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Megan Abajian
School of Fine Arts Gallery

Jennifer Piurek
University Communications

Last modified: Monday, September 29, 2008

IUís SOFA Gallery, Jacobs School professor present contemporary art show

Concert flutist brings contemporary art from his Chicago gallery to Bloomington

Sept. 29, 2008

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- From the moment of implosion when a building is demolished to a lone balloon slowly deflating its way to the floor, an upcoming exhibit at Indiana University's School of Fine Arts Gallery (SOFA) showcases six artists' interpretations of a fleeting moment in time. "One Moment," opening Oct. 17, comes to Bloomington from the Thomas Robertello Gallery of Chicago.

Thomas Robertello is a concert flutist and an associate professor at Indiana University's Jacobs School of Music. A lifetime passion for contemporary art -- and a knack for discovering new artists early in their careers -- inspired him to open the gallery in Chicago about two years ago.

Balloon by Adam Ekberg

Adam Ekberg, "Balloon"

Print-Quality Photo

"Thomas is obviously an exceptionally gifted and creative individual," said Jacobs School of Music Dean Gwyn Richards. "Most people tend to have aural or visual acuity, but he has both. I think he would say that each realm informs the other."

The "One Moment" exhibition will feature the work of six visual artists who work in a variety of media: paintings by Bob Jones, Grant Schexnider and Stephanie Serpick; time-based media work and drawings by Cayetano Ferrer; photographs by Adam Ekberg; and a mixed-media installation work by Noelle Mason.

The common theme behind the pieces, said Betsy Stirratt, director of the SoFA Gallery, is capturing a transitory moment in time that normally passes unnoticed. "The idea of 'the moment' can be stuck in time and a progression," she said.

The art will represent moments that include Schexnider's blown-up, disturbing images of screen captures (of close-up faces) taken from movie and Internet pornography and Jones' representational paint blobs (his 2005 piece "Trophy," is two sticks representing antlers that jut from a dried blob of paint on the wall). "Bob Jones' work is important because it's really pushing the idea of 'what is painting?'" Stirratt said. "It doesn't just have to be a canvas on the wall."

Robertello draws a parallel between his teaching position at IU and his role as a gallerist. "They're both service positions to young artists," Robertello said. Once a "hobby" painter himself, Robertello settled instead into a life of collecting art and promoting the artists whose work most moves him, maintaining his position as an associate professor of music at the Jacobs School.

Robertello will present a gallery talk at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 17, followed by an opening reception from 7 to 9 p.m. in the SOFA Gallery. All events are free and open to the public.

Thomas Robertello Gallery

The Thomas Robertello Gallery of Chicago is a non-media specific gallery that represents 16 national and international emerging artists working in a variety of media. Gallery owner/director Thomas Robertello is a concert flutist and an associate professor of music at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University. For more information, see

SOFA Gallery

For more information about the SoFA Gallery, located at 1201 E. 7th St., see, call (812) 855-8490 or e-mail The SoFA Gallery is accessible to people with disabilities. Gallery hours: Tuesday-Friday, 12-4 p.m., closed Sunday and Monday.

For more information about the Jacobs School of Music, see