Penn State Laureate to visit York campus Oct. 19

Rebecca Strzelec to share her work on art, enginering, creative problem-solving

YORK, Pa. — “Art + Engineering = Creative Problem-solving” will the topic when Rebecca Strzelec, professor of visual arts at Penn State Altoona and the 2016-17 Penn State Laureate, visits Penn State York on Wednesday, Oct. 19. Strzelec will speak at noon in the rehearsal room of the Pullo Family Performing Arts Center. The program is free and open to the public.

The Penn State Laureate is a full-time faculty member who is assigned half-time to serve as the University Laureate for one academic year. During this year, the individual selected will be available to appear regularly at University events at University Park, on the Commonwealth campuses, and throughout the state. The laureate will bring an enhanced level of social, cultural, artistic and human perspective and awareness to a broad array of audiences.

Strzelec has been using 3D printing technologies in her work since 1999. These processes have matured quickly, resulting in greater accessibility and attention, bringing about significant and meaningful advances in many fields, including health care, safety, architecture, and art and design. Implications resulting from these advances have led to questions of ownership, ethics, and responsibility. Her talk will look at 3D printing's trajectory, as well as introduce the work she completed on a four-year, $2 million National Science Foundation grant focused on origami and smart materials, of which she is the co-principal investigator.

A faculty member at Penn State since 2002, Strzelec is head of the degree program in visual art studies at Penn State Altoona. Her work focuses on investigating the ways wearable objects interact with the surfaces of the body, and includes the creation of these wearable objects through computer aided design (CAD) and rapid prototyping, or 3D printing.

Strzelec received both her bachelor and master of fine arts degrees in metals, jewelry and CAD/CAM (computer-aided manufacturing) from the Tyler School of Art at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Her work has appeared in more than 65 exhibitions, including: “Paper/Plastic: Contemporary Adornment” at the Racine Art Museum in Racine, Wisconsin; “Out of Hand: Materializing the Post Digital” at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York City; and “SCHMUCK 2008” in Munich, Germany. Her work can also be found in the permanent collections at such institutions as the Museum of Arts and Design, Racine Art Museum, and the Fuller Craft Museum in Brockton, Massachusetts, as well as in private collections, such as that held by former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.

In addition, her work can be seen in several recent works from Lark Books, including "Showcase 500 Art Necklaces," “21st Century Jewelry: The First Decade,” and “Lark Studio Series: Pendants,” as well as in such publications as Metalsmith magazine, the New Yorker and American Craft magazine.

She was a 2013 recipient of the Outstanding Achievement in Research and Creative Activity Award at Penn State Altoona and in 2009 she was named a Penn State Alumni Associate Teaching Fellow. She served as chair of SIGGRAPH 2012 in Los Angeles, an annual conference showcasing the latest in computer graphics and interactive techniques.