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Art education majors show depth of talents in exhibit

By Samantha Wulff
On April 17, 2013

 

The Art Education Association and students of the Foundations of Museum Education are
teaming up once again to present the annual Art Education Juried Exhibition, beginning
Friday.
 
The display will showcase the works of current art education students, possibly even
those working to set it up.
 
The title and theme of the exhibition is Personal Pedagogy, and will run through May 9 in
the Czurles-Nelson Gallery of Upton Hall.
 
"We all make our own art apart from our professional practice," said AEA president and
exhibition coordinator Brian Nacov. "It plays into how we will end up teaching."
 
Personal Pedagogy differs from other exhibitions in that it is juried. Shows are typically
organized by certain departments, and teachers choose what student artwork will be
displayed. In a juried exhibition a juror comes in, looks at submissions and then decides
what pieces are best suited for the show. Albright-Knox Art Gallery's associate curator,
Holly Hughes, will hold juror position this year.
 
"In times past, we've have three jurors," said AEA advisor and associate professor of art
education Cheryl Hamilton. "When we changed to one it was much more cohesive."
 
Although the pieces will only have to pass through one aesthetic filter, the mediums will
be varied. Paintings, sculptures, photographs, ceramics, textiles and multimedia works
are all up for judging.
 
Hamilton said that the juror never knows what they may get.
 
"We had a piece last exhibition that was a wood piece; it went all the way to the ceiling,"
she said.
 
The graduate students of Foundations of Museum Education will be faced with the task
of installing the works once they are selected. They must decide on focal points, how
much space to give a piece, its placement, lighting and label placement. The process is
systematic and time consuming.
 
While a grade is tied to their participation in the show, the graduate students will also
gain invaluable experience. An art educator must to be able to effectively present others'
works, namely those of students.
 
"You have to know how to make their art look good," said Kathy Shiroki, art education
lecturer and curator of museum learning and community engagement for the Burchfield-
Penney Art Center.
 
Countless hours are put into the show, including the hours it takes to produce a piece, and
behind-the-scenes preparation and installation. AEA is responsible for formulating pre-
announcements, sending emails, creating labels, organizing the intake of artwork, holding
it and returning it, if need be. Nacov is grateful to have the support of his executive
board along with a "to-do" book at this time.
 
"The coordinator of the previous exhibition put together this excellent, excellent manual
for the show," he said.
 
The manual lays out what must be done and when, which makes it little easier to contend
with the demands of the show. Nacov finds that it has been quite helpful, and he plans on
updating the guide with any additions he has after the exhibition.
 
Students can attend the reception of Personal Pedagogy on April 25 from 5-7 p.m. It
will formally celebrate the of artwork and the collaborative effort required to pull off
the show. Light refreshments and snacks will be provided, and students will give short
presentations.
 
Not many predictions can be made about the exhibition, other than it will reflect the
personal artistic strengths of art education students. It all depends on how many people
submit and what the juror decides to include.
 
"Honestly, I'm excited to just see the gallery full of the work of students," Nacov said.
 
Both AEA and the graduate students from Kathy Shiroki's class will be dealing with art
that is as diverse as the students themselves.
 
"These are works that have been done by our students, in our classes, at Buff State or at
home. There are no restrictions," Hamilton said. "It's always a surprise."
 
Samantha Wulff can be reached by email at wulff.record@live.com.

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