The Myers School of Art Faculty Exhibit is currently open to the public at Folk Hall until Wednesday, Sept. 20. The exhibit, which opened on Aug. 24 in the Emily Davis Gallery, features art from 26 full and part-time faculty members. The pieces represent the different areas of the school including painting, photography, ceramics, and other techniques and mediums.
Arnold Tunstall, Director of University Galleries, described the almost yearly event as a way for students to get to know who they will be studying under. Tunstall said that many students visiting the exhibit “have come through and, you know, basically, found out, ‘Oh! My teacher’s legit!’” This interaction between students and their professors’ art not only helps humanize faculty members but also highlights the fact that they do have talent.
Besides legitimizing the myriad of skills housed within the School of Art, the Faculty Exhibit is a good way for students to visualize their own interests. “For new students, undergrads that aren’t sure where they fall into, they can actually see their teacher’s art; kind of get to know them in that way,” said Hillary Butler, a graduate assistant in the Arts Administration program. Students, upon seeing a particular piece may say “I want to do that; this is the exact person I’d go to on how to do this,” said Jane Balog, an art history major interning with the gallery.
There are plenty of unique pieces to inspire students to think beyond what they think they know about art. Some of the works in the exhibit were created specifically for the event. “A few of the people, I challenged to make a work just for the show,” Tunstall said. One example is a piece titled “Fragmented” by senior lecturer, Jenniffer Omaitz-Collier.
Tunstall said, Omaitz-Collier’s work “is one-of-a-kind, one-time-only,” and “it’s been blowing some kids’ minds.” Tunstall has known her to be a painter and was excited to see something completely different, especially when “she asked permission to put a hole in the wall which is not normal.” Omaitz-Collier’s “Fragmented” invites the viewer to come take a closer look from every angle, even behind it. However, the Faculty Exhibit shows that art is not just about looking.
Assistant Professor, David Flynn, created a tactile experience with his piece titled “The Quiet.” In his space, he has managed to place a piece of his life for gallery patrons to interact with. The moment doesn’t end when the viewer moves on. Flynn has also put together a small book containing stories and poems for people to take and read at a later time.
This is just a small peek into the Myers Faculty Exhibit which occupies two large rooms that make up the Emily Davis Gallery. The gallery has been running for 40 years and was originally in the basement of Old Buchtel Hall. It houses rotating exhibits throughout the year by artists from the local area and around the world. “Heatsink” is the next exhibit, from artist Matthew Kenyon, which will run Sept. 28 through Oct. 20. There will be a reception and lecture for the exhibit on Oct. 4.
Arnold Tunstall and the rest of the staff are always looking for volunteers to help exhibit installations and other matters. For more information, visit the website uakron.edu/art/galleries. Check out the calendar of events that includes exhibits and lectures.