Student Art Association Exhibits Student Artwork

Second prize went to Paul Burke for his oil painting, “Flower Face.” Photo Credit / Crystal Smith
Second prize went to Paul Burke for his oil painting, “Flower Face.” Photo Credit / Crystal Smith
Second prize went to Paul Burke for his oil painting, “Flower Face.”
Photo Credit / Crystal Smith

By Eric Caulfield

SC Contributing Writer

On Wednesday, March 25, in the Madelon Power Gallery at the Fine Arts Building, the Art Association hosted a reception for the All-University Student Juried Art Exhibition.

Visitors made their way through a myriad of imagery, including surreal structures of faraway lands, vibrant cityscapes, and penciled shades of political, urban outcry.

Across from a generous concession stand, art lovers paced the room, wall-to-wall, contemplating the innovative works of East Stroudsburg University’s finest artists.

The All-University Student Juried Art Exhibition presented all artwork submitted, providing every student with the chance to have his or her work appreciated by fellow students, professors and community members. This exhibition also gave students the opportunity to express their unique perspectives of the world and their political opinions.

Chris Hingley, a senior majoring in art and design, said the art of the exhibition was “thought provoking, with strong political undertones.”

Edward Evans, a renowned abstractionist painter who lives in the area, surveyed the works of art and, acting as judge, selected winners, several of whom were present to accept their award certificates from Professor Mazure of the Art and Design Department.

Morgan Weissbach, a sophomore majoring in fine arts and graphic design, won first place with her impressive architectural piece, “Collision,” which finely captured the design features of buildings in numerous cities and centuries, both real and imagined.

Weissbach said that the surrealistic drawing took months to complete and required the use of a very fine, .03 size pen. She also discussed necessary research she had to conduct of architecture specific to culture, most notably, that of East Asia.

Evans, speaking about “Collision” said, “I can tell that Morgan really enjoyed creating this. All the little rectangles and patterns and how they change suggests to me that this is some kind of exotic, imaginary city. It’s both attractive and I think, at the same time, a little bit frightening – it looks like we’re on the verge of something happening.”

Several works expressed a strong political message, such as “McDonalds Preys on Children” by Rusty Wallace, and “RIP,” a drawing (Original photo by David Carson) of the Ferguson protests, by Katie Thomson.

Some artists preferred to experiment with expressions of the psyche, like Celeste Hylton-James who said her four portraits, “Beyond the Face Series,” were “intended to capture different perspectives of the human unconscious.”

There were also historical pieces presented, such as “Anubus,” a depiction of the famous jackal-headed god of Ancient Egypt, created with 3D printed plastic and an enamel coating, as well as traditional, yet lurid paintings, such as “Sunset Lake” by Sam Tabshi.

Having worked as a professor at Minnesota State University, Mankato for many years, Edward Evans created a method for teaching that “allowed students to work like real artists,” without a schedule and without a strict criteria for grading. Students learned to focus their energies on creating a portfolio of artwork, which later proved advantageous when they applied to graduate school.

Evans is known for his illusionistic paintings, exhibited internationally, and his long teaching career. He first became involved in ESU events through friendships with faculty and out of curiosity—he wanted to see what the Art and Design Department was like.

“I first see whatever strikes my eye, and then I continue looking at it. If I look at something a few times, and I still like it, then I decide it’s a good work of art. My taste is rather eclectic. I don’t favor necessarily any one style of art, which is probably a good thing for teaching,” said Evans, before he walked, with a crowd following quick behind, to each work of art that either won or received an honorary mention, and gave his thoughts about each.

Evans also offered to speak afterwards with any student whose work was not mentioned at that time.

Angel Rodriguez, President of the Student Art Association and receiver of several award certificates during the event, met grand applause after explaining the purpose and goals of the Student Art Association.

Rodriguez said, “We want to embody the campus with art and mix with other majors,” and added, “That’s basically what we’re about, giving back to the community. It doesn’t have to be art; it can be help and guidance. So, even if you’re not an art and design major, think about joining the Student Art Association.”

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