Now Hiring: Museum Guides

The Samek is currently seeking applications for student Museum Guides. Duties include opening and closing museum spaces, monitoring the galleries during public and private events, and acting as a point of contact for our visitors.

The Samek Art Museum is a program of Bucknell University that creates meaningful encounters between artists, students, scholars, the public, and works of art. These encounters occur in the Samek Gallery, the Downtown Gallery, the Collection Study Room, and across campus in pop-up exhibitions and permanent art installations. Presenting visual fine art in critical contexts consistent with Bucknell’s high academic standards, the Museum challenges students and extends the intellectual life of campus in an informal lifelong learning environment.

Must be available Sundays

Application Deadline: October 2. Submit cover letter, resume and daily availability to Andy Gabrysiak /

Inherent Control Cyphers – Opens August 8

Main Gallery
August 8 – December 3, 2017

Drawing on the visual languages of Middle-Eastern and European cultures, artist Laleh Mehran creates a room-sized immersive and interactive multimedia installation. This installation invites viewers to consider the process in which we form our identities, ideologies, and allegiances and the rituals we perform to sustain them.

The images and materials of this work, the space of the installation, and its interactive behavior all offer different ways to model the formation of power structures. The arabesques, the tulip motif, and the heraldic crests comprise images that have been used to define historic ancestral identities from across the Middle East and Europe. The position of the viewer in the space, outside the small cube but inside the larger cube of the gallery, prompts us to consider the inside/outside binary that defines so many ideologies and identities. The projected avatars respond to the viewers’ presence and movement in the gallery, signaling our relationship to the Other. Lastly, the viewer is invited to partake of an elemental resource of the exhibition in a social affirmation ritual (please see the Museum Guide.)

This work invokes the history of art as well as global culture, from the participatory interactions of Felix Gonzalez-Torres’ works to Shirin Neshat’s use of the confrontational gaze. This work reveals the shared language of material, objects, ritual, and images to art and to cultural identity. Bringing together these relevant social themes and artistic references, this works seems to ask whether identity, ideology, and allegiance are ultimately aesthetic choices.

Related Events:

Opening Reception:
Wednesday, September 6, 6-8pm
Samek Gallery, top floor, Elaine Langone Center

Join us in celebrating the opening of Inherent Control Cyphers and the beginning of the new semester.

Artist’s Talk:
Friday, October 20, 6-8pm
Gallery Theater, top floor, Elaine Langone Center

The Samek Art Museum will welcome artist Laleh Mehran to our main gallery where she will unpack the depth of history and research behind her immersive, multimedia installation Inherent Control Cyphers. A reception in our main gallery will follow.

This talk is in partnership with the University Lectureship Committee

Laleh Mehran, Inherent Control Cyphers.

State of the Axe

Weis Center Lobby
July 24, 2017 – June 22, 2018

In this exhibition, drawn from the collection of the Samek Art Museum, photographer Ralph Gibson offers thirty intimate black-and-white portraits of guitar masters playing their instruments. Focusing his lens on musicians who have lent their unmistakable voices to virtually every musical genre—jazz, funk, rock, acoustic, blues, fusion, classical, and experimental—Gibson reveals in each photograph the intense relationship of the player with his beloved “axe.”

State of the Axe features guitarists across several generations, from early jazz greats to hip modern rockers, as they play their widely varied guitars, including traditional six-strings, double necks, ten-strings, and fretless models. Gibson’s images capture the enduring appeal of the instrument and the intense, often rapturous expressions of those who pick, strum, amp, bottleneck, and bow the axe.

Ralph Gibson, Jeff Parker, 2007. Gelatin Silver Print on Paper. Gift of Claudia and John McIntyre.

Gallery Locations

The Samek Gallery
3rd Floor, Elaine Langone Center
Bucknell University

The Downtown Gallery
416 Market Street
Lewisburg, PA 17837