Keuka College art students will display their talents in painting, drawing, photography, sculpture, and other mediums in the College’s annual student art show.
Titled “The Art of Perseverance,” the exhibition features 20 student artists and runs from Aug. 27-Oct. 28 in Lightner Library’s Art Gallery. An artists’ reception is set for Thursday, Sept. 6, from 4:30-6 p.m. in Lighter Gallery. It is free and open to the public, and light refreshments will be served. In addition, some of the students’ art will be for sale.
The show highlights art from students across a variety of majors and disciplines and features work from four graduates from the Class of 2018, Cody Button, Abigail Oderman, Emma Barden, and Chelsea Cooper.
Coming Back Strong
“This student show is a chance to come back strong and wow people,” says Melissa Newcomb, associate professor of fine art, referring to the January 2018 flooding of Allen Hall, where the art and design students were previously housed. “More than one student selected ‘The Art of Perseverance’ because they felt the title was right on target. It speaks to the determination and difficulties of art-making—it’s really a part of life.”
During the evening of Jan. 1, a water pipe connected to the fire suppression system on Allen Hall’s third floor ruptured. Heavy damage occurred throughout the building, leaving it uninhabitable
Chelsea and Emma’s studio was right below where the pipe burst (in Allen Hall-nix). In addition, many other students had work stored in Allen Hall studios and classrooms. Much of the artwork was recovered, dried out and restored; some was lost. But through it all, the students came together and persevered.
“I was concerned about all of them for the longest time, so it was a relief for me to witness students collecting the recovered work,” says Ms. Newcomb. “We all encountered a traumatic experience, but we moved forward together and kept creating. Although we had to go through this tough time, we are rising above it all, and my students make me proud.”
One of those students is Samantha Laranjo, a junior art and design major from Averill Park, Rensselaer County, who finds inspiration from those around her.
“What I like about art is how everything can tell a story, about something or someone,” she says. “I like how much beauty art brings to life.”
One of her submissions for the art show is her still-life painting of an apple and pear sitting on a piece of wood.
“I hope people see the natural beauty in all the colors used, especially in the wood and how textured the fruit actually is,” says Samantha.
Erin Krisch, a senior management major from Strykersville, Wyoming County, sees art and design everywhere, and in everything.
'Art is a huge part of your life'
“Even if you don't realize it, art is a huge part of your life,” she says. “Art is a universal means of communication that can be received in any language. I love that one piece can be interpreted in multiple ways, depending on the person. And that piece may hold multiple meanings for one person, changing as their life does.”
Both Cody and Ayrielle Zeno, a sophomore art and design major from Penn Yan, see art as a way to express themselves.
“Art is very calming, and I find inspiration in the hobbies that I enjoy,” says Cody. “My favorite piece of mine is a beer painting, and I hope that people see the art of craft beer in it.”
Ayrielle says her favorite piece “would be my photographs of lights. I hope people are about to see the abstraction and interpret the set of images in their own way.”
And while Ayrielle’s entries for “The Art of Perseverance” include photos, her medium of choice is paint, because, “I’m able to mix my own colors and it’s just fun to work with.”
Samantha would agree.
“I just started to paint last year, but I fell in love with it immediately,” she says. “You can never mess up a painting, and you can always add to it.”
While Ayrielle, Cody, and Samantha take to the canvas, Mary Glaccum, a sophomore art and design major from Bath, says she likes drawing, painting, ceramics, and photography.
“I enjoy the variety of energies you feel when creating and/or observing art,” says Mary. “Art can express so much more than words alone ever could. When I witness my peers doing their best, it inspires me to dig deep and really bring forth my best effort.”
One piece that Mary is eager for people to see during the student art show is a map she created of her hometown.
“When people look at my map, I want them to be able to feel like they are taking a visit to the place I’ve lived my whole life,” she says. “I am proud of this piece because this is the first time I’ve ever created a map like this. I want everyone to feel and see the amount of effort it took into making it, and I want people to enjoy it.”
A Dream Coming True
Since the flooding of Allen Hall did not allow for students to return to that space, a new location for art and design was created in the spring 2018 semester—the fourth floor of Hegeman Hall.
“Students bonded together, and were very active in the studio painting, drawing, or just overlooking the beautiful views in the new space. It was challenging, but everyone was patient and grateful to have a place to work,” says Ms. Newcomb. “Now, we have a brand new renovated studio for everyone to call home. The best part is that my dream for the art program at Keuka College and its students is happening!”
Additional exhibitors in “The Art of Perseverance” include seniors Shannon Mitchell, a unified childhood education major from Schenectady; Arianna Brown, an art and design major from Rochester; Travis Krupinski, an art and design major from Newfane, Niagara County; and Darian Staufer, an art and design major from Rochester; junior Hallie Albrecht, a marketing major from Lyons; and sophomores Alivia Watt, a unified childhood education major from Dalton, Livingston County; Michael Beebe, and American Sign Language-English interpreting major from Woodbine, N.J.; Alex Boglev, and art and design major from Hamburg, Erie County; Heather Chrzan, a child and family studies major from Hop Bottom, Pa.; and Megan Becker, and art and design major from Rochester.