Pacific Northwest artist Joseph Rossano is showing his art installation “Vanity” in Pacific Lutheran University’s Ingram Hall Gallery.

The show, according to Rossano, is named after the special artistic designation of “vanitas,” which is given to works that exemplify the “fragility and evanescence of life.” In particular, he focuses on the idea that “life exists ictu oculi—in the blink of an eye” by questioning humanity’s role in the current state of the world.


Rossano incorporates reflective mirrors and both specimens and representations of extinct animals into the show to “address these issues head-on” and to give the “opportunity for contemplation and a call to action.”

There are places to sit throughout the room, which adds to this idea of taking time to ponder the art and the implications of it.

Rossano worked with the Museum of Glass Hot Shop Team to create several pieces for the installation.

He chose to work with glass because, “like our environment, glass is transparent, fragile and reflective.” The animal specimens, which come from PLU’s archives, are surrounded by mirrors to remind people “that this is our vanity, literally and figuratively.”

There are also several QR codes that can be scanned to reveal information about the extinct animals, which contextualizes the show in the 21st century.

“Vanity” will be in the Gallery in Ingram Hall until Nov. 3, and is free and open to all Monday through Friday, 6 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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