Thea Alvin: The Nature of Time

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Thea Alvin: The Nature of Time

May 26, 2021 - July 9, 2021

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Rowan University Art Gallery presents The Nature of Time, a new installation by stone mason Thea Alvin. This project complements the anticipated Time Sweeps, her permanent public art work coming soon to the East Garden Courtyard of Discovery Hall at Rowan University.

The Nature of Time consists of three distinctive formations: a winding wall, a stone floor mosaic, and a cairn, joined by large format photographs of Thea’s numerous public art projects, ambient projected light, and video. Each element is made from integrated stone pieces of Pennsylvania Field Stone, which contains fossils, moss, and lichen. 

When describing her design process Thea explains, “Each sculpture is a composed expression of the thoughts of the land itself. I’m in the moment with the chosen material, capturing that angst, that patience, that essence, and setting it in stone. The lines are laid and the rhythm is established on paper, but the melody becomes clear as the structure rises from the ground in situ.” Thea Alvin is known for her precisely fitted dry stonework and her signature, gravity-defying stone arches, which she usually builds without mortar. She uses wooden frames during an arch’s construction and removes them when the stonework is completed. 

Using the natural world as her primary inspiration, Thea sees stone as an object in motion; as lines pushed by wind and driven by rain, casting shadows, capturing light. It is her intention to create places of rest and reflection, while honoring the natural faces of the stone by not adding too many marks that suggest that it was forced into position. The beauty of the material is allowed to shine through, imperfectly perfect. Not asking too much of the viewer, but acceptance and gratitude. 

Thea Alvin is an artist and stone mason, a designer and builder with determination and creativity. She started her career in stone at age 16, working for her father as a tender, then for years as a mason and then stone mason. She refined her stone style while traveling and working all over the world, from China to Iceland, Canada to Italy, and all across North America. She draws on the traditions in stone and expands those to create large site-specific, unique, geologic installations. More about Thea and her work can be found on her website: 


May 26, 2021
July 9, 2021
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Rowan University Art Gallery
301 High St West
Glassboro, NJ United States
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