Central College News

Central’s Mills Gallery to Feature Paul Andrew Wandless, the Allison B. Allen Visiting Artist

Featured: Central’s Mills Gallery to Feature Paul Andrew Wandless, the Allison B. Allen Visiting Artist

January 8, 2024

Central College will welcome the works of Paul Andrew Wandless to the Mills Gallery in the Lubbers Center for Visual Arts. His works of prints on clay and paper will be on display from Monday, Jan. 15, to Friday, March 1.

Wandless has been designated the Allison B. Allen Visiting Artist during Spring 2024. He will conduct a workshop on applying printmaking processes to clay in the ceramics and printmaking classes while in residence at Central, February 7-9. The artist’s reception will be 5 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 8, in the Mills Gallery.

The Allison B. Allen Visiting Artist series emphasizes expanding the diversity of artistic experiences and cultural outlooks for Central art students and the community. Designated artists and their exhibited works are funded entirely by the Allison B. Allen Visiting Artist Fund.

“We welcome Paul Andrew Wandless because of his three-dimensional forms to physically engage with the viewer,” says Brian Roberts, professor of art and 1992 Central graduate. “Paul takes subject matter that is two-dimensional and transforms it to a three-dimensional format that creates a different power. His sculptures come from his musings and put a face to an emotion or idea.”

His sculptures and prints feature ceramic processes, printmaking methods and a variety of sculptural techniques and mediums. Clay, printmaking, stone carving, mold making, leather working, metalsmithing, wood carving and painting are all media used in combination or individually for the creation of his works. His clay work, prints and sculptures have been widely exhibited since 1995, including a solo exhibition at the Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art. His artworks are published in 18 books and collected privately and publicly.

Wandless self-identifies as a storyteller and his art is the vehicle through which his voice can be seen.

“As a Black artist, craftsman and writer, I strive to engage and inform the viewer both visually and intellectually from my point of view that’s filtered through my personal experiences,” Wandless says. “I want to leave something to think about through the dialogue or storytelling occurring between the viewer and me, through my work. Then hopefully, due to this shared experience, the person will feel a commonality or recognition of the narrative I’m communicating through my art.”

Wandless earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts in ceramics and sculpture from the University of Delaware, a Master of Arts in ceramics from Minnesota State University Mankato and then earned his Master of Fine Arts in ceramics and printmaking from Arizona State University. He worked with art historians while earning his MA and MFA to study different styles of writing in the arts.

Wandless returned to the greater Philadelphia area after finishing graduate school, where he taught and had his studio for 10 years. He currently lives and has his studio in Chicago, Illinois.

The Mills Gallery is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.