The Pennsylvania State University

School of Visual Arts

Edwin W. Zoller Gallery hosts Vulnerary MFA Thesis Exhibition and Performance with Public Reception

March 25, 2013

UNIVERSITY PARK, PA - The Penn State School of Visual Arts’ (SoVA) Edwin W. Zoller Gallery is hosting Laura Mecklenburger’s MFA thesis exhibition, Vulnerary, a culminating exhibit of Mecklenburger’s creative process over the course of her MFA student career. The exhibition will be on display Monday, March 25 through Friday, March 29, 2013. We invite you to attend the public reception Monday, March 25, 2013 at 5:00 p.m. in the gallery with a special live public performance by the artist beginning at 5:30 p.m. Visit for a complete listing of Zoller Gallery events.

Mecklenburger understands art as acts of conjure - acts of bringing her inner reality and will into the outside world.  She conjures in recent installations, creating ritual vessels and tools, amulets, talismans, altars, and shrines to address issues in her life, those close to her, and the greater community. A unifying theme in her work is the relationship between vulnerability and armor, and the pursuit of protection and solace. In particular, her work tells personal stories of risk and endangerment among queer and questioning youth, and associated issues of identity and visibility, rape and assault, homelessness, addiction, domestic abuse, and the triumph of survival. Mecklenburger incorporates ritual objects and the creation of sacred space, familiar to her since childhood; drawing from Jewish tradition in which she was born and raised, and from her own early childhood initiation into Wicca and continued practice and study of the esoteric. In an art context, her objects and shrines carry narrative while providing points of entry for the viewer to gain personal agency from the function of the objects. “Ritual" and "ceremony" often describe the functional ceramic object, but many forget the widespread use of ceramics in the past and present for religious, magical and shamanic ritual and ceremony. Mecklenburger’s work represents a syncretic, global, postcolonial exploration of object resonance, and the redefinition of functional art to include objects with a religious, spiritual or magical use.

The Edwin W. Zoller Gallery is a non-profit exhibition space dedicated to the advancement of the visual arts and is free and open to the public Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. during Fall and Spring semesters. Zoller Gallery was founded in 1971 and is located in the Visual Arts Building off Curtin Road adjoining the Palmer Museum of Art on the University Park campus. Public programming at Zoller includes artist lectures, visual art performances, artist residencies and interdisciplinary events. This facility was named for Edwin W. Zoller in recognition of his dedicated career as an artist and teacher.


For more information please contact:

Lillian Lewis, Zoller Gallery Coordinator

Tammy Hosterman SoVA Communications

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