After two years in the making, West Virginia University School of Art and Design studio faculty members debut their artwork for the community to absorb and admire.
The Mesaros Galleries are exhibits in the Creative Arts Center that showcase artists’ exhibitions and tell the story of the artists’ specialization.
Fourteen faculty members of the WVU School of Art and Design have worked with printmakers at Artists Image Resource print shop, otherwise known as AIR, in Pittsburgh to create signature art projects. The original work has been showcased in the Mesaros Galleries since its debut Jan. 25. within the display titled “Conjunction.”
Throughout the past three years, individual artists of the WVU faculty traveled to AIR to work with Director, Robert Beckman and project printer Jennifer Rockage. The faculty produced original works that made use of the studio’s print facilities and expertise. This exhibit was shown in the AIR galleries in Oct. 2015 during the SECAC conference, a national organization for art and art history faculty.
The 14 faculty members who lent their skills and time to this project include assistant professor and coordinator of sculpture, Dylan Collins; professor and coordinator of graphic design, Eve Faulkes; assistant professor of Graphic Design, Joseph Galbreath; associate professor and coordinator of Electronic Media, Gerald Habarth; associate professor of sculpture, Jason Lee; associate professor and coordinator of Printmaking, Joseph Lupo; associate professor of ceramics, Boomer Moore; assistant professor and coordinator of interactive media design, Jeffrey Moser; assistant professor of graphic design Kofi Opoku; associate professor and coordinator of ceramics, Shoji Satake; assistant professor of painting, Amy Schissel; associate professor and coordinator of photography, Michael Sherwin; and associate professor and coordinator of painting, Naijun Zhang.
Curator Robert Bridges managed and programmed the Mesaros Galleries by displaying diverse exhibitions and unique artists periodically throughout the school year. The innovative, experimental art embodies the purpose of the galleries; to show how often art is changing within the market by hosting modern and contemporary artists.
Kristina Olson, associate director at the School of Art and Design, loves the creative responses that the seasoned artists made to the challenge of getting out of their comfort zones and responding to the expertise available at AIR. She is part of the committee that selects exhibitions each year and helped arrange the AIR collaboration. Olson describes how the title, “Conjunction,” came to be.
“The title alludes to the fact that these projects were made collaboratively with the artists working with the printmakers at AIR,” Olson said. “The resulting artworks are a conjunction of the artists’ individual ideas and typical medium with the print resources available at AIR.”
Professor and coordinator of sculpture, Dylan Collins, lent his skills, presenting prints titled “Fo’ Sho’,” and “Nuff Ced,” from his ongoing “Branded Woodblock Prints” series. Collins felt making prints for this exhibition was deeply rewarding because it forced everyone out of their comfort zones, compelling the faculty to approach art making from an entirely different vantage point.
“I believe this experience helped us grow not only as artists but as educators,” Collins said. “The best teachers are those who take seriously the role of being lifelong learners, continually welcoming new challenges and adding to their base of knowledge.”
This exhibit is special to the School of Art and Design, as the group faculty exhibition to foreground the work of all artists is scheduled only once every five years. The partnership with AIR through yearly student internships and graduate student exhibitions allowed the faculty to make the special work for the display. Olson believes students should take advantage of the easily accessible presentation of the galleries.
“The Conjunction faculty exhibition allows School of Art and Design students and the larger University and Morgantown communities a chance to see the innovative work being made by the artist/educators working here at WVU,” Olson said. “The Mesaros Galleries in the lobby of the Creative Arts Center have a long history of programming exhibitions of contemporary artists of important reputation.”
Olson believes all visitors will find work that will interest them, from experimental, projected film to huge, colorful multimedia painting. The vast amount of types of art that are displayed through this presentation will likely be enjoyable for students of all kind.
Gallery hours are Monday through Saturday, from noon to 9:30 p.m. The galleries are closed Sundays and University holidays, but special individual or group viewings are available upon request or appointment. The Mesaros Galleries will be debuting “Conjunction” until Feb. 26.
For more information, visit http://cal.wvu.edu/EventList.aspx?view=EventDetails&eventidn=17711&information_id=49848&type=&syndicate=syndicate.