Penn State Laureate to visit and exhibit paintings at Lehigh Valley campus

A headshot of PSU Greater Allegheny faculty member, Lori Hepner

“Something About the Sky,” an exhibit featuring cloud drawings and skyscape light paintings by Lori Hepner, Penn State Laureate, will be on display at the Ronald K. DeLong Gallery at Penn State Lehigh Valley from Feb. 5 to April 27, 2024. Hepner will also be on campus for other events in the month of February.  


Credit: Lori Hepner

CENTER VALLEY, Pa. — The sky’s ever-changing landscape is the focus of “Something About the Sky,” a series of cloud drawing and skyscape light paintings featuring movement drawings created by Lori Hepner, 2023-24 Penn State Laureate. Hepner’s work will be displayed in the Ronald K. DeLong Gallery at Penn State Lehigh Valley (PSU-LV) from Feb. 5 to April 27. She will also be visiting the PSU-LV campus for two days in February. The exhibit will kick off with a reception on Tuesday, Feb. 6, from 5 to 7 p.m. in the gallery. 

Hepner is a professor of integrative arts at Penn State Greater Allegheny. Penn State Laureate is an annual faculty honor established to give greater visibility to the arts, humanities, honoree’s work, and the University. As part of this honorary role, the Penn State Laureate travels to various Commonwealth Campuses to deliver lectures, present art exhibits, or share their work with students, faculty and the wider community throughout the year. In addition to her exhibit, Hepner will work with students in PSU-LV’s Art of Math course and hold a Gallery Talk as well as several Drop-in Workshops on Wednesday, Feb. 7. 

Ann Lalik, arts coordinator and director of the Ronald K. DeLong Gallery at PSU-LV was thrilled to learn this year’s Laureate is a visual artist.

“I thought it was a great opportunity for the art gallery,” Lalik said. “Hosting the exhibit for the entire semester, along with her 2-day residency, creates a unique experience for all our students, but especially the Art of Math course, where students will be able to try what Lori calls robot light painting.”

For this process, students will use simple programming to move a robot that contains LED lights; the light movement will be captured to create a unique photographic image.  

Hepner called her exhibit “Something About the Sky” in honor of the work that inspired it. A 1956 television audio/visual essay by naturalist Rachel Carson discussed cloud formations over film footage showing the beauty of clouds. Hepner took the techniques used in Carson’s essay a step further. The movement drawings in Hepner’s exhibit were created using wearable LEDs and cloud seeding pods. She created cloud drawings in site-specific performances outdoors in the coldest months, where she used dry ice to seed visible cloud contrails in the cold air. The process is inspired by meteorologist Vincent Schaefer, who invented cloud seeding techniques and the provider of the films Carson used in her initial essay.  

“We’re very fortunate to have Lori [Hepner] exhibit her research, which is using light and movement to create beautiful images that help us experience the world in a unique way,” Lalik said. “We’re excited about not only her exhibit, but being able to integrate some of her work into our courses at PSU-LV. The greater Lehigh Valley community is also invited to experience her drop-in sessions to learn how she creates this work, and to be part of her creative process.” 

For more information about Hepner’s work, visit her website.   

Event schedule

Lori Hepner, 2023-24 Penn State Laureate, presents “Something About the Sky” — Feb. 5- April 27, at the Ronald K. DeLong Gallery at Penn State Lehigh Valley. Gallery events are free and open to the public.

  • Artist Reception: Tuesday, Feb. 6, 5—7 p.m.
  • Gallery Talk: Wednesday, Feb. 7, 9:30 –10 a.m.   
  • Drop-in workshop: Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2 – 4 p.m. 

For more information about the Ronald K. DeLong Gallery, contact Lalik at 610-285-5261 or [email protected]