'Marcellus Shale Documentary Project' opens Sept. 23 at the Palmer Museum

September 16, 2014

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- The Palmer Museum of Art will present a new exhibition, "Marcellus Shale Documentary Project," from Sept. 23 through Dec. 14.

The "Marcellus Shale Documentary Project" features photographic images that tell the personal stories of Pennsylvanians affected by the Marcellus Shale gas industry. By creating a visual document of the environmental, social and economic impact of the drilling, the work aims to engage communities in the current Marcellus Shale debate while providing important historical images for the future. In capturing images of the people and places most affected by gas drilling, photographers Noah Addis, Nina Berman, Brian Cohen, Scott Goldsmith, Lynn Johnson and Martha Rial examine both the positive and negative results of the recent boom in the gas industry and how the environment and the communities that live with the resources are being shaped.

The exhibition is augmented by a small selection of photographs by Penn State faculty members John Beale, Katarin Parizek and Steven Rubin, who have directed considerable energy and talent to documenting the socio-cultural, environmental and economic effects of natural gas drilling in Pennsylvania. "Marcellus Shale Documentary Project" will be complemented by a series of exhibitions of student work in several venues across campus and downtown State College, broadening the potential audience, expanding the conversation to multiple disciplines, and promoting critical discourse on sustainability and the extraction of Marcellus Shale. Collectively titled "Storied Images: Marcellus Shale," these satellite exhibitions are supported in part by a Reinvention Fund grant through Penn State’s Sustainability Institute. (See inset).

The "Marcellus Shale Documentary Project" was organized by the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, a nonprofit community arts campus offering arts education programs and contemporary art exhibitions and providing services and resources for individual artists throughout western Pennsylvania.

Exhibition Related Events:

12:10 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 1
The Art of Poetry: "Shale Play"

Julia Spicher Kasdorf, professor of English and women’s studies, will read poems from her most recent project, "Shale Play," a book-length collection of poems that document the linguistic, emotional and environmental effects of Marcellus Shale fracking in southwestern Pennsylvania.   

5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 2
Marcellus Shale Gallery Crawl

Why visit one gallery space when you can visit several? View the "Marcellus Shale Documentary Project" exhibition at the Palmer Museum of Art and see juried student work in "Storied Images: Marcellus Shale," an exhibition at multiple locations, including Borland Gallery, HUB-Robeson Galleries (Art Alley), Earth and Mineral Sciences Museum and Art Gallery, and the Betsy Rodgers Allen Gallery at the Schlow Centre Region Library. Each venue will feature special activities and refreshments.

12:10 p.m. Friday, Oct. 10
Marcellus Shale Gallery Conversation: Marcellus Shale: In Their Own Words

William J. Doan, professor of theatre and women’s studies, and Andrew Belser, professor of theatre

12:10 p.m. Friday, Oct. 17
Marcellus Shale Gallery Conversation: Environmental Aspects of Shale Energy Development

David Yoxtheimer, extension associate, Penn State Marcellus Center for Outreach and Research

12:10 p.m. Friday, Oct. 24
Marcellus Shale Gallery Conversation: Potential Impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing on Drinking Water Resources

Elizabeth W. Boyer, associate professor, Department of Ecosystem Science and Management, and Bryan Swistock, senior extension associate, Penn State Water Resources Extension

4:30 to 6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 29
Tour and Panel Discussion: Boom/Bust Cycles of Extractive Industries in Pennsylvania

Tour of the exhibition with Dana Carlisle Kletchka, curator of education: 4:30 to 5 p.m.; panel discussion: 5 to 6 p.m.
Since the 1700s, Pennsylvania has been a major supplier of various forms of energy and resources. Coal, iron, timber and now natural gas have literally fueled an economic boom in addition to generating controversy and concern over their impact on humans and the environment. Panelists will discuss historical and social aspects of extractive industries and offer perspectives that might shape our thinking and practices into the future.

Panelists include:

Michael Bérubé (moderator), director, Institute for the Arts and Humanities, and Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of Literature
Sandra Barney, professor of history, Lock Haven University
Brian Black, professor of history and environmental studies, Penn State Altoona
Kathy Brasier, associate professor of rural sociology
William J. Doan, professor of theatre and women’s studies

Co-sponsored by the museum, Institute for the Arts and Humanities, and The Rock Ethics Institute.

7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 30
22 Deike Building

1 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 2
Palmer Lipcon Auditorium

Marcellus Shale Film Series: "Triple Divide" (2013)
Public Herald Studios, 90 minutes

This documentary co-directed by Joshua Pribanic and Melissa Troutman looks at the controversial subject of fracking from multiple vantage points, with exclusive interviews from the industry, experts and citizens impacted by shale gas development.

Presented in collaboration with the Earth and Mineral Sciences Museum and Art Gallery.

7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 6
22 Deike Building

1 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 9
Palmer Lipcon Auditorium

Marcellus Shale Film Series: "Gas Rush Stories" (2013)
Pittsburgh Filmmakers, 60 minutes

This series of short documentaries produced by independent filmmaker and journalist Kirsi Jansa explores how shale gas drilling is changing the lives of individual Pennsylvanians and impacting the development of renewable energy.

Presented in collaboration with the Earth and Mineral Sciences Museum and Art Gallery.

12:10 p.m. Friday, Nov. 7
Marcellus Shale Gallery Conversation: Finding a Way Forward: Thoughts on How to Address Marcellus Shale Development-Related Conflicts

Lara B. Fowler, senior lecturer, Dickinson School of Law, and research fellow, Penn State Institutes of Energy and the Environment

7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 13
22 Deike Building

1 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 16
Palmer Lipcon Auditorium

Marcellus Shale Film Series: "Split Estate" (2009)
Red Rock Pictures, 76 minutes

This Emmy Award-winning film directed by Debra Anderson looks at the impact that fracking for natural gas and oil is having on “split estate” property owners in Colorado who do not own the rights to extract minerals under their own land.

Presented in collaboration with the Earth and Mineral Sciences Museum and Art Gallery.

12:10 p.m. Friday, Nov. 14
Marcellus Shale Gallery Conversation: The Economic and Community Impacts of Natural Gas Development

Kathy Brasier, associate professor of rural sociology, and Timothy Kelsey, professor of agricultural economics and co-director, Penn State Center for Economic and Community Development

4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 18
Lecture: Marcellus Shale Documentary Project

Nina Berman, photographer 

Nina Berman, is a documentary photographer and author, as well as an associate professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. Her photographs and videos have been exhibited at more than 100 international venues, including the Whitney Biennial. In this lecture, she will present work showing the impact of gas drilling on the people and landscape of Pennsylvania as part of the Marcellus Shale Documentary Project. 

Co-sponsored by the museum and the Penn State School of Visual Arts John M. Anderson Endowed Lecture Series.

4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 19
American Art Lecture Series Lecture: Modern Art, Racial Rhythms, and the Economy of Energy

Robin Veder, associate professor of humanities and art history/visual culture, Penn State Harrisburg, and resident scholar, Institute for the Arts and Humanities

In the 1920s and '30s, Katherine S. Dreier (co-founder of the Société Anonyme) and modern dancer Ted Shawn shared an aesthetic, spiritual and social goal. They believed modern art and dance could help viewers evolve into a new “race.” This lecture comes from Robin Veder’s forthcoming book, in which she uses histories of physical exercise and experimental science to argue that energy-efficient body movement was as important to aesthetic modernism as it was to industrial modernity.

Co-sponsored by the museum and the Department of Art History.

12:10 p.m. Friday, Dec. 5
Marcellus Shale Gallery Conversation: Community, Landscape, and Gas: Energy in Pennsylvania’s Past, Present, and Future

Brian Orland, distinguished professor of landscape architecture, and Tim Murtha, associate professor of landscape architecture

12:10 p.m. Friday, Dec. 12

Marcellus Shale Gallery Conversation: Across the Divide: Picturing Marcellus Shale

Steven Rubin, assistant professor of art

A greeter will be available in the lobby to direct visitors to the appropriate gallery for all noontime events. All lectures and films are held in the Palmer Lipcon Auditorium unless otherwise noted. For after-hours events, doors open 15 minutes before programs begin.

Children’s and family programs are partially funded by the James E. Hess and Suzanne Scurfield Hess Endowment for Art Education in the Palmer Museum of Art and the Ruth Anne and Ralph Papa Endowment. All other programs are sponsored by the Friends of the Palmer Museum of Art unless otherwise noted.

The Palmer Museum of Art at Penn State is located on Curtin Road and admission is free. Museum hours are 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday. The museum is closed Mondays and some holidays. It also will be closed Thursday, Nov. 27, Friday, Nov. 28, and Wednesday, Dec. 24, through Friday, Jan. 2. The museum will have reduced hours these dates: noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 22, through Sunday, Nov. 30, and noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 3, through Sunday, Jan. 11.

The Palmer Museum of Art receives state arts funding support through a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.

Also on view at the Palmer Museum of Art this fall are "Lanny Sommese: Image Maker," through Dec. 21, and "Henry Varnum Poor: Studies for the Land Grant Frescoes," through Dec. 21. 

  • A flare from a natural gas wel

    Nina Berman, "A flare from a natural gas well lights up the night sky," 2011, digital archival print.

    IMAGE: © Nina Berman
  • Carol Jean “Jeannie” Moton

    Noah Addis, "Carol Jean “Jeannie” Moton poses for a portrait at her home in Avella, Pa.," 2012, pigment inkjet print.

    IMAGE: © Noah Addis
  • After workers hauled away two water tanks that supplied three homes

    Scott Goldsmith, "After workers hauled away two water tanks that supplied three homes from his backyard, John “Denny” Fair went inside his small home and became teary-eyed," 2012, digital archival print.

    IMAGE: © Scott Goldsmith
  • A frack water pipe

    Brian Cohen, "A frack water pipe traverses a field belonging to Tim Grossik," 2012, digital archival print.

    IMAGE: © Brian Cohen
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Last Updated September 17, 2014