From the Manchester College Archives

News Release

Contact: Jeri Kornegay
Director of Media and Public Relations
260-982-5285  jskornegay@manchester.edu

"What's with the big arrow?" 

Link Gallery at Manchester debuts with artwork on a grand scale

The first show in the new Link Gallery, which wraps around Manchester College’s new Wine Recital Hall, displays large works by I. Lee Morse, assistant professor of art.

Morse likes to work on a grand scale.  His works usually are three-dimensional; it’s hard to say whether they are paintings or sculpture.  At least the paintings will seem large to those unfamiliar with Morse’s work.  His AElvis in Excess@ (not on display at MC) covered 76,726 square feet, and as of 1995, was the world=s largest painting, according to Guinness World Records.

Visitors to Link Gallery from the East Street main entrance to the recital hall will get an immediate sense of the size of the art they are about to encounter: An enormous yellow arrow pierces the northeast corner of the building.  The arrow points to the sky, perhaps urging Manchester College students to Areach for the sky.@ Or perhaps it recalls Longfellow’s poem: AI shot an arrow in the air....’’  Maybe it means Athink outside the box.@ 

Morse says he created the arrow especially for the show and the opening of the gallery … and to provoke comment. 

The works inside Link Gallery are similarly enigmatic.  They don=t have a story.  They aren=t Aabout@ something; they just Aare,@ Morse notes. The artwork displayed, many untitled, has as much Ameaning@ as a concerto: There is the sense of interaction, or even conflict with the environment.  Morse likes to involve the viewer in the space around the objects.

Consider the arrow, for example.  It appears to pierce the building, but the portion inside the building is missing ... sort of.  Many people would sense the implied line through the building, so the arrow is all there, but only through the participation of the viewer.  Morse expects the same interaction with the viewer, the construction, and the surrounding space. 

Gallery visitors also will be taken by the engineering that went into these pictures.  Morse=s studio is huge, so he has no problem with space there, but he has to transport his pieces to the galleries.  His works must be collapsible, and designed so the pieces fit together in a way that does not impair the art.

The arrow was a challenge because it had to fit the building perfectly.  If he had built it on-site, he might have been able to make adjustments, but he built it in his Columbia City studio and assembled it here. 

Morse’s exhibit will remain up through Tuesday, Nov. 16. At 4 p.m. on that final day, a reception will honor Morse and give gallery visitors an opportunity to meet and discuss his artwork with the artist.

A graduate of The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Savannah College of Art and Design, Morse also has taught art at Indiana University Purdue University Fort Wayne and Concordia University.

The College is grateful for the gift of the gallery space from William J. and Marsha Link of Irvine, Calif.  Marsha Palmer Link is a 1968 music graduate of the College.

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