Shh…Artists in practice


By Lindsey Grovenstein, Staff Writer

There’s a saying that goes, “Those who can, do; those who can’t, teach,” but that’s not the case for Armstrong’s art faculty.

The first exhibition this year at the Fine Arts gallery was the Art Faculty Exhibition, which continues until September 3. The gallery hosts original pieces created by the teachers from the art department varying from photography, ceramics, paintings, digital design and mixed media.

“When we can, we open the year with the Faculty Art Exhibition so new members of the community can meet and become introduced to the staff,” said Mario Incorvaia, Arts Marketing Director and Auditorium Manager. “Many of our faculty is practicing artists. The show highlights their areas of expertise, and we offer the courses, as well.”

The show opened on August 18 and hosted a gallery reception on August 22. The reception offered light refreshments and gave students and the community a chance to meet and speak with the artists.

Pang-Chieh Hsu, associate professor of art, has two oil paintings in the gallery that are a part of a larger series called “Paper Money,” which Hsu has been working on since 2005.“I’m experimenting now with the quality of the paper, which is flexibility,” Hsu explained at the reception. “I’m trying to put the paper into a limited space box so I can create a variety of distortions, and from there I select my composition.”

Hsu teaches painting and drawing classes. “The exhibit gives us an opportunity to inspire our students and community with what we’re doing as practicing artists. Each faculty member uses a different medium. Students have a variety of choices for their own future career in art.”

John Jensen, professor of ceramics and sculpture, has several pieces in the gallery, including a life-sized clay sculpture for which he used his wife, fellow Armstrong professor of photography Linda Jensen, as a model.

“I really didn’t know exactly what I was doing,” he said about the piece. “But I realized while I was working on this, that in a sense, this was my mother. She was working all the time, and I remember coming home from school and the stove would be full of chicken, and she would also have to look good, all at the same time. This piece is about that time period.”

“Before you critique, you have to do it,” said Linda Jensen, whose hand colored gelatin silver prints hang on the gallery walls. “We’re active artists and we do our own work instead of just talking about it.”

Several students came to the reception to see the staff’s artwork.

“I love art in general,” said Travoires Griffin, a senior studying biology. “I always stop by and check out the exhibits.” Griffin, who just so happened to stop by the day of the reception, was impressed with what he saw. “It shows how creative they really are.”

Christy Schaller came to the reception to see her teachers’ work. “I wanted to see their art on display, you don’t see that often.” Schaller is a liberal major and is also the lab assistant for ceramics. “I’m glad they have time to do their own art. Finding time to do something you love is special, especially when you’re as busy as they are.”

“You’ll find that the artists are very professional, and are actively involved in showing their work and producing their work,” said Department Head Dr. Tom Cato, who has several pieces in the show. “It’s an empirical part of what we do. If you can’t do this, you can’t teach, that’s how we see it.”

The gallery is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays, so be sure to stop by and check out all the original artwork.