Students' 'Assigned Seating' brings a new look at chairs to the Borland Gallery

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- "Assigned Seating," an exhibition of mixed-media works by Penn State students in School of Visual Arts faculty member Shannon Goff’s class, will be on display in the Borland Gallery from Nov. 13 to 14. Gallery hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. An opening reception will be held at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 13, in the gallery.

The exhibition, featuring work that falls somewhere between designed objects and sculptural objects, is the result of an assignment by Goff, assistant professor of art. In her class, Beginning Sculpture, the students were tasked with transforming salvaged oak chairs formerly used in the University’s libraries. In project SEAT, each student is given two identical chairs and asked to consider the body and how it moves in, around and through space. SEAT required them to channel basketball great Julius Erving's legendary play against Kareem Abdul Jabaar and engage in an act that is "the product of talent and will accommodate itself to liberating the rules," as writer Dave Hickey described in his book "Air Guitar."

The real challenges for the eight undergraduates are the parameters that Goff established. “The seats may not be used as a seat. The backs may not be used as a back. The legs may not be used as legs. Every part of the chairs must be used. Your SEAT must be able to support your body in some way.”

The students participating in the exhibition are bachelor of fine arts candidates Victoria Brown, Christine Fashion, Hollace Kutay, Orly Mayer, Yasser Mahmoud and Corey Pratt; interdisciplinary digital studio candidate Abby Bosley; and Josey Lee, a bachelor of arts candidate in art and sociology.

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Last Updated November 13, 2013