(Posted October 31, 2016)

"Spillway," by Paul Chidester.
"Spillway," by Paul Chidester.

  HUNTINGDON, Pa. – Paul Chidester, artist and Penn State University associate professor of art, will challenge viewers to expand their imaginations by presenting them with unique depictions of urban landscapes in an exhibition called, “Psychotopia,” at the Juniata College Museum of Art from Nov. 10 through Jan. 28.

            There will be an opening reception for the exhibit at 5 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 10. The reception and museum exhibition are free and open to the public.

Chidester’s works typically include landscape paintings that combine different kinds of artistic styles, such as rural, urban and representative. “His paintings are really interesting ideas about nostalgia and the passage of time,” says Jennifer Streb, associate professor of art at Juniata. She also knows Chidester personally. “The works that we’re showing are part of ‘Psychotopia,’ which is the latest in a series that he’s been working on for many years.”

Chidester’s paintings resemble what would happen if a building or park was viewed through a kaleidoscope. There are realistic features of different urban settings intertwined with each other, mixed with splashes of colors and shapes that one would not typically see in natural settings.

            When developing his artwork, Chidester’s creative process takes him on long walks through urban environments, during which he takes many photographs and generates a number of sketches of interesting things he sees along the way. “He spreads them out on his drafting table and then combines different elements from what he saw in his works. He mashes them up into these new and imagined spaces which are really kind of cool,” Streb says.

"(Chidester) mashes them up into these new and imagined spaces which are really kind of cool."

Jennifer Streb, associate professor of art history

            Museum hours are Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday and Thursday, 2 p.m. to 10 p.m., and Saturday, noon to 4 p. For more information, please call the museum at (814) 641-3505, or visit the Juniata College Web site at http://www.juniata.edu/museum.

Contact Gabe Welsch at welschg@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3131 for more information.