Installation artist transforms WWU’s art gallery

Valerie Wedel, an installation artist, has transformed
William Woods University’s art gallery into “Shrine to You.” The exhibit runs
through Feb. 4 in the Mildred Cox Gallery of the Gladys Woods Kemper Center for
the Arts.

An artist’s reception and presentation will be held 1-4 p.m. Saturday
(Jan. 14). It is free and open to the public.

Wedel is assistant professor of visual art and
co-director of the Morris Gallery of Contemporary Art at Missouri Valley
College. She earned an MFA in sculpture at the University of Missouri,
where she specialized in installation art.

She holds a B.A. in French and peace
studies from Washington University in St. Louis and a BFA from Columbia College
in painting and drawing. She has taught at the University of Missouri and at
Stephens College.

Merging her
backgrounds in both 2-D and 3-D art, Wedel creates room-sized art installations
that viewers can enter into. The primary intention of her work is to encourage
self-awareness. She purposely blurs boundaries between artist, viewers and
artwork, enabling viewers to become active participants.

In November
2009, the Missouri Contemporary Ballet featured her set design in a performance
at the Missouri Theatre in Columbia. In January 2011, her set again graced the
stage, at Missouri Valley College.

Wedel has
exhibited nationally in both solo and group shows and she has been the
recipient of a number of awards, grants and speaking invitations.       
                                                      

The workshops
and residences Wedel has attended include Penland School of Crafts, Arrowmont
School of Arts and Crafts and the Vermont Studio Center. She has studied abroad
in Australia, France and Italy, and she hopes to bring students along on her
next overseas trip.

The Cox Gallery is open to the public Mondays through
Fridays, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free. For more information about this
exhibit, call 573-592-4245.

CUTLINES:
Valerie Wedel, installation artist
“Shrine to You – Installation Documentation,” photo by
Kevin Dingman