Rose-Hulman features fall artists virtually

SubmittedRelective Effect: Artwork on display this fall in Moench Hall at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.

“Relative Effect” is the theme of the 2020 Fall Art Exhibit at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. 

The exhibit by three women who are both related and artists opened Sept. 1 in Moench Hall on campus.

Drawings and paintings by Elizabeth Lisa Petrulis are featured on the first floor. Digital illustrations, drawings and paintings by Sarah Joy Petrulis as well as photography by media artist and storyteller Beth Berolzheimer are on display on the second floor.

Rose-Hulman is offering a way to view the show virtually in lieu of having an art reception or public gallery space this year.

This virtual tour can be accessed on Rose-Hulman’s Art Collections webpage at



The fall exhibit runs through Dec. 18.

For more information or to purchase work from the show, contact art curator Christy Brinkman-Robertson at or 812-877-8523.

About Elizabeth Lisa Petrulis

Petrulis shares her fascination with and love of animals by painting intimate, dramatic and situational portraits. “Her work has wandered off to live in private collections across the US from numerous exhibitions,” according to her information slide in the presentation.

After earning a master’s degree in fine art from Indiana State University, she worked a couple of decades at the Swope Art Museum. Today she volunteers with Art Spaces – Wabash Valley Public Sculpture Collection.

Born on the US east coast to teaching musicians, she now paints and lives across the Wabash River in rural Marshall, Illinois with her husband, studio cat Kitten Caboodle and an array of wildlife that ambles through.

“You know those people who can’t get enough of babies? That’s me with animals. I’ve been known to spontaneously shout out “DOG” when I see one; it’s embarrassing when a human is walking by thinking I meant them,” Petrulis said.

“I use a high contrast palette to set off the elegance, peculiarities, and dynamics of body shapes. Posture discloses so much as it activates the spaces around and between. The paintings evolve into mysterious situations that I did not plan (though I am meticulous with composition). While painting subtle shifts in line or value, even small tweaks in an eye can change an expression, the mood, and what it implies. These intimate slices-of-life or fantasy reveal character and hint at memory and anecdote as they honor our interspecies bonds.”

About Sarah Joy Petrulis

She is a painter and illustrator currently living in South Carolina, according to her information slide.

“Her first love is story and she explores narratives through her work, whether that be in an illustrative sense or something more interpretive, particularly dramatic landscapes. Her use of sweeping lines and contrast both in color and black and white are meant to express emotion and the sensations of another place. Most of her work is about fictional worlds that exist in her mind or experiences she has had in real life, but some are also attempts to digest and retell stories that are more widely known such as Saint George and the Dragon.”

Sarah Petrulis has a BFA in fine art and studied at the School of Visual Arts in New York, the International School of Drawing, Painting, and Sculpture in Montecastello Italy, and the University of South Carolina. She works primarily in oils, pen and ink, gouache, and occasionally dabbles in digital painting.

About Beth Berolzheimer

“Photography offers me a chance to remember and reflect on past events. Looking back from this era of COVID-19 and its’ many restrictions, I am aware of having more freedom before,” Berolzheimer said for her slideshow feature. “In the spring of 2001 before the 911 terrorist attacks that caused US borders to tighten and made travel abroad difficult, I set forth on a photography journey to pre-Putin Russia with a colleague Salome Chasnoff(1). We produced Beyond Beijing(2) and Sisters Speak Loud and Clear, Stopping Violence Against Women(3) and knew we could work together under strenuous conditions.

“A local women’s advocacy organization, Project Kesher, sponsored the media documentation for the trip. Their mission is to promote Jewish identity and help women gain economic self-sufficiency in the NIS post-communism world. Our job was to document these efforts starting with a Moscow based youth leadership workshop that brought together young American women and women from all over the former Soviet Union diaspora. Experiences were designed to help Jewish survivors of the Soviet era reclaim their lives by providing them with leadership skills in the context of building a community. 

“Project Kesher creates cultural activities and educational opportunities to bring Jewish traditions and history to people from the communist era of religious intolerance. My work whether narrative, documentary or advocacy often deals with women surviving difficult conditions, who exist on the margins of society either physically or mentally. These conditions are dangerous and self-funded. I believe in the efficacy of this program. Two weeks later, with iodine tablets and a backpack full of cameras I am on an Aeroflot flight to Moscow.

“The first week of our trip is spent in a Soviet era hotel on the outskirts of Moscow. A satellite themed lobby with a terrazzo staircase and starlight chandelier welcomes us to an alternative universe. Looks are deceiving. The iodine tablets prove indispensable. Showers flush scalding hot, brown water. Our luggage misplaced in transit, includes my spare pair of glasses and box of videotapes. They arrive days later. I am off to a shaky start but very excited to be in this mysterious, post-communist, pre-internet part of the world.

“The NIS women travel thousands of miles from across the NIS diaspora to participate in the leadership workshop. One woman travels by train from Siberia for 24 hours. Another started raising money 5 years ago, in anticipation of this workshop. These efforts began before the dreaded 5th paragraph on passports disappeared in 1997. That was the official Soviet era designation of nationality. It targeted minorities so they could not attend state universities, have the same jobs or political clout. The society was segregated. 50% of the country’s minority populations suffered discrimination. In stark contrast, the American teenagers tapped from a New York congregation arrive with suitcases full of candy and stuffed animals. These vacationers are chaperoned by a female, Orthodox rabbi. The two cultures quickly diverge. By day 3 half of the Americans leave for Paris on a shopping trip.

“The images you see [in the slideshow] are from the second week spent in the Ukraine. We travel by train, visiting Kiev, Kazatan, a small town near the Polish border, and Poltava, a Jewish enclave in Odessa where Salome’s family is from. We collect stories and images from Jewish communities suppressed during the Soviet era.”

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