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ODU Professor to Exhibit Ceramic Work at BC

Richard Nickel, associate professor and program director of art education at Old Dominion University, will exhibit “It Only Hurts When I Laugh: Comedy, Tragedy and Magic in Ceramic Art,” in the Cleo Driver Miller Art Gallery Feb. 11 – March 8 at Bridgewater College.

An artist’s talk will be held at 4 p.m. Monday, Feb. 11 in the Boitnott Room. An artist’s reception will follow from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Miller Gallery. The exhibition, artist’s talk and reception are open to the public at no charge.

The Norfolk, Va., artist is showing recent clay sculptures.

Art is often looked upon as an introverted, solitary experience involving serious thought and messages. Nickel’s work focuses on the lighter side of human existence .

"Art, like life, is a balance between comedy and tragedy,” said Nickel. “Shakespeare’s darkest plays were balanced with keen wit and humor. My intent in much of my artwork is to reveal the purpose of humor in art and to show that in art, comedy and tragedy are dependent on each other for a deeper understanding of the human condition.”

Nickel said he thinks of clay as “magic dirt.”

“People don’t know why clay works the way it does,” he said. “It is not dirt, yet it has all the minerals as any dirt or soil. The earth is my media. Add fire and it becomes frozen in time. Magic dirt.”

The Miller Gallery is located on the second floor of the Alexander Mack Memorial Library. The Gallery is open 8 a.m. to midnight Monday – Thursday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 1 to 11 p.m. Sunday.

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