Lore Degenstein Gallery Features Exhibition Examining the Death Penalty
Published on January 21, 2014
An unusual exhibition titled “The Last Supper” is appearing in Susquehanna University’s Lore Degenstein Gallery through March 1, and is being presented for the first time in Pennsylvania.
“The Last Supper” by artist Julie Green features 550 ceramic plates depicting the last meal requests of death row inmates. Green created the series in the early 2000s, and she intends to paint 50 plates annually until the death penalty is abolished. Together, the plates offer a sobering insight into the death penalty issue.
A professor of art at Oregon State University, Green sees the plates as a way to humanize the individual inmates and as a commemoration for people unlikely to receive such recognition. She uses cobalt blue mineral paint on found and vintage tableware. The blue is a reference to Chinese porcelain and Delftware, and more metaphorically, “the blues” and “blue-plate specials.”
Dan Olivetti, director of the Lore Degenstein Gallery, became interested in Green’s work after it was featured in The New York Times last January. The exhibition has been in high demand since the article appeared.
Located in the Degenstein Campus Center, the Lore Degenstein Gallery brings exhibitions by both professional and student artists to members of Susquehanna University and its surrounding communities through continued support from the Charles B. Degenstein endowment. The gallery, which is wheelchair-accessible, is open from noon to 4 p.m. daily. It is closed during university recesses, but requests for individual appointments can be arranged when classes are not in session.