Northcutt Steele Gallery

The Work of Sarah Knobel in the Faculty Exhibition

September 5 through October 10, 2013
Artist Reception: Thursday, September 5, 5:00pm–7:00pm (Free and Open to the Public)


MSU Billings Department of Art’s Faculty Exhibition opens on Thursday, September 5 and will be on view through October 10 at the Northcutt Steele Gallery. This group exhibition displays the diverse talents of faculty working across a broad range of media and will feature the digital video installations and photography series, “Icescapes,” by recently hired faculty, Assistant Professor Sarah Knobel.


Knobel’s “Icescapes” series responds critically to the history of western landscape photography and comments upon the striking confrontations of the natural topography with evidence of industrial production and consumption that the artist viewed upon her recent move to the area. Knobel begins with cheaply made, largely petroleum-based products, such as toys, party items, souvenirs, and decorative household goods that she purchases at discount stores. She assembles these objects and freezes them in molds and then photographs their inevitable deformations as they melt. Alternately, she suspends her configurations in water and films their subtle disintegrations over time. The resulting still and moving images are comprised of complex layers of textures and colors in which the chosen synthetic materials begin to visually mimic geological formations and processes. The documented decay of these forms acquires a mysterious, otherworldly beauty—a twenty-first century sublime.
Sarah Knobel joined the faculty in 2012 after completing a fellowship at Hamiltonian Gallery in Washington D.C. where she pursued a studio practice in photography, video, animation, and installation. She received her MFA from the University of Cincinnati’s Design, Architecture, Art and Planning Program in 2004 and has an active exhibition record of national and international solo, group, juried, and invitational exhibitions. For more information about the artist visit her website.


An artist reception will be held on Thursday September 5 beginning at 5pm. The reception and exhibition are free and open to the public.

The Northcutt Steele Gallery is located on the first floor of the Liberal Arts on the Montana State University-Billings campus. The gallery is open Monday – Friday from 8:00am – 4:30 pm. For more information find us on Facebook.


Contact: Leanne Gilbertson, Northcutt Steele Gallery Director, Montana State University Billings
(406) 657-2903


Sarah Knobel, Icescape 1, digital photograph, 20 x 30”, 2013.




Sarah Knobel, untitled, digital video still, 2013.



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