Madelon Powers Gallery to Present River Fugues/Moving Waters

Posted by: Elizabeth Richardson on January 17, 2019, No Comments

East Stroudsburg University’s Madelon Powers Gallery will feature an innovative, mixed-media installation with a local connection entitled River Fugues/Moving the Waters, to be displayed February 1-March 8.

The exhibit, the latest in a series of installations begun by artist Margaret Cogswell in 2003, continues the exploration of the interdependent, interactive relationship between humans and water by using the musical structure of a fugue to weave together sculpture, video, sound and drawings.

Hours for the gallery, located in the university’s Fine and Performing Arts Center, Normal and Marguerite streets, are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Friday.

There will be a reception for the artist on Thursday, February 7 from 4-6 p.m. in the gallery. Both the exhibit and reception are open to the public at no cost.

Comprised of components from three of Cogswell’s earlier River Fugues projects: Ashokan Fugues (2014-19), Wyoming River Fugues (2012) and Zhujiajiao River Poems (2014), the exhibit includes audio recordings of narratives addressing regional water-related issues collected from residents in the East Stroudsburg area.

Cogswell explained that the recordings “link regional issues of displacement, water quality and access to clean water with those explored in River Fugues elsewhere.”

“While the initial process for gathering materials parallels that of a documentary filmmaker,” Cogswell said, “the work upon completion does not follow a linear descriptive narrative, but instead mentors are found in composers and poets. Often poignant elegies, these works reflect the complex and changing relationship of a society to its industries and rivers, and strive to be a contributing artistic voice in a larger conversation addressing issues related to water.”

RIVER FUGUES projects have been commissioned by museums and art centers for exhibitions nationally and internationally. Cogswell is a recipient of numerous awards including the John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship (2009), Pollock-Krasner Foundation (2017-18; 1987, 1991), New York Foundation for the Arts (2007, 1993); and Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grant (2014).

Cogswell’s professional career has also included teaching studio art at Purchase College School of Art and Design of the State University of New York; Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, Rhode Island; Kansas City Art Institute, Missouri; Parsons School of Design in New York and Kanazawa, Japan; the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Middlebury College, Vermont; The College of Atlantic in Bar Harbor, Maine; and the University of Hawaii-at-Manoa, Honolulu.

Currently residing in New York City, Cogswell was born in Memphis, Tennessee, and raised in Japan where she lived until she was 13 years old. She earned a B.A. in English literature from Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee, and an M.F.A. in sculpture from Mason Gross School of Art at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey.

In conjunction with the exhibit there will be an artist presentation and panel discussion, River Fugues/Catalyst for Change, featuring ESU and community environmentalists on Wednesday, February 27 at 7 p.m. in Cecilia S. Cohen Recital Hall of ESU’s Fine and Performing Arts Center. The presentation also is open to the public at no cost.

Both exhibition and presentation are supported in part by the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a stage agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.

For more information on the exhibit or reception, contact the Fine and Performing Arts Center at or call 570-422-3483.