An exhibition of ceramic and print work from collections held by Bemidji State University, including a lithograph by famed French printmaker Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, opened Friday, April 6 at the Harlow-Kleven Gallery in Bemidji's Watermark Art Center.

"Being Here" explores the use of the human figure, which has been an integral part of visual arts throughout history, as inspiration when creating works of art.

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"Through the use of the human figure, the artist holds a mirror up to who we are and reflects on the human experience," said Harlow-Kleven Gallery Director Laura Goliaszewski. "Whether the figure is a simple stick figure drawn on cave walls or a collection of human body parts in simple geometric forms, we still have a connection with each representation. We see ourselves in these images, we connect with the experiences portrayed and, hopefully, we are changed."

"Being Here" draws from BSU's ceramic and print teaching collections. The exhibition features 12 prints, including "Chambermaid" by Toulouse-Lautrec, and 16 ceramics works.

"The works here were collected so that students have the opportunity to be inspired by and hopefully experiment with different art techniques," Goliaszewski said. "Also, having access to these works, they learn how artists use their voice to evoke a response from the viewer."

"Being Here" will be open at the Watermark Art Center until Aug. 24.

The Watermark Art Center has operated in Bemidji since 1982 as a member-supported, non-profit organization. The Watermark Art Gallery is located at 505 Bemidji Ave N.

Bemidji State University's Harlow-Kleven Gallery at the Watermark Art Center is named for long-time art patrons and BSU alumnae Margaret A. Harlow and Lille M. Kleven. Harlow, a 1936 graduate, established the Harlow Ceramics Collection in 1973, and Kleven established a print collection at BSU in 1979. Both are used as teaching collections for current BSU students. The Harlow Collection includes more than 400 pieces from all eras, including Turkish work that dates to the first century A.D. The Kleven Collection includes more than 800 pieces and includes work by renowned printmakers such as Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec.