Laub-Novak, Karen. Dead, The Fourth Horseman (Apocalypse Series). 1963/64. Lithograph.

February 20, 2017 to March 17, 2017

Seattle Pacific University presents a solo exhibition of the late Washington, D. C. artist Karen Laub – Novak (1937 – 2009). The exhibition will be on view in the SPAC Gallery from Feb. 20 – March 17, 2017. A selection of prints and paintings by Laub-Novak will be on display. These artworks encompass her career from the reforming era of post-war America, through Vatican II, and into the postmodern era of the 1990s. The Seattle Pacific University presentation of Karen Laub-Novak: A Catholic Expressionist in the Age of Vatican II is the first scholarly survey of this artist and art educator.

Karen Laub-Novak: A Catholic Expressionist in the Age of Vatican II features early graphic art experiments in modernist Catholic iconography done while the artist was a student at Carleton College, in Minnesota, in the 1950s. Following her graduation from the MFA program at the University of Iowa where she studied under the printmaker Mauricio Lasansky (1914 – 2012), she married the Catholic philosopher Michael Novak and accompanied him to attend and observe the reform processes of Vatican II in Rome. While there she worked with a printmaking atelier to produce her first graphic series, six copper plate etchings based upon T. S Eliot’s (1888 – 1965) Christian conversion poem, Ash Wednesday. She published them in 1964. Subsequent printmaking ventures were based upon the Apocalypse of Saint John, the Duino Elegies by Austrian poet Rainer Maria Rilke (1875 – 1926), and Yale theologian B. D. Napier’s (1915 – 2007) irreverent Genesis commentary, Come, Sweet Death. 

In addition to these works, the exhibition includes existential figurative imagery, paintings based upon Genesis (Jacob and the Angel) and Exodus (Moses), and sketchbooks that reveal her artistic thinking and singular stylistic portrayal of the human form – rendered as elongated figures seemingly flayed to their tendons. According to exhibition curator and art historian Gordon Fuglie “Laub – Novak was one of the vanguard of Catholic artists from the Vatican II era who believed that modernist artistic expressions were not only compatible with the faith, but were also capable of opening up new insights onto Church traditions while engaging with the cultural issues of the day.”

Support for the presentation of Karen Laub-Novak: A Catholic Expressionist in the Age of Vatican II was generously provided by the Lilly SERVE program and the Center for Scholarship and Faculty Development and Seattle Pacific University.



FALL QUARTER (September 26 to December 2)

In Process: Pete Benarcik
Installation: Sept.25-Oct.1
Dates of Exhibition: Oct.3-Dec 2
Opening Artist Talk and Reception: Tuesday, October 18th at 5:30pm


CHRISTMAS BREAK: December 12 – January 4 (Gallery Closed)


WINTER QUARTER (January 4 to March 13)

Artisti: Kjellgren Alkire
Dates of Exhibition: Jan. 9 - Feb. 10, 2017
Opening Reception: TBA

Artisit: Karen Laub-Novak 
Curated by Gordon Fulie

Exhibition: Feb. 20 to March 17, 2017


SPRING BREAK: March 17 – 27 (Gallery Closed)


SPRING QUARTER (March 27 to June 9)

SPU Art Center 2017 Senior Shows

Exhibition: April 10 to April 28, 2017
Opening Reception: TBA

Exhibition: May 2 to May 19, 2017
Opening Reception: TBA

AIGA Reality Check
Saturday May 6, 2017

Visual Communication Design
Exhibition: May 24 to June 9, 2017
Opening Reception: Thursday, June 1 5:00 pm-7:00 pm


Gallery Hours: Monday - Friday 9am-5pm




HERITAGE: Anelecia Hannah Brooks (SPU ’05)
An exhibition to celebrate SPU’s 125th Anniversary
Opening Reception: October 7, 7-9pm

Exhibition on display through December 8
at Nickerson Studios, 240 W Nickerson St, Seattle, 98119

In this solo exhibit titled "Heritage," Anelecia combines the bittersweet imagery of young adulthood with imagery drawn from millennia of Christian history, suggesting that personal history and community history share similar dynamics of discovery. She is completing her Master of Fine Arts in Painting at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia.