New exhibitions opening this week at the West Virginia University Creative Arts Center’s Mesaros Galleries include works by Pittsburgh-based Tugboat Printshop and photographer Jeff Rich. Both exhibitions will be open Oct. 16 through Dec. 9.

Photographer Jeff Rich, whose exhibition titled “The Watershed Project” will be on view in the Laura Mesaros Gallery, will give a guest artist lecture about his work at the Creative Arts Center on Thursday, Oct. 16, at 5 p.m., in Bloch Learning and Performance Hall (200A). The opening reception will follow at 6 p.m. at the Mesaros Galleries. All events are free and open to the public.

Rich’s work focuses on water issues, ranging from recreation and sustainability to exploitation and abuse. He explores these subjects by using long-term photographic documentations of very specific regions of the United States. Rich received his Master of Fine Arts degree in photography from the Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, Georgia. His watershed project has toured nationally since 2012, with shows in New York City; Portland, Oregon; Asheville, North Carolina; Bloomington, Indiana; Akron, Ohio; and Atlanta, Georgia. His book “Watershed: A Survey of The French Broad River Basin” was awarded the 2010 Critical Mass Book Award. His work has been featured in Fraction Magazine and Flak Photo as one of Daylight Magazine’s monthly podcasts, as well as Photo-Eye’s Photographer’s Showcase. In 2011 Rich was named as one of the winners of the Magenta Flash Forward Emerging Photographers Competition. For more information, see:

Opening in the Paul Mesaros Gallery on Oct. 16 is “Nature Naturing: Woodcut Prints by Tugboat Printshop.” Paul Roden and Valerie Lueth are the collaborative woodcut artists who operate Tugboat Printshop. The couple has been publishing their traditionally hand-crafted color woodcut prints from Pittsburgh since 2006. To date, Tugboat Printshop has published nearly 100 multiblock editions.

Roden and Lueth will give a visiting artist lecture about their work on Thursday, Oct. 23, at 5 p.m. in Bloch Learning and Performance Hall (200A). A reception for the exhibition will follow at 6 p.m. at the Mesaros Galleries.

Tugboat Printshop’s intricate woodcuts celebrate the natural world and mankind’s relationship to it. In their traditionally made prints, the artists build idealistic, meticulously patterned worlds with extreme focus on craft and detail. Rich color is layered in multiple impressions from hand-drawn, hand-carved and individually printed woodblocks. Tugboat Printshop’s narrative is one of resourcefulness, sustainability, and upbeat do-good attitude. Tugboat Printshop embraces art’s place both inside and outside the gallery walls. As makers and doers with a vested interest in community, Roden and Lueth meet the public most often in the street. An active exhibiting schedule that routinely includes notable gallery shows has made Tugboat Printshop woodcuts highly collected by a growing national and international audience. For more information, see

Managed and programmed by Curator Robert Bridges and the WVU School of Art & Design, the Mesaros Galleries organize a diverse and exciting schedule of exhibitions throughout the year. The galleries are committed to showing experimental work that is innovative both in terms of media and content. The Mesaros Galleries and the WVU School of Art and Design also host contemporary artists of important or growing reputation who work in all media in the Visiting Artist Program.

All Mesaros Galleries events, including art lectures, exhibitions and receptions are free and open to the public.

Gallery hours are Monday through Saturday, from noon to 9:30 p.m. The galleries are closed Sundays and University holidays. Special individual or group viewing times may be arranged upon request.

For more information, contact Robert Bridges, curator, at (304) 293-2312.



CONTACT: Charlene Lattea, College of Creative Arts

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