Fine Arts instructors practice what they teach

"From the Studio," the 2009 faculty show, is this month's exhibit in the Lederer Gallery of Brodie Hall, showcasing the works of seven Geneseo faculty members.

The display features work from Doug Anderson, Patrice Case, Eugene Dezarn, Cynthia Hawkins-Owen, Tom MacPherson, Carl Shanahan and Michael Teres.

"It's important for students to see as much art as possible … and to see what different professors have to offer," said Dezarn.

"If I couldn't do the work, I would have no business teaching," Shanahan said.

"It's important to expose [students] to work that has content behind it," said MacPherson, who contributed bold and realistic egg tempera paintings to the gallery. According to his artist statement, his work in the exhibit "centers around the identity issues of being Italian-American."

"Signs of Civilization," by Hawkins, is a four-panel painting inspired by the view from an airplane window. The enormous scale of the environment contrasts brilliantly with the simplistic line that represents civilization.

"The linear patterns represent lights. Lights mean electricity and electricity means civilization," Hawkins explained.

Dezarn is exhibiting a wide range of works, including the video, "Beast of Burden " which depicts, in his words, "a baseball disintegrating by way of dog." Also displayed is a sampling of an innovative project called "Mobile Homestead," in which Dezarn lives sustainably on three acres of land while building and living in a yurt, or nomadic structure.

A series of Anderson's pieces feature what he calls "residue of the day," such as lint and ash. In his artist statement, he explains that they "suggest the temporal and relative insignificance of our lives." His other works include simplistic and highly expressive charcoal figures, including "The Backstabber" and "The Ceiling Painter."

Shanahan has mastered the salt-firing process in his "Textured Slab Forms," four of which function as lanterns. They shine with earthy tones and embody both geometric and organic shapes. Ceramists often focus too much on utility and lose sight of design, but Shanahan has found a perfect balance.

"Function is secondary to the beauty of the form," he said.

Case also balances beauty and utility in "Bouquet I" and "Bouquet II," a beautifully designed necklace and broach set. Appropriately, she refers to them as "body sculpture."

"If one of my pieces suggests wear-ability, it absolutely can be worn," Case said. She combines unique materials such as colored pencil, oil paint and pastel with the metal in her works.

Teres aptly describes his work through his artist statement, which reads: "I show the organic world that surrounds us visually mixed with the mechanical workings of digital technology to become something different and yet still representative of what it once was." His photographs make ordinary objects exciting in unusual perspectives and abstract colors.

"From the Studio" is a wonderfully engaging exhibit that encompasses a wide range of media and styles. Regardless of artistic taste, there is something here for every viewer to enjoy.

The display will be up from Sept. 2 to Oct. 9 in the Lederer Gallery, which is open Monday through Thursday from 12:30 - 3:30 p.m. and Friday through Saturday from 12:30 - 5:30 p.m.