The installation "Napoleon's Wallpaper" by SFA School of Art faculty Candace Hicks is like a room-sized book telling a story while presenting a puzzle. This installation along with the "SFA Faculty Exhibition" opens at 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 11, at The Cole Art Center @ The Old Opera House in downtown Nacogdoches.

NACOGDOCHES, Texas - Recently created art in a variety of media will make up the annual "SFA Faculty Exhibition," which the Stephen F. Austin State University College of Fine Arts and School of Art will open with a reception from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 11, at The Cole Art Center @ The Old Opera House in downtown Nacogdoches.

The annual faculty exhibition in the Ledbetter Gallery will feature photography, paintings, metal work, ceramics and sculpture, according to John Handley, director of galleries at SFA.

"SFA is fortunate to have such a talented group of working artists creating in such a wide array of styles and media," Handley said. "This exhibition is our annual chance to show off and highlight our talented artists."

Also opening at the same time is the featured exhibition of Candace Hicks, assistant professor of drawing and advertising design at SFA. In the installation "Napoleon's Wallpaper," Hicks uses Reavley Gallery as "a puzzle box to be opened by the viewer," she said.

Operating like a game, Hicks' exhibition uses a combination of prints that reveal secret messages when viewed through special colored glasses. Kinetic sculptures reveal clues, and wall texts guide the viewer from station to station.

"I am using my background as a book artist to produce an exhibition of objects that look like art but are actually part of an interrelated narrative book," she said. "Books take for granted that the viewer participation is necessary to complete the work, and 'Napoleon's Wallpaper' combines a storybook, interactive puzzle and art exhibition into a room-sized installation. The viewer experiences the immersive quality of reading a mystery novel and solving the clues."

The title, 'Napoleon's Wallpaper,' refers to an anecdote regarding the cause of Napoleon's death in which some have said he died from contact with arsenic in the dye he used to print his wallpaper, Hicks said. An expanded version of the exhibition will be presented in November at Post-Studio Projects in Houston.

Both exhibitions will run through Oct. 18.

The Cole Art Center is located at 329 E. Main St. Regular gallery hours are from 12:30 to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.

All art exhibitions are free and open to the public. They are sponsored in part by the SFA Friends of the Visual Arts and the Nacogdoches Junior Forum.

For additional information, call (936) 468-1131.