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Saint Mary’s faculty showcase personal art

| Thursday, January 28, 2016

Monica Villagomez Mendez

Last night’s opening reception for the Saint Mary’s faculty art exhibition proved art is at the heart of the College’s mission to engage the community in distinct learning experiences. The exhibition showcased photographs, sculptures, textiles and ceramics by Saint Mary’s faculty.

Gallery director and assistant art professor Ian Weaver said he hopes viewers appreciate the various research pursuits incorporated in this showcase, which will remain open for six weeks in Moreau Galleries.

“Even though we teach in a particular area, we have divergent and multivalent interests which make their way into our work,” Weaver said. “This is an important example for students to see: how diverse an artistic life can be.”

The exhibition features a range of content, from a series of photographs documenting a character’s struggle with anxiety to textile pieces depicting how the environment transforms over time to sculptures linking all humans back to a common foundation. Weaver said students should take advantage of this opportunity to view their professor’ work.

“I believe it is important that the students have real-world examples of artists who make work,” Weaver said. “It is also important for them to see that the concepts we speak about in class aren’t just abstract, but are realized in the objects and images that faculty produces.”

Sophomore Mia Kincaid said attending the reception showed her the importance of supporting an artist’s journey from beginning to end.

“I’ve seen so many professors’ work in progress, so to see it now as part of a total piece is even more impressive,” Kincaid said. “The finished product is really cool. Seeing this is almost like seeing a lot of problems that have been solved in some creative way.”

Kincaid said she understands the courage it takes to display one’s work, due to the fact that her art major requires her to submit a portfolio review each semester.

“That’s kind of a harrowing experience because you’re putting yourself out there,” Kincaid said. “Seeing your professors do the same is knowing that they are being as conscious as you are in your art. It’s like they had the same sort of feelings as you do.”

According to Kincaid, even those who do not intend to major in art should visit the exhibition, for they can gain a better appreciation for different forms of artistic expression.

“Creative thinking is needed for any kind of major,” Kincaid said. “I think art in general is a big part of the community here.”

Junior Amy Harmon said she enjoyed watching her professors be the center of attention for once, since they normally focus on helping the class.

“It’s kind of like seeing masters in action because they spend all their time improving their students, but we don’t usually get to see them just working for themselves,” Harmon said. “It’s cool to see stuff that they’re proud of. It’s good to see them in action.”

Junior Brigid Feasel said she recognizes art as a valuable form of self-expression, so she especially appreciates that this exhibition grants her the chance to see work from professionals.

“It’s one thing to hear them tell us about art, but it’s another to actually be shown what their ideas are,” Feasel said. “There are so many different ways to express yourself. Art is interdisciplinary.”

Students should embrace art’s ability to transform them as they encounter it in daily tasks, such as visiting this exhibition, according to Weaver.

“In art, we have emotion, intellect, fear, awe, humor and many other forms of expression,” Weaver said. “In our contemporary world, where reflection and space and consideration of what is communicated isn’t always a priority for some, art is even more important. That is something we don’t ever want to lose.”

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About Martha Reilly

Martha is a senior majoring in English literature and political science. She currently serves as Saint Mary's editor but still values the Oxford comma in everyday use.

Contact Martha