Award-winning contemporary artists Rhonda Weppler + Trevor Mahovsky construct sculptural installations in the String Room Gallery.

Aurora, New York - The Wells College Visual Arts Department is pleased to announce the premiere exhibition of the 2009-10 academic year. "Sun in an Empty Room + Music Of Chance" by Vancouver-based artists Rhonda Weppler and Trevor Mahovsky; the installations will be on display in the String Room Gallery (SRG) from September 2 through October 14. The exhibit is free and the public is cordially invited to view the show. An opening reception to be held on Wednesday, September 2 from 6:00-8:00 pm offers an opportunity to meet the artists; light refreshments will be served.

On the heels of the premiere installation at the Darling Foundation in Montréal, the SRG will host the team’s second version of “Sun in an Empty Room.” a site-specific installation chiefly made up of paper mâché that imitates a stone- and bottle-strewn landscape. The SRG’s Director, William Ganis, notes, “They seem to play on the linguistic paradox, ‘cultural wasteland,’ through their use of cast-off newspaper and dollar-store items that are destabilizing, yet ordered and gorgeous. Situated by the gallery’s lake-view window, I look forward to seeing how the artists will incorporate and transform the ever-changing natural light that streams into the gallery.”
In “Music of Chance,” the artists use aluminum foil to create a continuous chain of hand-embossed objects. Ganis remarks, “It’s striking how we can take these ciphers for the real things, even when we know very well that they are shiny, hollow shells—they are the latest entry in a long history of objects that ask us to think about how we make meaning from likenesses, symbols and abstractions.” This will be the third version of “Music of Chance” following iterations at Pari Nadimi Gallery, Toronto and the Biennale Nationale de Sculpture Contemporaine in Trois-Rivières, Quebec.

Rhonda Weppler and Trevor Mahovsky are Vancouver-based artists who have worked collaboratively since 2004.  Born in Winnipeg and Calgary, respectively, both artists have MFA degrees from the University of British Columbia, where they met in 1996. The duo’s installations, sculptures and photographs have been exhibited internationally. 2009 exhibits have included “Auto. Sueno y Materia” at LABoral (Gijon, Spain) and “Dos de Mayo” (Madrid), “Blue Like an Orange” (Ottawa Art Gallery), “How Soon is Now” (Vancouver Art Gallery) and a solo exhibit at Fonderie Darling (Montréal).  Other exhibits include: National Gallery of Canada (Ottawa), Tokyo Wonder Site (Tokyo), Organism (Portland), loop-raum (Berlin), Pari Nadimi Gallery (Toronto), Mount Saint Vincent University (Halifax) and the Contemporary Art Gallery (Vancouver).  Weppler’s work has also been exhibited at the Palazzo delle Papesse (Siena), and COCA (Seattle).  Mahovsky’s work has been shown at the Queens Museum of Art (New York), and he has written for journals including Artforum and Canadian Art .  In 2000, Mahovsky was a resident at apexart in New York, while in 2007 Weppler completed an ISCP residency in New York. Their work is represented in public collections including the Musee d’art Contemporain de Montreal and the National Gallery of Canada. They are semi-finalists for this year’s prestigious Sobey Award, the premier award for young artists in Canada.

This exhibition was made possible by a generous grant from the Canada Council for the Arts, an organization that supports, promotes and celebrates the work of Canadian artists and arts organizations.

The String Room Gallery is a center for the exhibition of contemporary art in the Finger Lakes of New York. It is located on the Wells College campus in the southwest corner on the first floor of the Main Building. Hours are Tuesday through Friday from 12 – 5 pm; and Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 4 pm. For more information about the show at Wells, please see the gallery’s website at or contact Professor Ganis at 315.364.3465.

Wells College — the Education of an Extraordinary Life

August 18, 2009 NEWS CONTACT: Tina Post, Director of Publications & Media Relations, 315.364.3209.


Sun in an Empty Room
+ Music of Chance

September 2 - October 14, 2009