Narrative Art

by Jeff Rau, David Goa, Patty Wickman, Jonathan Puls & Laura Lasworth

In this CCCA "Cultural Conversation," Jeff Rau, Biola University Curator; David Goa, Director of the Ronning Center, University of Alberta, Canada; Laura Lasworth, Professor of Art, Seattle Pacific University; Patty Wickman, Professor of Drawing and Painting, UCLA; and Jonathan Puls, Associate Professor of Art, Biola University discuss artwork by contemporary artists who share an affinity for visual storytelling. This "Cultural Conversation" was in conjunction with the Storytellers exhibition in Biola University's Earl & Virginia Green Art Gallery from February 25 to March 27, 2014. A catalog for the exhibition may be viewed here.

Professor Laura Lasworth received her BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and her MFA from California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, California. Since her first show in 1981 she has consistently featured her work in numerous solo and group exhibitions across the country. She is represented by the Lora Schlesinger Gallery in Santa Monica, CA. In 2004, she was awarded a Faculty Research Grant by Seattle Pacific University, following a Faculty Enrichment Grant from the Art Center College of Design in 1998, as well as an Artists Fellowship given by the California Arts Council in 1990. She has been featured in such publications as Art in America, Artforum, the LA Times, and IMAGE Journal.

David Goa was born in Camrose, Alberta, to Solveig and Finn Goa who had immigrated from Norway to Canada. He studied history, philosophy and the history of religions in Chicago. He counts the eminent philosophical theologian Paul Tillich, the scholar of religion Mircea Eliade, the historian Zenos Hawkinson, the political philosopher Hannah Arendt, and Jaroslav Pelikan, Sterling Professor of History, Yale University, among the scholars who have most influenced his work. David has been involved in various research and documentation and communications projects both in Canada and abroad. He built the program for the study of culture through his field research work over thirty years at the Royal Alberta Museum. He lectures widely and is the author of numerous books and scholarly articles and is a regular contributor to the media. His work focuses on religious tradition and modern culture, culture and the civil life, and on public institutions in service to cultural communities and modern civil society.

Jeff Rau is an artist, curator, and educator based in Long Beach, CA. In 2000, he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Valparaiso University, Indiana, but soon after moving to southern California he left engineering to pursue a career in the arts. In 2011, Rau earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in Photography and a Graduate Certificate in Museum Studies from California State University, Fullerton. Rau has taught photography and digital media courses in the Art Department since 2008. In his artistic practice, Rau employs photography and other documentary media (video and sound) in a conceptual practice of archiving, mapping, and serial performance. He is also a founding member and active curator with Sixpack Projects.

Jonathan Puls received his B.S. in fine art from Biola University in 1998 and holds both an M.F.A. in painting and an M.A. in art history from California State University, Long Beach. Professor Puls has taught drawing, painting, and art history course in the Art Department since 2005. His areas of expertise are in figurative and observational drawing and painting processes as well as the history of 19th and 20th century painting. Professor Puls exhibits his drawings and paintings regularly, and he also enjoys curatorial opportunities and art historical research.

Patty Wickman is a painter who creates haunting scenes—and we mean haunting in the old-fashioned sense: suffused with awe and transcendent mystery. She combines pictorial realism with two related concerns: close observation of human psychology and an abiding sense that psychology must be complemented by something else, something that can only be called spirituality. Recent solo venues include the Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena; Sheppard Gallery, University of Nevada, Reno; Hunsaker/Schlesinger Fine Art, Santa Monica; Dan Bernier Gallery, Santa Monica; Laband Gallery, Loyola Marymount University; Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions; Guggenheim Gallery, Orange, CA; and USC Atelier, Santa Monica.


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