Penn State laureate to speak at Penn State Hazleton on Oct. 13

HAZLETON, Pa. — Rebecca Strzelec, Penn State laureate for the 2016-17 academic year and professor of visual arts at Penn State Altoona, will visit Penn State Hazleton on Thursday, Oct. 13.

An annual faculty honor established in 2008, the Penn State laureate is a full-time faculty member in the arts or humanities who is assigned half time for one academic year to bring greater visibility to the arts, the humanities, and the University, as well as his or her own work. The laureate represents the University, appearing at events and speaking engagements throughout the Commonwealth.

Strzelec has been a Penn State faculty member since 2002 and is head of the degree program in visual art studies at Penn State Altoona. Her work focuses on investigating the ways wearable objects interact with the surfaces of the body and includes the creation of these wearable objects through computer aided design (CAD) and rapid prototyping or 3D printing.

She will give a presentation on the topic of “Art + Engineering = Creative Problem Solving” from 12:10 to 1:10 p.m. in Room 115 of the Evelyn Graham Academic Building. The presentation is open to the public. Several of her 3-D design jewelry pieces will be displayed in the room and in the lobby of the Graham building.

During her time at the campus, Strzelec will also meet with students in both engineering design and introduction to drawing classes.

“As an artist originally trained as a traditional bench jeweler who has converted to an entirely digital studio practice, I regularly contribute to conversations about contemporary artistic materials and methods,” said Strzelec. “I have been using 3D printing technologies in my work since 1999. It is exciting to see how these processes have matured to their current accessibility and attention. These developments have brought significant and meaningful advances in many fields, including health care, safety, architecture, and art and design, while also raising questions of ownership, ethics, originality, and responsibility.”

Strzelec received both her bachelor and master of fine arts degrees in metals, jewelry, and CAD/CAM (computer aided manufacturing) from the Tyler School of Art at Temple University.

Her work has appeared in more than 65 exhibitions, including “Paper/Plastic: Contemporary Adornment” at the Racine Art Museum in Racine, Wisconsin; “Out of Hand: Materializing the Post Digital” at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York City; and “SCHMUCK 2008” in Munich, Germany. Her work can also be found in the permanent collections at such institutions as the Museum of Arts and Design, Racine Art Museum, and the Fuller Craft Museum in Brockton, Massachusetts, as well as in private collections, including the one held by former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.

In addition, her work appears in several publications from Lark Books, including "Showcase 500 Art Necklaces," “21st Century Jewelry: The First Decade” and “Lark Studio Series: Pendants,” as well as in such publications as Metalsmith magazine, The New Yorker and American Craft magazine.

Strzelec is a co-principal investigator on a four-year, $2 million National Science Foundation grant focusing on multi-field responsive origami structures, and she was a 2013 recipient of the Outstanding Achievement in Research and Creative Activity Award from Penn State Altoona. In 2009 Strzelec was named a Penn State Alumni Associate Teaching Fellow. She also served as chair of SIGGRAPH 2012 in Los Angeles, an annual conference showcasing the latest in computer graphics and interactive techniques.

To learn more about the Penn State laureate program, visit