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October 16, 2002


 LA CROSSE, Wis.— The Viterbo University Art Gallery will be featuring unusual ceramics gadgets that make a social statement during its upcoming exhibit of works by Viterbo’s new ceramics professor, Gerard Justin Ferrari.

Ferrari’s artwork will be the subject of an exhibit in the Viterbo Art Gallery from Wednesday, Oct. 30 through Friday, Nov. 22, with an opening reception on Wednesday, Oct. 30, from 7:30-9 p.m.

 "I make fictitious gizmos with clay. And, although they don’t necessarily function, they present the idea of function—which definitely stems from the original influence that pottery had on me," said Ferrari.

As an artist, he pays a great deal of attention to the needs of his audience. A fan of the industrial revolution and the work of Rube Goldberg and Dr. Seuss, Ferrari believes that using a lot of everyday shapes and designs, like household appliances, toys, wheels, gears, etc., in his work enables the viewer to be more curious about his work and to better understand it. What’s more, each image is intended to be viewed as a satirical, comical, and fictitious oddity that presents feelings and ideas about current issues. "It’s a way to deal with the emotional and intellectual problems facing our society. It’s a way of saying something about those issues and laughing at them in a positive sense," said Ferrari.

Ferrari has his undergraduate degree in ceramics from Berea College in Kentucky and his master’s degree in ceramics from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond. Before coming to Viterbo in August, Ferrari served as a visiting professor of art at Wells College in Aurora, N.Y.; North Central College in Naperville, Ill.; Western Illinois University in Macomb; and Indiana University in Bloomington. His art has been included in over 30 exhibits throughout the country, and he has received a variety of awards for his work. In addition, his work is appreciated by a number of collectors, and his bibliography includes a feature article in Ceramics Monthly.

The reception is free and open to the public. There is no admission charge to the Gallery, which is located on the third floor of the Viterbo Fine Arts Center on the corner of Jackson and Ninth Streets in La Crosse. The Gallery is open during regular school hours or at other times by request. For more information on the artwork of Gerard Justin Ferrari, explore his Web site at

The Viterbo University Art Department offers degree programs in Studio Arts, Art Education, and Graphic Design.

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