The first University of Richmond Faculty and Staff Art Show is currently on display in the newly renovated Keller Hall Art Gallery until Jan. 28.
The show extends over both fall and spring semesters, so students from both semesters can see the show, said Jeremy Drummond, professor of studio art and visual and media arts practice coordinator. Drummond planned the exhibition and collected art for the show in October.
The exhibition opened at a reception on Nov. 4 and will remain open until Jan. 28, according to the Department of Art and Art History’s website.
“The impetus has always really been to show students that what we're teaching in our classes is actually what we do professionally,” Drummond said. “It's really for the entire campus community to get a sense of, like, there is an art department, and this is this kind of stuff that they're doing.”
The art show includes pieces by the following professors, lecturers and instructors: Art Adjunct Lecturers Katie Baines-Herrin and Sally Bowring; Drummond; Trish Gibson, art and art history adjunct lecturer; Photography Professor Brittany Nelson; Mariana Parisca, art and art history professor; Art Professors Erling Sjovold and Tanja Softić; Sculpture Professor Sandy Williams IV; Jill Zevenbergen, art printmaking and book arts instructor; and Claire Zitzow, art and art history lecturer.
The staff did not fall behind as the show includes pieces by these four staff members: Odette Blaisdell, wood, metal and tech lab technician; Museum Preparator Stephen Duggins; Nathan Hansen-Hilliard, studio art lab manager; and Harrison Moenich, digital and media arts technician.
The gallery space became available for use last year, and it is designed based on the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Drummond said. The gallery is a multi-purpose space for class critiques, presentations and installations, he said. In the space, there is museum-grade lighting, a photo studio with curved walls and soundproof curtains that can be extended throughout the room.
There is also a black box theater in the gallery that can be used to exhibit film work—where Drummond’s own video, "Dark Holler," is exhibited—is the best in the city, he said.
Additionally, there are write-ups next to each piece in the show, so that students can see what informs faculty work, he said.
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Now that the gallery space is available, Drummond hoped to put on a Faculty and Staff Art Show every two years, he said.
Students who want to visit the show can contact the department administration to open the space, as it usually stays locked. In the spring, Drummond plans to invite art students to stay in the space during weekdays to allow more visitors access to the exhibition, he said.
“Now that we have the space, it's really just to create dialogue between faculty and students,” Drummond said. “So that when faculty are teaching or when students are taking classes, it creates more of a peer relationship that we're all artists, we're just at different stages of life or careers,”
Professor Bowring, who teaches drawing and painting, has two abstract paintings on display in the exhibits "Personal Poetics" and "Something to Consider."
Bowring loved that her students got to see her art, although she was a little shy, she said.
“Frankly, sometimes it's hard to talk about my work because it's so locked into my head here, but I'm always available to anybody that wants to ask anything about it,” she said.
Junior Helene Leichter, who took Bowring’s Introduction to Drawing class this semester, said she didn’t even know what kind of art her professor made before she went to the show.
“I just hadn't processed that these teachers were also like artists on their own,” Leichter said, “and what they chose to make when they weren’t on the clock is so cool because it speaks to who they are as people.”
Drummond wanted to show art students through the art show that pursuing a career in the arts is lucrative and important, he said.
“It's important for students to know that the other people that might not be teaching their classes, but they might be working with, are also professional,” Drummond said.
Contact copy editor Anna Ridilla at email@example.com.
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