Georgia Southern University

Lew Alquist exhibition opens Sept. 26 at Center for Art & Theatre

States of Mater -03 copy

States of Matter Undergoing Habitual Rotation, 1981, Mixed Media, 77″ x 33 ” x 27″

The Georgia Southern University Betty Foy Sanders Department of Art will present work by the late sculptor Lew Alquist, Sept. 26 – Oct. 28, in the Contemporary and University Galleries at the Center for Art & Theatre.

Alquist incorporated found objects, kinetic energy, sound and scent into his work—provoking the senses to make the invisible more visible.  His work primarily examines similarities, parallels, overlaps, and adjacencies between technological development and human evolution, but it also points to issues of political and industrial corruption as relevant today as when the work was created, in the 1970s-1990s.

“Discovering Alquist’s work has been a great surprise, like discovering a rich, dense novel that reveals crucial things you didn’t know you needed to know about,” said Gallery Director Jason Hoelscher. “Not as well-known as he should have been, Lew seems to have been something of an artist’s artist, known mainly to the cognoscenti. His work manages to touch on important political events of the time, while also offering intriguingly idiosyncratic (and often hilarious) new viewpoints from which to consider the art world of his era, ranging from postminimal materiality to art-as-technology and technology-as-art. With this exhibition we really hope to introduce Lew’s work to a larger, contemporary audience—not only is the work itself top-notch and provocative, but his statement that ‘Not everything is art, but everything is art supplies’ deserves to be right up there in the pantheon with any other profound phrase about art’s inherent potentials.”

A presentation on Alquist’s work will be given during an Artist Talk on Friday, Sept. 30 at 5 p.m. in Visual Art Building, Room 2071. A reception will follow from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in the Center for Art & Theatre. All events are free and open to the public.

Alquist’s wife Jane Pleak, who taught ceramics at Georgia Southern for nearly 30 years, curated the exhibition.

In honor of Alquist, Pleak started a memorial fund to help the BFSDoArt bring visiting artists to the University to enhance student learning through workshops and lectures. To contribute, go to and choose “Make A Gift” from the right sidebar. Designate your gift by selecting “other” and typing “3694 Lewis Alquist Visiting Artist Fund” in the processing instructions.

The College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences (CLASS) is the largest of the eight colleges that make up Georgia Southern University, and it plays a central role in every student’s core of knowledge. CLASS, also described as the University’s College of the Creative Mind, prepares students to achieve academic excellence, develop their analytical skills, enhance their creativity and embrace their responsibilities as citizens of their communities, their nations and the world. CLASS offers more than 20 undergraduate degrees and several interdisciplinary minors from its 11 departments and five academic centers. CLASS offers eight master’s degrees, two graduate certificates and one doctoral degree.  For more information, visit

Georgia Southern University, a public Carnegie Doctoral/Research University founded in 1906, offers more than 125 degree programs serving approximately 20,500 students. Through eight colleges, the University offers bachelors, masters and doctoral degree programs built on more than a century of academic achievement. Georgia Southern is recognized for its student-centered and hands-on approach to education.

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