MEDIA CONTACT: Carol Lewis
FAU Jupiter Library Gallery
Hosts ‘You Were Almost Extinct Too’
Exhibition by Derek Weisberg
BOCA RATON, FL (November 9, 2010) – Florida Atlantic University’s John D. MacArthur Campus Library Gallery is hosting “You Were Almost Extinct Too,” an exhibition by Derek Weisberg through Monday, December 6, at 5353 Parkside Drive, Jupiter.
Weisberg is a California artist who uses his evocative figurative sculptures to help make sense of his life. “You Were Almost Extinct Too” features works created with ceramic, wood and mixed media. The artist used found wood and objects from the local neighborhoods to give his work a sense of place in the university community.
“Weisberg is not just a guy making art, but a guy who immerses his entire being into the work. His art is more of a lifestyle than just the act of making sculpture,’’ said Diane Arrieta, the gallery’s exhibition coordinator. “‘You Were Almost Extinct Too’ is not only visually interesting, but brings up tougher issues, such as life and death, and sadness and loss.”
The campus library gallery is in its sixth year and annually hosts 10 contemporary artists to educate and inspire the university community. It has built its reputation on finding diverse artists and has hosted photographers, multi-media artists, printmakers and book artists. Weisberg is the first ceramic sculptor featured.
The exhibition and art are so different from past exhibitions that Arrieta recruited Dr. Philip Cromer, an FAU psychologist, to write a critical essay of the works.
“His sculptures emote, and their visceral appearance should cause you to think, challenge and ponder questions yet to be answered,” Cromer wrote in his essay. “What is my purpose? Why am I here? Is there an aftermath?”
Weisberg’s art oozes with emotion and seems to interact with the viewer. The figures are very detailed, especially in the faces, which take on more individualistic characteristics. Their bodies are sunken, their shoulders often are slumped and many of their bellies sag. The sculptures, which the artist considers to be emotional and psychological self portraits, capture the essence of life and death.
Weisberg graduated with a bachelor of fine arts degree in ceramics from the California College of Arts and Crafts. He has a working studio, works for other artists, has run his own art gallery and shows his work all over the United States and in London. His grandparents, Alan and Ethel Brooks, are among his biggest fans and live in West Palm Beach.
For inspiration and research, Weisberg often takes self portraits from all angles and uses them as reference for his sculptures. Music is another inspiration and is also part of his research. He is influenced by anything ancient, Egyptian, Greek and Roman, as well as illuminated manuscripts and medieval art. The death of Weisberg’s mother was a turning point in his art.
“In my early work, all the figures were very distinct and individual. The work then began to move in a more universal direction,” said Weisberg. “Around the time that my mom got very sick, it was seeing her and living with her and watching her that had a big influence on the aesthetic and content of my work.’’
“I also think that creating that work was my own grieving and my way of dealing with the loss of my mother. It has been over three years now since she passed away. I guess I am starting to feel like grieving in a different way,” said Weisberg.
The library’s hours are Sundays from 12:30 to 11 p.m.; Monday through Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Fridays from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays from noon to 6 p.m. For more information on the exhibition, go to http://www.library.fau.edu/npb/npb.htm.
About FAU’s MacArthur Campus:
FAU’s MacArthur Campus in Jupiter offers a broad range of undergraduate and graduate degree programs. The campus is home to the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, the Lifelong Learning Society, the Scripps Florida research facilities and the future site of the Max Planck Florida Institute.
About Florida Atlantic University:
Florida Atlantic University opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. Today, the University serves more than 28,000 undergraduate and graduate students on seven campuses and sites. Building on its rich tradition as a teaching university, with a world-class faculty, FAU hosts 10 colleges: the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts & Letters, the College of Business, the College for Design and Social Inquiry, the College of Education, the College of Engineering & Computer Science, the Graduate College, the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine, the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing and the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science. For more information, visit www.fau.edu.