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Sept. 26, 2012
The artwork of a Northwest Missouri State University faculty member now has a permanent place in the halls of an Oregon university administration building, and it’s just one of the highlights in what is shaping up to be a busy year for the artist, Armin Mühsam.
A suite of 12 original oil paintings comprised of 19 individual canvases by Mühsam, associate professor of painting and drawing, was installed last month in Eastern Oregon University’s Inlow Hall. The public art project was made possible through Oregon’s Percent for Art in Public Places program, which granted the commission to Mühsam after a competitive call for submissions.
Mühsam personally delivered the suite of paintings to the campus in La Grande, Ore. The paintings form a coherent body of work that provides enough variety for audiences to return for repeated viewings, Mühsam said.
“In the aggregate, as well as each taken individually, these pieces express the content of what I want to communicate in my art: The complex and ambivalent relationship that our technological society has with the land and its non-human inhabitants,” Mühsam said. “All of them represent the best of my creative production over the last 10 years.”
Mühsam’s work also appears this month in two solo shows opening concurrently at Albright Art Gallery in Concord, Mass., and at Ambacher Contemporary in Munich, Germany. Additionally, the Munich gallery will publish Mühsam’s first hardcover catalog, a 64-page book featuring his work during the past four years, accompanied by two scholarly essays about his work.
The year 2012 is shaping up to be the busiest of Mühsam’s career as his artwork has appeared in eight peer-reviewed, national juried group shows in addition to multiple solo exhibits.
In October, Mühsam’s work will be exhibited at New Harmony Gallery of Contemporary Art, in New Harmony, Ind. Recently, he also accepted an invitation to show his work at a solo show opening Nov. 8 in Hamburg, Germany. Additionally, Mühsam will begin 2013 with a solo show at the Charleston Heights Art Center in Las Vegas, and his work will be shown in a solo show at the Yeiser Art Center, in Paducah, Ky., beginning in May 2013.
Last February, Mühsam’s artwork also was displayed in a solo show at Truman State University and then in a two-person show in Dinkelsbühl, Germany.
During more than a decade of painting and service to Northwest, Mühsam has used his work to inform his students. In the classroom, Mühsam’s focus is educating students, using his personal experiences to teach them about becoming an artist and that their passions can be more than a hobby.
“The artist is a cultural agent; he adds to a society’s intellectual and spiritual wealth,” Mühsam said. “The teacher of art, if he or she does her job well, passes on knowledge and life experience to the future contributing members of society – the students. I believe my own students can benefit from my success as an artist because they see it as one example of the kind of life that I am trying to prepare them for. Through my research and my exhibitions I model a certain kind of behavior that hopefully makes me more credible as an artist and as a teacher.”
Mühsam joined the Northwest faculty in 2000 as director of the painting program. He is responsible for teaching all levels of painting and oversees the drawing program. He holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Applied Sciences in Munich, Germany, and a Master of Fine Arts in painting from Montana State University in Bozeman. He taught painting and drawing at Munich Community College and at various private art schools, and was the editor for the visual arts section of "Applaus," a monthly magazine covering Munich's cultural scene.
Since arriving at Northwest, Mühsam has had more than 30 solo shows in the U.S. and abroad, has been featured in more than 25 invitational exhibitions and has had his work included in more than 110 national juried shows. Mühsam has been a visiting artist or panelist at more than 25 schools or conferences. He is a member of College Art Association and Mid-America College Art Association. He is represented by Albright Art in Concord, Mass., and Ambacher Contemporary in Munich, Germany.
A series of Mühsam’s paintings also are permanently displayed at Northwest’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, in the atrium and the lobby area of the building's west business wing.
Mark Hornickel, Media Relations Specialist
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