LEWISTON - Retired Lewis-Clark State College professors Ray Esparsen and Sean Cassidy are the featured artists and will have exhibitions on display at the LC State Center for Arts & History as part of Beautiful Downtown Lewiston’s annual Artwalk.
The exhibitions open October 1 in the upstairs galleries at the Center for Arts & History, located at 415 Main St. in Lewiston. Artwalk hours are 4:00-9:00pm on October 1 and noon-4:00pm on October 2. The exhibitions will be on display through December 10 during normal Center hours, which are noon-4:00pm Monday-Wednesday. The Center will be closed on November 25-26.
The college’s COVID-19 protocols will be followed for the exhibits. Face coverings are required indoors. This and other protocols may be found on the college’s Coronavirus Resource Page.
Both Esparsen, who taught art, and Cassidy, who taught a variety of Humanities Division classes, retired last spring and were awarded emeritus status at the college.
Esparsen’s exhibit is called “Emulation” and includes artwork in mixed media as well as a site-specific installation.
”Quite frankly, I suppose what I believe has and continues to shape what I think and to some extent who I am,” Esparsen said. “… Ultimately, I am a creature of logic, passion, emotion, and cultivated impulse.”
Esparsen’s career at LC State began in 1993 and he was the sole art professor during much of his time, teaching students the basics of art and art appreciation to more advanced watercolor, composition and painting methods. Esparsen earned his Master of Fine Arts in Painting, Drawing and Printmaking from the University of Madison. He came to LC State from Northern Michigan University, where he was assistant professor of art and design.
Esparsen will also give a virtual artist talk on November 3 at 5:00-6:00pm. Visit the CAH exhibit webpage for the talk link, more information, and to register in advance.
Cassidy’s exhibit is black and white photograph portraits of community members and is called “Community.” The photo collection includes people Cassidy has known for all of his life while others are people he runs into in the community.
“After months of isolation due to the COVID virus, I realized how important it is to my mental and spiritual health to interact with other human beings,” Cassidy said. “These are some of the people who remind me that at our heart we are social creatures. We need each other to survive, not just the isolation forced on us by the pandemic, but the loneliness of an increasingly dehumanized society. These portraits are of people who have helped anchor me to the rest of humanity.”
Cassidy started as an assistant professor in Humanities at LC State in 1994 and has won several honors throughout his career. He received a Fulbright Scholarship to teach a semester in Bahrain in the Persian Gulf (2011-12), received the President’s Award for Outstanding Teaching at LC State (1999), the Foundation Award for Excellence in Teaching at LC State (2006), and the LC State International Club’s International Enlightenment Award (2008). Cassidy earned his bachelor's and master's degrees at University of North Texas. He earned a doctorate in Telecommunications & Film at the University of Oregon in 1992.
During the Artwalk, the Center will have take-home art kits available for children while supplies last, but will not offer a children’s art workshop this year because of the pandemic.