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Art Conservation Professor Discusses Sculpture through Travel Lens

Posted: February 21, 2017

Jonathan Thornton, professor of art conservation who specializes in object conservation, will discuss “My Own Tribal Art Inspired by Ireland and Celtic Nations” on Thursday, February 23, at 12:15 p.m. in Science and Mathematics Complex 170.

His talk, which taps into his Celtic heritage, marks the first in the “Artists on the Road: Travel as Source of Inspiration” series for spring 2017. Co-sponsored by the Design Department and the International and Exchange Programs Office, the series is free and open to the public.

Thornton will show and discuss his wood, stone, glass, steel, and leather sculptures, which were inspired by the nature-based belief systems of pre-Christian Celts.

His love affair with international travel began when he was 12 years old. It was then his parents, both educators, took the family from Iowa to live in Delhi, India, and later, Uganda, East Africa. Thornton later attended an international high school in Switzerland and returned to the United States for college. Afterward, he served in the Peace Corps in Iran, lived in London, and then traveled to Italy when he was a fellow at the American Academy in Rome.

Following an earlier career as an artist/silversmith, Thornton studied art conservation when the department was still located in Cooperstown, New York, and received his master’s degree and certificate of advanced studies from SUNY Oneonta. He completed internships in the metalwork, stained glass and woodwork/gilding departments of the Victoria and Albert Museum and the archaeological conservation laboratories of the Museum of London. Thornton has taught objects conservation at Buffalo State since 1980. 

Alice Pennisi, professor and chair of art education, will continue the series on March 9 with “Doing the Same Thing Differently,” a lecture about her teaching and art-making in Thailand and Ireland.

The third and final presenter for the spring semester will be Yola Monakhov Stockton, assistant professor of fine arts, on April 20. She will present “The Atlas of Aloha Aina: Mapping the Love of the Land” about Hawaiian identity, tourism, and photography.

All talks will take place at 12:15 p.m. in Science and Mathematics Complex 170.

For more information on the Artist on the Road series, contact Carol Townsend, associate professor of design and coordinator of design foundations, (716) 878-4986.

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Patricia H. and Richard E. Garman Art Conservation Department

1300 Elmwood Ave  •  Rockwell Hall 230 •  Buffalo, NY 14222
Phone: (716) 878-5025 •  Fax: (716) 878-5039