Lon Ferguson's work, life celebrated at University Art Gallery exhibition

The Department of Art and Design are honoring one of their own by displaying his works at the University Art Gallery.

Lon Ferguson died of colon cancer in June.

“Emanations: The Art of Lon Ferguson,” features many of his works and the art of his fellow faculty members and friends. The exhibition began at the University Art Gallery Sept. 29 and ends Wednesday.

Ferguson, who taught photography at Central Michigan University starting in 2001, had several interests before he settled on photography.

“He got his first camera with tax returns at age 19,” said Anne Gochenour, director of the University Art Gallery. “Then he got a degree in architecture and moved to Chicago where he became bored with the idea then later got his MFA (Masters in Fine Arts) at Northern Texas University.”

Ferguson’s death strongly impacted his former colleague Al Wildey, who is an associate professor in the Art Department.

“He spent a lot of time here,” Wildey said. “He was a valuable photographer and he cared about his students. The exhibition was a way for us to honor him.”

Ferguson was well known for his use of myth and spirituality in his art works. He was inspired in his works by Joseph Campbell and Carl Jung, and by mythology and world religion, Gochenour said.

Some faculty who did not directly work with Ferguson during his time at CMU in the Department of Art and Design were still impacted by his work.

His work was very introspective, said Jonathan Russell, assistant professor of art.

“I have heard it was spiritual and features figures and landscapes,” Russell said.

Ferguson’s personality distinctly impacted his tenure at CMU, Gochenour said.

“He was very friendly and generous,” Gochenour said. “He would always offer compliments on the work of others and he lived life to the fullest.”


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