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Juniata Art Professor Uses Pop Culture in New Museum Exhibit

(Posted November 5, 2007)

Monika Malewska, assistant professor of art at Juniata, uses pop icons to create art in \"Pillsbury Doughboy and Barbie.\"

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Witty, bright images of children\'s toys and brand icons such as the Pillsbury Doughboy take on slightly darker edges in the art of Monika Malewska, assistant professor of art at Juniata College, in her one-person exhibition \"Counterpoise,\" which runs from Thursday, Nov. 15 through Saturday, Feb. 23 at the Juniata College Museum of Art. There will be an opening reception at the museum at 4:30 p.m., Thursday Nov. 15. \"I don\'t want the viewer to just look at the image, I\'d like them to be aware of some of the historical traditions and pop cultural references,\" says Malewska. \"It\'s deconstructing pop icons that go back to the \'60s by referencing art traditions that go back to the 17th century.\" Malewska\'s work uses a pop sensibility complemented by a humorous edginess. Her series of paintings featuring the Pillsbury Doughboy combine strange juxtapositions, such as the work \"Godzilla vs. the Pillsbury Doughboys,\" where the famed movie monster is posed with the baking icons in a \"battlefield\" littered with luscious cupcakes and Christmas cookies. As a painter, Malewska uses vibrant colors, an approach that emphasizes the pop icons, such as the Doughboy, Barbie and others, she uses as models within the painting. She often makes historical art references, such as her painting \"The Pillsbury Doughboy of Willendorf,\" or populates the painting with toys such as Muppets and \"Rugrats\" characters in her \"Made in China\" series. She also will exhibit her photography, which also uses vibrant colors in the composition and subjects. She often uses her photographs and computer manipulated-photographs in composing her paintings. Malewska joined the Juniata faculty in 2006. She specializes in painting, drawing, figurative art, two-dimensional design, monotype printmaking and photography. She earned a bachelor\'s degree in fine arts in 1998 from the University of Manitoba in Canada and went on to earn a master of fine arts degree in 2001 from the University of Texas, San Antonio. She received First Prize at the 33rd Annual Juried Members Exhibition at the New Britain Museum of American Art in 2002 and at the Emerging Artists: New Voices Exhibition at the Mystic Art Association in Mystic, Conn. Her work \"Meat\" was published in Gastronomica: The Journal of Food and Culture. She has exhibited her work in solo and two-person exhibitions at the Gallery on the Green in Canton, Conn.; Noma Gallery in Canton, Conn.; E3 Gallery in New York City; Satellite Space Gallery in San Antonio, Texas; and the University of Texas, San Antonio. Her work also has been in exhibitions at Artists Space in New York City; Pen and Brush Gallery in New York City; Sideshow Gallery in Brooklyn, N.Y.; MFA City Gallery in Baltimore, Md.; The Gallery of Social and Political Art in Boston, Mass; and the New Britain Museum of American Art in New Britain, Conn.

Contact John Wall at wallj@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3132 for more information.