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Artist’s Talk Encourages Cross-Cultural Listening, Learning


Robert Gerhardt
Robert Gerhardt
A student takes notes at the exhibit.
A student takes notes at the exhibit.
Engaged patrons converse near one of Gerhardt's favorite images: “NYPD Traffic Officer at Prayer, Park 51, Manhattan, NY,” taken at a once-proposed mosque site near Ground Zero.
Engaged patrons converse near one of Gerhardt’s favorite images: “NYPD Traffic Officer at Prayer, Park 51, Manhattan, NY,” taken at a once-proposed mosque site near Ground Zero.
A crowd gathers as the artist speaks.
A crowd gathers as the artist speaks.
“Boy Scouts at their Weekly Meeting, Muslim American Society, Brooklyn, NY" (foreground) is among the gelatin silver prints on display.
“Boy Scouts at their Weekly Meeting, Muslim American Society, Brooklyn, NY” (foreground) is among the gelatin silver prints on display.

A campus reception was held Thursday for an artist whose work employs old-school photojournalism – compelling images on black-and-white film, developed in a darkroom – to tackle a fresh-from-the-headlines merging of cultures. “Muslim/American, American/Muslim,” featuring the work of Robert Gerhardt, continues in The Gallery at Penn College through March 4. While billed as a gallery talk, Gerhardt’s well-attended opening echoed the objectives of the artwork itself: to encourage discussion and blur the boundaries between different backgrounds, practices and faiths. Hours for the gallery, on the third floor of Madigan Library, are 1-4 p.m. Sundays, 2-7 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesdays and Fridays (closed Saturdays and Mondays). The exhibit has also been featured in The Huffington Post and on WVIA’s “ArtScene” radio program (select the Robert Gerhardt audio file from the series menu).

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