January 29, 2021

Department of Art + Design Ushers-in Spring Semester with Two New Faculty Exhibits

West Chester University’s Department of Art + Design presents two new faculty exhibits now open to the public through February 26. IN THE ARMS OF THEDa Costa Icon ANGELS: Sacred Icons by Virginia da Costa is displayed in Knauer Gallery, Swope Music Building and Performing Arts Center, 817 S. High Street. HERE SOMEWHERE: Erica Loustau is in the John H. Baker Gallery in the E.O. Bull Center for the Arts, 2 E. Rosedale Avenue. Both are open for public viewing by appointment only on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Call Laurie Moran in the Department of Art + Design at 610.436.2755 or email at lmoran@wcupa.edu.

Da Costa’s IN THE ARMS OF THE ANGELS is a celebration of her 3 ½ year personal journey of writing (painting) sacred icons based on artistic and theological ideology from Russian Orthodox traditions. Da Costa’s icons are joined with an aesthetic that is uniquely American. This exhibit showcases 40+ unique icons, representing a small number of icon types known. A power point Zoom recording will accompany the exhibition to explain the different icons and their meaning. An opening reception via zoom will take place on Wednesday, February 10 from 11 a.m. to 12 noon. Link to attend is https://wcupa.zoom.us/j/98417719576?pwd=MTBhMmhYU2ZvVDVNMERkNVAvL0pWZz09 (Meeting ID: 984 1771 9576 and Passcode: 164150)

Egg tempera icons consist of egg yolk mixed with white wine and dry pigment. There are 22 steps necessary to complete an icon that includes its blessing once the icon has had its final varnish to seal the egg tempera. It can take a month to six months for the egg tempera to cure and fully dry.

Da Costa says, “One does not have to be an Orthodox Christian to appreciate the sacred meaning of an icon or to write (paint) an icon. An icon is a reminder that serves as a bridge between the earthly plane of existence to the divine realm.”

Here Somewhere: Erica LoustauHERE SOMEWHERE: Erica Loustau is on display through February 26, 2021, with an opening reception via Zoom on Thursday, February 11 from 6 – 7 p.m. Link to attend will follow. (Meeting ID: 999 1478 6830 and Passcode: 317937)

Loustau says, “Like many projects during the time of Covid-19, HERE SOMEWHERE is an experiment within an ongoing creative process and has been adapted for our current lives in the virtual world.”

HERE SOMEWHERE features a sculpture made of paper, string, and scaffolding.  The sculpture hovers over the gallery floor as if in a state of suspended animation. 

Virtual gallery tours of HERE SOMEWHERE are available and will include renderings of the sculpture with movement. Loustau will release short animations of the installation in motion via Instagram @erica_loustau and @wcu_sculpture.


Virginia Da Costa is an Associate Professor of Art History and has taught at the University since 1998. She received her Ph.D. from the University of California and her M.A. from California State University.

Erica Loustau is an Associate Professor of Art, Sculpture, in the Department of Art + Design. She has been an instructor at the University since 2004. She received her M.F.A. from University of Pennsylvania.

Upcoming Exhibits:

3/8 – 3/26 - Carnival of Ruin, Baker Gallery

3/31 – 4/1 - Baker Visiting Artist: Jack Tray, Baker Gallery

4/19 – 5/14 - BFA Senior Show, Knauer Gallery and Baker Gallery



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