Rich in metaphor and a depth of philosophical ideas, three distinct exhibitions presented by the Center for the Arts at Virginia Tech contemplate the history of civilizations and cultures past, the passage of time, and people’s relationships to nature. The exhibitions feature works by regional, national, and international artists in a multidisciplinary offering of painting, photography, video, and sound installation.

The exhibitions open with a reception on Thursday, Sept. 3, from 6-8 p.m. in the Moss Arts Center Grand Lobby, 190 Alumni Mall. The event is free and open to the public.

The featured exhibitions are:

Stephen Vitiello, “A Scuttering Across the Leaves,” sound installation

  • Moss Arts Center Cube, Sept. 3-13, 2015
  • Commissioned by the Center for the Arts, this is the premiere of a new installation based on unprecedented insect recordings and micro-sounds of the forest captured at Mountain Lake Biological Station in Pembroke, Virginia.
  • Internationally renowned sound artist Vitiello has collaborated with evolutionary biologist Kasey Fowler-Finn to capture the sounds of insect movement on the stems and leaves of plants using surface-based devices including an accelerometer, a laser, and a record needle, as well as standard professional-quality microphones. These recorded sounds have been spatialized and manipulated in the Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology’s studios to reveal a hidden sound world that would otherwise be inaudible.
  • Presented in partnership with the Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology, and supported in part by the University of Virginia’s ArtLab at Mountain Lake Biological Station.
  • Vitiello will present an artist talk at 7 p.m. on Sept. 3 in the Cube.

Philip Taaffe

  • Ruth C. Horton Gallery, Sept. 3-Nov. 15, 2015
  • Taaffe has created a prolific body of work where referential images borrowed from various cultural and scientific sources are layered together with invented motifs. He masterfully synthesizes an encyclopedic range of references to history, the natural sciences, and cultures around the world in bold, vibrant paintings.
  • Taaffe’s work interweaves silk screening, stenciling, collage, marbling, staining, and many other image making approaches into rich and complex paintings. A fascination with symbols, cultural traditions, and rituals across civilizations and throughout time infuse this exhibition of 10 paintings from the artist’s studio, private collections, and Luhring Augustine in New York.  
  • Taaffe will present an artist talk at 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 15, in the Ruth C. Horton Gallery.

Beyond Real: Still Life in the 21st Century

  • Miles C. Horton Jr. Gallery and Sherwood Payne Quillen ’71 Reception Gallery, Sept. 3-Nov. 15, 2015
  • Featuring work by artists Gerry Bannan (Roanoke, Virginia); Ori Gersht (from Israel, based in London, England); David Halliday (New Orleans, Louisiana); Jennifer L. Hand (Dublin, Virginia); Laura Letinsky (from Canada, based in Chicago, Illinois); Tim O’Kane (Charlottesville, Virginia); and Agniet Snoep (Amsterdam, Netherlands).
  • Juxtaposing tradition with innovation, this exhibition presents painting, photography, and video by artists who build on, respond to, and transform the time-honored still life tradition through the lens of the 21st century. These works of art convey life’s exquisite beauty, but also its vulnerability, while heightening perception and appreciation of the present and the everyday.
  • Bannan will present an artist talk at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 2, and Hand will present a talk at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 6. Both talks will be in the Miles C. Horton Jr. Gallery.

The exhibitions are curated by Margo Ann Crutchfield, curator at large, Center for the Arts.

The galleries’ regular hours are Tuesday-Friday, 10 a.m.to 6 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The galleries are closed on Virginia Tech home football game days. The galleries and all related events are free and open to the public.

Parking is available in the North End Parking Garage on Turner Street. Virginia Tech faculty and staff possessing a valid Virginia Tech parking permit can enter and exit the garage free of charge. Limited street parking is also available. Parking on Alumni Mall is free on weekdays after 5 p.m. and on weekends.

If you are an individual with a disability and desire an accommodation, please contact Kacy McAllister at 540-231-5300 or email kmcallis@vt.edu during regular business hours at least 10 business days prior to an event.