In broader usage, this expression alludes to impermanence and the transitory nature of material life.


Penn uses literary, poetic and everyday sources in paintings, drawings, and combined media installations that she merges with personal and socio/political themes. Locating ironic associations, and at times, humorous correlations, she plays one layered image off the next, often integrating text and language. Sometimes language drives her experiences or she uses text as an aesthetic element, combining elements of drawing and collage. Penn explains, “I practice a combined-media mind-set of image making, and grab whatever stays with my associative thoughts from the news, conversations, daily experiences, or events in my life, continuing to embrace concept.” Recent works have carried ideas such as the aftermath of parental loss, nursing home limitations with various maternal twists, other biographical themes and family issues, debates in the news such as global warming or Hurricane Katrina, changing neighborhoods, drug wars and their link to other wars, and more. Solo exhibitions include Harwood Museum Foundation Studio, Taos, NM; Gallery A, Chicago, IL; ARTEMISIA, Chicago, IL; Gallery Paule Anglim, San Francisco, CA; Galerie Napela, Berlin, Germany, and Studio Lo-do Contemporary Arts Gallery, Phoenix, AZ. Selected group exhibitions include Kamer 108, Academie of Beeldende Kunst, Gent, Belgium, (2008), Sommer Akzente, Galerie Schoen + Nalepa, Berlin,Germany (2006), Freedom, Basel Miami International at Artpoint, Convention Center, Miami, FL, (2002), Conversations from My Heart, Educational Alliance, New York, NY (2001), Language as Object: Emily Dickinson and Contemporary Visual Art, Mead Art Museum, Amherst, MA, (1997) and Farbe Gold, Dekor * Metapher *Symbol, the Obere Galerie im Haus am Lutzowplatz, Berlin, Germany (1992). Penn is a professor of studio arts in the School of Art at the University of Arizona.


McKee’s work illustrates a convergence of his media-filtered consumption of global politics with personal experience. Constructed from the milieu of cultural and material detritus, he employs both appropriated and self-generated imagery to juxtapose the idiosyncratic with the emblematic. Areas of raw immediacy and bold, gestural marks are tempered by passages of focused craftsmanship and detail.  The resulting images are fragmented, layered and disjointed, offering partial narratives and tangential connections. McKee has exhibited both nationally and internationally. Solo exhibitions include Cochise College, Sierra Vista, AZ; Mount Royal Tavern and Dog Couch Gallery in Baltimore, MD. Group exhibitions include University of Arizona, Old Market Galleries and The Loft Cinema in Tucson, AZ; Union Docs, Brooklyn, NY; G-Spot, Ryder Mobile Gallery, Current Gallery and Amalie Rothschild Gallery in Baltimore, MD. McKee is an adjunct professor of visual arts at Cochise College in Sierra Vista, AZ.


Dal Pra’s works are sculptural objects and object based installations. The installation in this exhibit uses imagery structures and figures with fragmented truss-like support structures that are bent and failing. Parts have collapsed and shattered representing a broken landscape. The figures set in this landscape are spectators to the destruction and include three figures referencing super heroines and weapons. Dal Pra remarks, “I am exploring destruction presented with the fantasy of invulnerability and perhaps seduction.” He has exhibited in both solo and group exhibitions throughout the U.S. including the Design Center, Hartford, CT; District of Columbia Arts Center, Washington, D.C.; Pittsburgh Center For The Arts, PA; The Arts Center, Troy, NY; and  Carnegie Arts Center, Covington, KY. Dal Pra is a full-time visual arts faculty at Pima Community College.


Stone has made documentaries and videos around the world for clients such as PBS, IBM, INTEL, WTN (London), and MTV. In addition, he has worked in a multitude of different careers including Air Rescue Firefighter in Vietnam, carpenter, musician, nightclub owner and teacher (Kenya, East Africa with the Peace Corps). Stone made the documentary The Shadows of Men after reconnecting with friends he had made while serving in Vietnam. The story is told through the reflections and memories of 22 members of the Razorbacks, a combat gunship platoon that existed for eight years in Vietnam. It encapsulates the history of the war from the beginning of the military buildup to the end of hostilities and reflects the changing face of combat as the war itself changed. Stone is currently working on another documentary about the true events stemming from a massacre of ten people during the coal mining disputes in Matewan, West Virginia in 1920.

The Pima Community College Louis Carlos Bernal Gallery is located at the Center for the Arts on West Campus, 2202 West Anklam Road, Tucson (just west of downtown). For more information about this exhibition please contact the gallery at 520-206-6942 or centerforthearts@pima.edu.

What: PCC Louis Carlos Bernal Gallery – Rearranging the Sands

Where: PCC Center for the Arts, Louis Carlos Bernal Gallery, West Campus, 2202 West Anklam Road, Tucson, AZ 85709

When: January 28 – March 8, 2013

Gallery Information: The gallery and its programs are free and open to the public. Gallery hours: Mon./Wed. 10:30 a.m.-5 p.m., Tue./Thu. 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Friday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., and before most evening performances in the Center for the Arts theatres.

Call David Andres at 520-206-6942 for more information. www.pima.edu/cfa


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