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Artist to demonstrate the science behind her creativity


Gibby Waitzkin works on the composition "Looking Out." Regional artist Gibby Waitzkin (left) adds some finishing touches to the piece, "Looking Out" at her studio in Floyd, Va. The completed work is shown on the right. "Looking Out" will be featured in “The Creative Process: Crossing Time and Boundaries,” an art exhibition, demonstration, and lecture at the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute on July 14.

BLACKSBURG, Va., July 7, 2011 – The Center for the Arts at Virginia Tech presents “The Creative Process: Crossing Time and Boundaries,” an art exhibition, demonstration, and lecture featuring regional artist Gibby Waitzkin on July 14, at 4 p.m. in the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute conference center at the corner of Washington Street and Duck Pond Drive on the Virginia Tech campus. 

The event, which is presented in partnership with the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute at Virginia Tech, is free and open to the public.

Waitzkin, a papermaker and photographer from Floyd, Va., who creates handmade paper compositions, will reveal the science behind her papermaking process. She will provide a hands-on demonstration of the meticulous process required to create the unique paper for her art and embed photographs and other mementos from nature, transforming them into parts of a composition.

A collection of Waitzkin’s works will be on exhibit at the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute that afternoon as part of the presentation. The exhibition showcases a series of sepia-toned photographs of nudes mostly taken during Waitzkin’s time as a graduate student studying photography and printmaking in the 1970s. These photographs have only recently been shared publicly.

The images are integrated into sheets of paper handcrafted by Waitzkin from indigenous plant fibers grown and harvested on her farm in Floyd and then processed in her studio. The prints are embedded into the compositions along with symbolic objects from nature, such as botanicals and birds’ nests, and then framed in distressed doors and windows, salvaged iron gates, and sewer grates. Waitzkin grows and harvests the fibers, cooks, and pours the pulp to create sheets of paper, photographs the subjects and creates digital prints, and seals each composition in beeswax. Waitzkin will provide a papermaking demonstration beginning at 3:30 p.m. and deliver a lecture detailing her creative process at 4 p.m.

“Collaborating with organizations in the Virginia Tech community to explore creativity in unique and sometimes unexpected places is one of our top priorities,” said Ruth Waalkes, executive director of the Center for the Arts at Virginia Tech. “We are so pleased to have the opportunity to join the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute in bringing Gibby’s timeless work to the Virginia Tech campus. Gibby’s work provides us with a glimpse of serene moments, and captures universal themes of introspection and the quest for place and home.”

“We welcome Gibby, as well as her art and lecture on the creative process. At the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute, we merge creativity and cutting-edge science, so this is a great opportunity to explore the boundaries of creativity and illustrate the common ground between science and art,” said Harold “Skip” Garner, executive director of the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute at Virginia Tech.  

With a visitor’s pass, parking is available in Wallace, Hillcrest and Litton Reaves Lots which can be accessed from Washington Street or Duck Pond Road. A visitor’s pass may be obtained Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Visitor’s Information Center, located at 965 Prices Fork Rd., near the intersection of Prices Fork and University City Boulevard next to the Inn at Virginia Tech and Skelton Conference Center.  A visitor’s pass may also be obtained from the Virginia Tech Police Station, located on Sterrett Drive, outside of the Visitor Information Center hours. Find more parking information online or call (540) 231-3200.

The Center for the Arts at Virginia Tech presents renowned artists from around the globe and from close to home, with a special focus on experiences that expand cultural awareness and deepen understanding. The Center for the Arts and the Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology, with which the Center for the Arts is uniquely partnered, are housed in the Moss Arts Center. The Moss Arts Center is a 147,000-square-foot facility that includes the Street and Davis Performance Hall and its 1,274-seat Anne and Ellen Fife Theatre; visual art galleries; the four-story, experimental venue the Cube; and research studios.

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