Artist Mitch Messina explores how tools have gone from expanding human existence to limiting it in a new exhibit that opens at Finger Lakes Community College on Nov. 15.
“Listen: Work of Mitchell Messina” is in the Williams-Insalaco Gallery 34 on the first floor of the main campus at Marvin Sands Drive.
Messina, professor of art at Nazareth College, will exhibit molded clay sculptures that show how the progression from early tools to modern technology has affected human interaction. While early tools helped people make sense of the world, modern tools such as the cell phone do the opposite.
“The catalyst behind my sculpture is the belief that the relationship between man and object no longer extends our capabilities, but instead has begun to limit society,” he says. “Tools born from advanced technology are creating an emotionally alienated society, devoid of direct human contact.”
Barron Naegel, assistant professor and director of the gallery, adds, “The show will prod and examine the often neglected aspect of how technology affects our sense of humanity.”
Messina has a master’s degree in fine arts from the Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia. His artwork has been exhibited in group and one-person shows, including solo exhibitions at the Clay Studio and the Snyderman galleries in Philadelphia and in art galleries at the University of Rochester, Roberts Wesleyan College and Monroe Community College.
His work can be seen in a permanent installation of three sculptures at the Village Gate Complex in downtown Rochester, and it has been featured in reviews in Sculpture Magazine, Ceramics monthly and American Craft magazine. In 1991, he received the Evelyn Shapiro grant for ceramic excellence and in 1995 was awarded the excellence in teaching award from Nazareth College.
“Listen: Work of Mitchell Messina” is open through Jan. 18.
Gallery hours are Monday through Thursday, 8:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. For information, contact gallery director Barron Naegel at firstname.lastname@example.org or (585) 785-1369.