The Perspective Gallery is committed to exhibiting the finest quality fine art with a special interest in providing art viewing opportunities which pique student curiosity and creates bridges within the academic and world community. The university campus is a unique environment where students are exposed to new and innovative ideas. The role of Perspective Gallery is to enrich the college experience by thought-provoking art exhibitions, programs, and collaborations.
Even when we’re closed, exhibitions are visually available through our perimeter windows, in front, and down the corridor along the side of the gallery.
Betsy Bannan: "A Matter of Elevation"
March 15 - May 15, 2021
Betsy Bannan lives in Roanoke, Virginia and teaches painting in the School of Visual Arts at Virginia Tech. She has an MFA from Pratt Institute where she met her husband who is also an artist. Betsy grew up in the corn and soybean fields of Ohio and riding her bike on endless miles of flat land later became the inspiration for her oil paintings. A Matter of Elevation is derived from Betsy’s travels over the past 6 years and focuses on the journeys to get somewhere, which are often overlooked as part of the experience. Betsy says she “always gets the window seat.”
I have been working on images of the earth from above for the past decade. Making these paintings is a culmination of years of fascination with what man-made and natural forms look like from various points of elevation. My interest in these vantage points comes directly from my interest in flight. I remember my first transcontinental flight as a young adult, and was captivated by the shapes and patterns of manmade elements meeting up with natural formations on the earth-land divided in to one mile squares, center pivot irrigation circles, farmland molded to local geography, rivers, and mountains. This flight demonstrated in a graphic way the enormity and variety of the land masses on which we live.
These paintings have come about in response to my travels from the past 6 years, specifically, the journeys to get somewhere, which are often overlooked as part of the experience. They address the various stages of elevations that trips via air travel afford, beginning with airports and runways, through the climb to cruising altitude, then down again, as well as various times of day and weather. Some of these paintings are of the same locations from different views, with lower elevations giving a sense of expanse, while higher elevations or satellite images seem flat and almost decorative. In others, the orientation is such that north is not up, reflecting a fluidity of movement not bound by the manmade construct of traditional maps.
I grew up in the corn and soybean fields of Ohio and rode my bike for what seemed like endless miles on that flat land, yet had no idea I was riding on a rigidly imposed grid system that spread across the rest of the mid-section of the country. It only hit me after looking at the satellite images of that area much later on, that I had been living in the very subject matter that, 35 years later, would completely consume my work. It brought home the differences of our experiences of being on the earth and above the earth whether it be from ground level, 37,000 feet in commercial aircraft, or 370 miles from satellites.
Betsy Bannan lives in Roanoke, Virginia and teaches painting in the School of Visual Arts at Virginia Tech. She has an MFA from Pratt Institute where she met her husband who is also an artist. She always gets the window seat.
Virtual Flex Exhibit: Derek Mueller's Pandemic Beastiary
Derek, a professor in the Virginia Tech English Department, had no background in drawing to speak of when he began the Pandemic Bestiary series, but the thoughtful gesture for his children turned into a whimsical collection to combat the darkness in challenging times. Sign up to Ask the Artist about his techniques and what inspires him.
Gallery Hours & Information
Open for in-person patrons starting January 19 through May 15 with several changes to promote physical distancing and enhanced cleaning procedures.
Hours of Operation
- Tuesday – Friday: 12 – 8pm
- Saturday: 12 – 5pm
- Sunday: 1 – 5pm
For additional information contact:
Perspective Gallery (0138)
225 Squires Student Center
290 College Avenue
Blacksburg, VA 24061
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Art Reach is Perspective Gallery’s community outreach program which provides visual arts experiences to students and experiential learning opportunities to our gallery assistants and interns.
Pop Up Events support Art Reach by providing supplies and spontaneous creative events around campus and the surrounding community.