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Florida Gulf Coast University
10501 FGCU Blvd S.
Fort Myers, FL. 33965-6565

Phone: (239) 590-1006
Fax:     (239) 590-1066

Press Release


FGCU Art Gallery Opens 'Elemental Abstraction' Exhibition with Public Reception Sept. 1

FORT MYERS, FL - Florida Gulf Coast University invites the public and media to the opening reception for "Elemental Abstraction: Works by Bill Hoppe and Leslie Vansen" 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 1 in the Art Complex art gallery. The show runs Aug. 22 through Sept. 23.

The exhibition features 20 works on paper by Oregon-based painter Bill Hoppe and six large acrylic paintings on canvas by Leslie Vansen, chair of the art program at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

"These two artists offer the viewer rich visual fields to explore," exhibition organizer and FGCU associate professor of Art Morgan T. Paine said. "Both use the basic elements of 2-D art: color, shape, line, value and texture in visually compelling ways. The density of the pictorial space they make, using simple artist's tools, is quite different. Those viewers who come, look and think about why an artist would chose to make this kind of work will be rewarded."

Vansen holds a Master of Fine Arts in painting from the University of Colorado in Boulder and a Bachelor of Arts in art from the University of Iowa. She has taught at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee since 1978 where she is a full professor and has been chair of the art program since 2001. Vansen has been included in numerous one-person exhibitions in public and private galleries as well as having been included in more than a dozen museum group shows.

Hoppe holds an MFA in painting from the University of Washington in Seattle. He lives in Bend, Ore., where he is assistant professor of Art at Central Oregon Community College. He is included in more than 40 public collections including both the Seattle and Portland Art Museums and the Weyerhaeuser, Microsoft and Tektronix Corporate collections. He has shown his work at PS1 in Long Island City, N.Y., and numerous leading commercial galleries through the Pacific Northwest.

Hoppe received a National Endowment for the Arts Individual Fellowship in drawing in 1981 and the American Institute of Architects Annual award for "Portal," a large-scale public art project at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland. The 20 intimately scaled works on paper he is showing in "Elemental Abstraction" reflect his concern with color, surface and the movement of the artist's hand and the viewer's eye.

FGCU invites the public to two free talks with each artist in Art Complex 153. Hoppe speaks about his career and shows examples of his work immediately following the opening reception 7 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 1. Vansen discusses the development of her painting 7 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 15.

Admission and parking in FGCU Lot 7 is free. The gallery is open to the public 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Mondays through Fridays excluding University holidays.

For more information, media representatives should contact Gallery Director Scott Snyder at (239) 590-7222 or

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