Faculty art exhibit shows College staff in new light

When the College’s art department opened the Holman Hall doors to its “Art Faculty Exhibition” Sept. 15, the College gained a New York-like art gallery on-campus.

“All of the work in the exhibition is highly creative, technically exceptional and worthy of display in any New York gallery,” Judy Masterson, art gallery director, said. “In fact, one of the people who attended the opening reception remarked that walking into the room was like being in a New York City art gallery.”

According to the College’s Web site, the 22 pieces displayed in the gallery make up a wide range of art, including drawings, computer graphics and animation, sculptures, paintings and ceramics.

Each of the faculty members were asked to contribute two of their recent works to the gallery. Judy Masterson, art gallery director, said there were 22 art exhibits in the gallery this year.

Masterson said she felt the artwork contributed this year was worthy of being displayed in a famous gallery because of the uniqueness and originality of each of them.

Ruane Miller, professor of art and creator of “On-Fire-Monsoon at Sunset,” said the wide variety of art contributed this year was part of the reason the exhibition was such a success.

“I think this exhibit exemplifies both the wide range of media and concept and the high professional level of the work created by the art department’s faculty,” Miller said.

Miller’s original background in art was in traditional media painting/screen painting. She said about 20 years ago she began studying the computer and using it as an artistic tool and has used the computer to create art ever since.

“Computer technology has changed and improved dramatically since then,” she said. “It continues to offer exciting challenges and rewards to artists. I can’t imagine not creating on the computer. And I can’t imagine not creating on paper and canvas. It’s the best of both worlds.”

Some of the other art in the exhibit include “From Darkness to Daylight” by Ricardo Miranda Zuniga, digital artist and faculty member, “Life Catalog” by Anita Allyn, associate professor of art; “Paunch” by Hannah Fink; “Princess” and “Balance” by Craig Blaha, associate director of Information Policy, Security and Web Development for Information Technology, and “While you were Dancing” by Elizabeth Mackie, associate professor or art.

Zuniga’s art uses digital and 3-D animation to show the history of Bowery New York City using several forms of art, while Allyn’s is a collage of images of everything she owns in the color yellow.

According to Masterson, Michael Madigan, adjunct professor of art and creator of “Rath” and “Silence at Glendelough,” draws his passion for art from his yearly visits to Ireland.

“He goes to Ireland every summer and that is the inspiration for most of his artwork,” Masterson said.

Fink submitted her artwork as part of a series she has been working on involving the body.

“I started off doing the series on the interior of the body which was more traditional, on paper, flat drawings with color,” Fink said. “Then, I wanted it to be more three-dimensional and so I feel like that piece and that series is more about the skin in between the inside and the outside.”

Natalie Disantis, junior art education major and art gallery assistant, said she was impressed with what the faculty contributed this year. Having the professors’ art on display is one of the best ways to see a professor in a different light, she said.

“I think the show came together nicely,” Disantis said. “It’s like getting to know (the art professors) better as people. When you get to see their work, it gives you a better idea about what they do. You usually see them in a formal setting, then you come down here and see their work. It’s a neat experience.”

Donna Hernandez, junior education and English major, said she also had a wonderful time looking through the art exhibits because each piece of art was distinct and unique. However, Hernandez said there was one work of art that caught her eye.

This piece was Fink’s artwork, “Paunch.”

“I liked this piece of art especially,” Hernandez said. “It was different. I really liked the type of material the artist used to construct this piece because it felt so real when I touched it. I wanted to go over to it and touch it because I could not explain what it was. It was unusual, yet unique at the same time, and I was just drawn to it.”

Other contributing artists to the exhibit include: Lois Fichner-Rathus, chairperson of the art department, Wendell Brooks, professor of art, Fanky Chak, assistant professor of art, Ken Kaplowitz, associate professor of art, Chuck McVicker, assistant professor of art, Bill Nyman, assistant professor of art, Bruce Rigby, professor of art, and Phil Sanders, associate professor of art.

“We are a diverse group of artists who share a passion for making art and teaching art,” Miller said. “It’s an important adjunct to our students’ education to see what we create in our studios, to see us beyond our roles in the classroom and to appreciate the variety of art that is produced by its faculty.”

The exhibition will be on display through Oct. 6.