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"King Tusko: Life in Chains" is by artist Sue Coe.
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animalkind

By Sue Coe, Oil on canvas, 30 x 42 inches. Courtesy of the artist and Galerie St. Etienne, New York.
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King Tusko: Life in Chains, 2008
By Sue Coe, Oil on canvas, 30 x 42 inches. Courtesy of the artist and Galerie St. Etienne, New York.
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Animals mean different things to different people — from food to entertainment to family companions — and a new exhibit at the University Art Gallery, "animalkind," explores the many roles that animals play in our lives.

From Feb. 16 through May 6, "animalkind" will explore a variety of relationships between non-human and human animals through a selection of works by artists from the United States and Finland. The exhibit employs diverse media, including:

  • printmaking
  • painting
  • photography
  • sculpture
  • video

The exhibition's various works investigate non-human animals as sentient beings inherently endowed with conscious thought. The artists' works go beyond pet portraits and traditional wildlife art to speak to our growing understanding of the animal mind and the complexities of animal-human interaction. The exhibition and all events are free and open to the public.

"Several of the artists examine the profound bond between animals and humankind while others present animals as metaphors for the human condition," said Tina Yapelli, director of the University Art Gallery. "As a whole, the exhibition will raise awareness of the treatment of food, entertainment and companion animals, humanity's relationship to wild animals, the potential pitfalls of animal research, and the cognitive and communicative capacity of the animal kingdom."

Special events

Participating artist Sue Coe will present an illustrated lecture on Saturday, March 21 at 5 p.m. in room 100 of SDSU's Nasatir Hall. A reception for the artists will follow from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the University Art Gallery.

Participating artists John Divola, Jean Lowe, Ernest Silva and Jeffrey Vallance will present illustrated lectures in conjunction with the exhibition, with dates, time and location as noted below. In addition, exhibition curator and University Art Gallery director Tina Yapelli will present a gallery talk at 11 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 26.

Lectures by the artists all take place at 4 p.m. in Art-412:

  • March 5: John Divola
  • April 16: Ernest Silva
  • April 23: Jeffrey Vallance
  • April 30: Jean Lowe

Participating artists

Participating artists include:

  • Sue Coe (New York)
  • John Divola (California)
  • Nina Katchadourian (New York)
  • Jean Lowe (California)
  • Tea Mäkipää (Finland)
  • Cyrus Mejia (Utah)
  • Melissa Miller (Texas)
  • Ernesto Pujol (New York)
  • Ernest Silva (California)
  • Kiki Smith (New York)
  • Lewis Stein (New York)
  • Jeffrey Vallance (California)
  • William Wegman (New York)

About the exhibition

The "animalkind" exhibit is organized and curated by Tina Yapelli, director of the University Art Gallery. The exhibition is generously sponsored by:

  • San Diego State University Art Council
  • School of Art, Design and Art History
  • College of Professional Studies and Fine Arts
  • The fund for Instructionally Related Activities
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