On March 19th from 5-7 pm, the Martha Gault Art Gallery hosted the Opening Reception for the first annual SRU Alumni Art Exhibit. This exhibit showcases works from alumni all over the country, from Pennsylvania to California, from graduation classes dating back to before the 90’s. This initiative was inspired by Professor Barbara Westman, who has worked closely with Professor Theresa Antonellis since October 2017, in order to engage alumni and assure them of their continued role in the Art Department as role models of success for arising students. The pair started a campaign on the Art Department’s Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook accounts, and sent out the monthly Art Newsletter in order seek artists. With over 30 responses from alumni and new artworks coming in the mail each day, Westman and Antonellis became more and more excited about the exhibit. “The SRU Art Alumni exhibition took a long time to prepare.” Westman shared, “I reached out to many of our alumni, via email and Facebook. I got in contact with art alumni that were not on my contact list, and that is fantastic. Some artworks came by mail, some were hand delivered. It was so nice to see my former students I had not seen for a long time. I am very happy that this event is bringing us all together again.”
Not only did alumni mail their photographs, paintings, ceramics, and more, but they did so out of their own pockets. These alumni also paid a submission fee, which resulted in a $450 scholarship that will go towards a current art student. This student, Teya Heller, a junior working on her BFA in Art with a focus on metalsmithing, was announced at the Opening Reception, and shared, “Receiving this scholarship has heightened my confidence in the art that I make. I am truly honored to receive this recognition by the faculty of the art department. Most of all, I am honored to have to support of the alumni in my journey as an artist.” Westman looks forward to more events that will engage alumni and welcome them back to the Art Department, as it was so nice for some alumni to meet our newer art faculty for the first time and see the remodeled art studios.”
If you weren’t able to make the Opening Reception, the SRU Art Alumni Exhibit will be open from 11 am until 5 pm Monday through Thursday until March 29th. When April arrives, the Martha Gault Art Gallery will be hosting the annual Student Juried Exhibition, where any undergraduate student who has taken an art course on campus is able to display a piece that he or she created in class. Professional artist Linda Price-Snettin from Pittsburgh will be the visiting juror, who will decide which of the fifty-plus submissions are accepted, and which will receive prizes! This exhibition is a wonderful chance for students to be critiqued by an off-campus artist, which allows for a different sensibility and aesthetic. Find out more at http://www.sru.edu/news/032018a, and look forward to this gallery from April 2nd unil the 19th!