JSU art professors showcase their work

Art displayed at the annual faculty showcase in Hammond Hall. (Photo courtesy of Miranda Prescott/The Chanticleer)Art displayed at the annual faculty showcase in Hammond Hall. (Photo courtesy of Miranda Prescott/The Chanticleer)

Miranda PrescottA&E Correspondent

The Jacksonville State University Department of Art held their annual Faculty Showcase on Tuesday night, September 24. The event took place in Hammond Hall and the Roundhouse on campus.

The showcase featured works from full time JSU professors. Various mediums were used in the creation of the art pieces on display, such as photography, graphic design, pottery, videography and traditional medias such as paint and charcoal.

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Along with showcasing the professor’s talents, the showcase is used to allow their students to see their teachers and their works in a more professional setting: one that exists outside of the classroom.

“Teaching is their passion,” said Brooklyn Miles, the Art Department secretary. “It helps show the students that they can survive outside of college.”

“I think it helps students hold more respect for their professors,” said Makenzie Castro, a freshman art student.

When discussing what the professors used as inspiration for their works during the showcase, Department Head Seth Johnson believes that “different teachers are inspired by different things.” He also believes that it is these inspirations from which teachers fuel their passion for art and teaching.

“For me, I am inspired by the aspects of light,” said Sarah Cusimano Miles, an assistant professor of photography who was showcasing her work. “I’m fascinated by how the lighting can change the way an object looks.”

One of the works on display was an interactive piece created by the professors as memoriam to Dr. Karen Hendricks, an art history professor who passed away earlier last year. 

Hendricks worked at the university for 31 years. She retired two years ago and was eligible for the William H. Meehan award for her time on campus.

In the interactive piece, students, colleagues and friends of Hendricks were able to write notes expressing their gratitude for the late professor. Note writers were encouraged to share memories and their favorite characteristics of her and clip them using the ones provided on the wall.

“The notes will be bound into a book and given to her husband.” said Morgan Worsham, the art gallery coordinator.

Another collection featured during the showcase was Mary Springer’s charcoal pieces on landscapes. With these pieces, Springer wanted to focus on raising mental health awareness through her artwork of the sky and other aspects of nature.

“I’m from Nebraska, and they always say that the sky opens up in Nebraska,” said Springer. “I always believed that the sky could showcase emotions, and I wanted to use that aspect to create pieces that could promote mental health.”

Springer also says that she hopes the artwork she creates can inspire students. “I have anxiety, and I know some of my students also suffer from it,” she said.

In addition to the memoriam piece and works from professors, the showcase featured works from visiting artist Jordan Kabalka. For the showcase, Kabalka brought in his collection entitled “Wrong Things, Right Attitude.”

“My illustration work is often an interpretation of experiences,” said Kabalka in his artist statement. “I always try to infuse a touch of humor, even if the subject is dark or sad.”

Kabalka also said that his inspiration for the aesthetic of the works he brought with him were vintage matchboxes and mid-century prints.

The next art showing on campus will be on October 9.

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