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Mills Gallery Showcases Class of 1992 Alumni Artists

Featured: Mills Gallery Showcases Class of 1992 Alumni Artists

October 3, 2022

The Mills Gallery at Central College welcomes the public for a special alumni exhibition, Sept. 28 to Oct. 26, just in time for Homecoming 2022. Four alumni from the class of 1992 will have pieces on display. This show aligns with the 30-year reunion for these artists.

A reception for the artists will be held in the Mills Gallery from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Oct. 8. The Mills Gallery is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

“Curating this exhibition and working with the other artists was such a joy,” says Brian Roberts, professor of art, a 1992 Central graduate and one of the exhibition artists. “Each of the artists participated in an exhibition 25 years ago in 1997. I’m excited to bring them back for the 30-year reunion at Central.”

These four artists were featured in the Spring 1997 Central Bulletin and have strong family ties to Central.

Dorina Miller Parmenter, Central’s Class of 1992, will exhibit four books that contain five chapters she wrote.

Roberts says, “Dori is a religious studies professor at Spaulding University in Louisville, Kentucky, and not a producing artist, but I wanted to include her and show her scholarship in religion. Her successes are framed by her liberal arts background.”

Parmenter built upon her knowledge of bookbinding — which began at Central and continued with an M.A. in studio art from Ball State University — to study the materiality of the Christian Bible at Syracuse University. Her doctoral thesis and foundation for subsequent scholarship was “The Iconic Book: The Image of the Christian Bible in Myth and Ritual.” She has published thirteen chapters, articles and encyclopedia articles on the Bible, icons and rituals and is the co-editor of “Miniature Books: The Format and Function of Tiny Religious Texts.”

“They are colorful and attractive books and I hope that people can see the work that I did for my art degrees has affected my scholarship in religion,” Parmenter says.

Her strong ties to Central, aside from being an alumnus, is that she is the daughter of John Miller, professor emeritus of English, and Susan Miller.

Roberts will exhibit handblown glass vessels, ceramic sculptures and a mixed media sculpture.

He has been teaching at Central for 20 years. His courses include glassblowing, metalsmithing, ceramics and 3D design. Roberts’ artwork spans the gamut from jewelry to large-scale sculptures.  Much of his art focuses on his agrarian background growing up on a farm in southwestern Iowa. His art examines the cyclical nature of agriculture through growth and change and how it closely parallels the cycles of life. His works are available through the Olson-Larson Galleries, Des Moines, Iowa. https://olsonlarsen.com/artist/brian-roberts

Lee Wassink, Class of 1992, also will exhibit handblown glass vessels and sculptures.

Wassink tells the story of his love of glass blowing from his start with the media. “I originally took a glass blowing class during my sophomore year at Central. I didn’t think anything of it. Of course, after that, the romance of glass occupied my mind. I studied for two more years with John Vruwink while finishing my college education and was able to get fully hooked.” Wassink’s studio, The Glass Forge Gallery & Studio, is in Grants Pass, Oregon. https://glassforge.com/

He is the son of the late Dallas and Virginia Weeks Wassink, both in Central’s Class of 1961, and father of Emily Wassink, Class of 2025.

Nicola Vruwink, Class of 1992, will exhibit crocheted cassette tape sculptures. She desires to produce visual delight steeped in nostalgia for the innocence of adolescence. http://www.nicolavruwink.com/

Vruwink received her M.F.A. from the University of Washington in Seattle and studied in the M.F.A. program at the University of Iowa. She lives in Los Angeles and maintains a studio in Landers, California, near Joshua Tree National Park in the Mojave Desert. She is an artist, educator and designer committed to mentoring future creatives while maintaining her own studio practice. She works full-time as a faculty member in the graphic design program at Santa Monica College and is an assistant faculty member at ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena, California.

Vruwink is the daughter of Carol Dulmes Vruwink, professor emeritus of accounting and a 1960 Central graduate, and John Vruwink, professor emeritus of art and a 1958 graduate of the college.