CORVALLIS - If you have ever visited an art gallery and wondered what made Edvard Munch "Scream," or why Marcel Duchamp's "Nude Descending the Staircase" didn't grab a robe, the Department of Art at Oregon State University has a program that might interest you.

"Pondering the Muse" is a series of talks given by gallery director Douglas Russell that explore the technical, aesthetic and symbolic issues pertaining to exhibits on display in OSU's Fairbanks Gallery. Designed as casual discussions, they are intended to help viewers understand the artist's intent, historical reference, design theories and technical processes.

The idea for the talks began three years ago when Russell took friends into the gallery after hours to talk about the exhibits. It has grown into regularly attended gatherings. The Art Department began extending these talks to other groups, ranging from elementary school students to docents from nearby art museums.

Two upcoming exhibits at Fairbanks Hall will be included in this series. "Silver Meditations," a series of photographs by Jerry N. Uelsmann, will be discussed at 7:15 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 14. Uelsmann's work will also be the subject of a noon hour talk by art professor Jim Folts on Tuesday, Jan. 13 at the gallery..

Russell will discuss paintings and drawings of Melissa Weinman at 7:15 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 18.

All of the talks in this series take place in Fairbanks Gallery, in Fairbanks Hall, on the OSU campus. For further information contact Douglas Russell at 541-737-5009.

NOTE: A news release on the Uelsmann exhibit accompanies this information. A digital photo is available by calling Ellen Saunders at 541-737-0786.

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Department of Art, 541-737-4745