Summer 2003 Magazine Archive & SearchMuhlenberg Home

 

BY JOSEPH ELLIOTT
Acting Head,
Art Department

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


J
ust before graduation each spring, the Senior Art Exhibit opens in the Martin Art Gallery. Several hundred students, faculty members and parents converge to celebrate the work of a select group of senior art majors. Situated in architect Philip Johnson’s classic modernist building, the Baker Center for the Arts, the Martin Gallery is arguably the finest venue in the Lehigh Valley for the exhibition of contemporary art.

Tired but happy, the student artists spend the last week of April mounting, framing, positioning and hanging their works, adjusting lights, touching up walls and generally adding that final “zing” necessary for a truly professional gallery installation. They have learned that planning and executing a group show is a labor of endless details, adjustments and compromises. Editing and design are crucial, because the viewer can easily be overwhelmed by too many objects and images placed too close together. Sometimes egos are bruised as cherished works must be left out, but the result is a whole that is greater than the sum of it parts.

Preparation for the exhibit began during the fall semester, when all senior studio art majors took the course titled Senior Studio Seminar. The purpose of the course is to encourage students to initiate and develop a body of work that is truly their own, to articulate their thinking both verbally and through their visual art, and to engage in critique with faculty, visiting artists and fellow students. At the end of the fall semester, a final critique resulted in the invitation of those who exhibited the strongest commitment to their art to join the new course Honors in Studio Art in the spring semester.

(continued)


“Homage” by Abby J. Schwartz, Work in Progress, Mixed Media, 2003

 

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