Lederer exhibit assembles faculty for final showing

The final biennial faculty exhibit, “From the Studio: 2013 Faculty Exhibition,” opened on Sept. 6, housed in Brodie Hall’s Bertha V.B. Lederer Gallery. The exhibit serves as a bridge between students and professors, as the faculty has a rare opportunity to display its most recent works, some of which were recently completed in August. Director of Galleries Cynthia Hawkins called it “a time for art faculty to show their work to the community.” Hawkins also included her own work in the exhibit, which is beautifully crafted and focuses on what she called “implied movement and activity and bursts of energy,” seen most clearly in her piece “Signs of Life.” Even though she said she is moving away from the abstract “colorist” approach and being drawn toward “making paintings based on the objective world,” this piece - which consists of three different canvases placed alongside one another - is truly riveting as gracious, bright hues in two of the canvases clash with the third darker canvas. “Signs of Life” is an ideal model for students to observe, as it addresses key elements of art, including color, line, form and shape while undoubtedly delighting the eye. Professor of studio art Carl Shanahan, the ceramics specialist in the art department, contributed ceramic works to the exhibit. “People that work in clay, the two main things they have to deal with are form and texture, because clay is so responsive to touch, so those are things

I try to focus on,” he said. Shanahan’s works employs unexpected texture with sharp detail. He creates these unique textures with a salt kiln that is heated and then filled with small portions of table salt or rock salt through a spray bottle. The salt turns to vapor and lands on the ceramic piece. Shanahan throws his sculptures on the potter’s wheel and molds them on a slab, which alongside his salt kiln technique gives his art impressive aesthetic beauty and separates him from others ceramicists. Adjunct lecturer of studio art Leslie Stroz also contributed pieces, mostly photographs and a few sketches with watercolor. Stroz said that she uses her photography to capture moments that tell stories and share the inner workings of a community. Finding herself constantly on the move, she “turned more to my photography and keeping a sketchbook,” which she said she suggests all her students do. One of the expressive pieces displayed is “Last Walk,” which is a posterior shot of a man, his identity concealed, walking alongside his dog in a grassy field. In this case, she uses her artistic perspective to create a title that inspires a story for the subjects of the shot. The final faculty exhibit brings together masterful artworks and gives an appropriate farewell to the studio art department’s traditional biannual faculty exhibition. It runs through Oct. 10.