Those that can, teach

Professors show off skills at showcase of faculty-made artwork

Experience and artistic talent merge at the annual School of Graphic Design and Studio Art Faculty showcase.

The annual faculty exhibition shows recent work of graphic design and studio art professors. The gallery opened Aug. 23 in the Ritz Gallery in Grove Hall and will continue until Sept. 23.

It’s free to all students Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Though the gallery highlights the faculty’s accomplishments, the exhibition is held as a “learning experience” for the students.

“The Ritz Gallery is a teaching gallery,” said Diana Behl, assistant professor in the School of Design. “It’s a place to show students examples of what is possible through contemporary art and design.”

Cable Hardin, associate professor featured in the showcase, said the reaction from students was, overall, positive.

“I think there was some great enthusiasm from students,” Hardin said. “They get a kick out of seeing what their teachers do outside of class.”

The staff strives to teach students techniques and show them examples of artwork, but Molly Wicks, an instructor and first-year coordinator, said part of the professors’ duty is to continue their personal research and “creative productivity.”

In addition to their university work, these artists continue to put their education to work outside the classroom. In the last year, Hardin said he created three short animations which is “pretty good” for the small timeframe.

Hardin isn’t the only one making additional artwork. Behl said it is “embedded” in their lifestyle to work on their art almost every day.

“There’s a commitment to art and design,” Behl said.

Some faculty members have even dedicated years to specific projects.

“The piece that’s called ‘Wedged’ has been a continual process over my last six or seven years of creative productivity,” Wicks said. “As I’ve continued making works similar to this the products have kind of evolved.” 

This evolution gave the gallery a diversity in artwork that could be helpful for freshmen and returning students.

The success of the gallery, Wicks said, is primarily due to the help from Nancy Hartenhoff-Crooks, who assisted in organizing the layout of the gallery. Wicks explained the artists simply set their pieces on the floor of the gallery and Hartenhoff-Crooks took over the layout.

The gallery displays sculptures, paintings, book making, fabric pieces, ink drawings, stoneworks, bowls, cut screen prints and animations.

This year’s featured faculty include Diana Behl, Jeannie French, Shannon Frewaldt, Cable Hardin, Beverly Krumm, Peter Reichardt, Tim Steele, Mark Stemwedel, Mitch Torbert, Scott Wallace, Molly Wicks and Lynn Verschoor.

Behl encouraged students to take advantage of this opportunity.

“It’s really important to be exposed to as much as possible,” Behl said. “You can learn what’s happening in a contemporary realm but also the history of it.”