Newswise — The Department of Visual Arts at North Dakota State University, Fargo, has announced that Jonathan Pellitteri, Baton Rouge, La., has been named the James Rosenquist Artist in Residence at NDSU for 2008. Pellitteri will work spring semester 2008 in the studio dedicated for the program at NDSU's Downtown Visual Arts Department, interacting with students, holding public lectures and opening his studio to visitors.

"NDSU is delighted to welcome our second Rosenquist Artist in Residence," said President Joseph A. Chapman. "After its successful launch a year ago, I am thrilled that we are able to continue offering this unique opportunity to students, as they learn from an outstanding artist."

Pellitteri's focus as a sculptor is to reach the public with works representing his observations of the world around him. He notes that each time he works in a fresh place, his artwork develops in unexpected and exciting directions. Pulling from his experiences in construction as a mason and carpenter, Pellitteri handles various mediums and processes and introduces news materials and methods into his work. "The ability to pass my research on to students of the university as I create a new body of work is an alluring part of this residency," said Pellitteri. He will exchange his ideas on processes, materials and the creation of a cohesive body of work in his studio at the NDSU Downtown campus, culminating the semester with an exhibit and the donation of a piece of his work to the James Rosenquist Artist Residency Collection.

"The Artist Residency program at NDSU continues to offer students and the community an opportunity to learn unique artistic methods," said Thomas Riley, Dean of the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences at NDSU.

Pellitteri received his master of fine arts degree in studio art at Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge. He holds a bachelor's of fine arts degree in sculpture from the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth. His travels have included study abroad in Cortona, Italy. Pellitteri's work has been exhibited in The Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans, as well as galleries in New Jersey, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Georgia and Connecticut.

The James Rosenquist Artist in Residency Program for Visual Arts at NDSU honors James Rosenquist. Born in Grand Forks, N.D., Rosenquist is considered one of the greatest living artists of the Pop Art movement of North America. His work and career are internationally known. He was awarded an honorary doctorate from North Dakota State University in May 2005.

NDSU introduced the James Rosenquist Artist in Residency Program in 2006 with its inaugural artist, Hedi Schwöbel, of Ludwigsburg, Germany. One of her artistic installations included sculpted salt blocks placed in area pastures with cattle near Casselton and Leonard, N.D. Some area farmers curious about her work engaged in an impromptu conversation about art during a visit by Schwöbel and NDSU faculty in May to the Leonard, N.D., Café. "People in the café were really excited to meet Hedi because her project was of great interest and amazement in the general area," said Kris Groberg, an assistant professor who accompanied the group. The unscheduled art discussion was so well-received that the group was invited back to the Leonard Café for a return trip this fall.

"The Rosenquist Artist in Residency Program allows NDSU to show its dedication to the arts," said Philip Boudjouk, vice president for research, creative activities and technology transfer, which is funding the program. "The initial success of the program illustrates its benefits to students, as well as to area communities."