Copper in the Arts

January 2011

Freyberger Gallery Presents STEAMpunk!

Steampunk Laboratory Glass Goggles Steampunk Laboratory Glass Goggles

Photograph courtesy of Brute Force Studios

The Penn State Berks Freyberger Gallery presents the exhibition STEAMpunk! from January 13 to March 4, 2011. An opening reception was held on Thursday, January 13 in the Freyberger Gallery.

The label "steampunk" originated in the 1980s as a twist on the term "cyberpunk" to describe an art and design movement that incorporates mostly found and repurposed objects that are usually mechanical in nature, and grounded in antique locomotion and the Steam Age. Brass and copper, signature trademarks of the Steampunk movement, are frequently used to accent modern-day objects. Artists tend to focus on Victorian and Edwardian era technology, in which the Industrial Revolution has begun but electricity has not yet been invented.

Last winter, the Museum of the History of Science in Oxford, UK hosted a Steampunk exhibition that attracted more visitors than any previous show at the museum. The exhibit, curated by New York-based designer and artist Art Donovan, featured work from around the globe, including Japan, Australia, Great Britain, and the United States.

"Imagine the technology of today with the aesthetic of Victorian science," described Donovan.

Based on that landmark exhibit, the Freyberger Gallery is featuring artists who are working with the Steampunk genre. The exhibition will include a Victorian wheelchair, a mechanical arm, robots, ray guns, and much more. The gallery itself will be transformed to resemble a Victorian parlor.

Featured artists include Thomas Willaford, Brute Force Studio, Harrisburg, PA; Steve Wetzel, Wezco Art Company, Supply, NC; V. Holecek, Schamballah Studio, Kansas City, MO; Sarah Cavillo, Big Spaceship Design Studio, Brooklyn, NY; Eric Freitas, Royal Oak, MI; Jeff Kahn, Kahn Studio, Lenharstville, PA; Allan Brintzenhoff, Kutztown, PA; and Paul Karabashian, Hamburg, PA.

The gallery will show the films The Fabulous World of Jules Vern (1958) and The Mysterious Explorations of Jasper Morello (2005), an Oscar-nominated Australian film. There will also be various workshops, a Victorian literature display, a Victorian photo shoot for students, and many other activities.


Penn State Berks, The Freyberger Gallery, Tulpehocken Rd., Reading, PA, 19610, (610) 396-6000

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