By JEN RETTER ’16
Photography KARA WRIGHT ’14
Nov. 15 marked the opening of Faculty Exhibition 2012: On the Persistence of Drawing at the Arcadia University Art Gallery, a show that explores the ways in which drawing shapes and informs the work and instruction of Arcadia’s Art and Design faculty. Students and alumni flocked to the Gallery, eager to get a closer look at their favorite professors’ contributions.
“Sometimes, [the professors’] work gets lost in instruction,” said Diana Funk ’14, a student who admitted to being surprised when she saw the pieces showcased. “We don’t think about what they’re doing outside of teaching.”
Tamsen Wojtanowski, an adjunct professor who has two photographs (“Untitled 3” and “Billboard”) featured in the exhibition, enjoyed being surrounded by the work of her colleagues as much as the students who attended the opening event. “It’s really interesting to see so much diversity under the big umbrella of art—that’s the most exciting thing about this exhibition,” she said.
Diversity is a defining characteristic of the exhibition. Materials range from hair and copper wire in Karen Misher’s “Nisus,” to crayon, watercolor and acrylic in Michael DeLuca’s “Izzie Drawing.” And many different media are showcased throughout the space, including ceramic sculpture, digital prints and oil paper. “It’s really interesting to see what our teachers have been working on,” said Aly Sims ’14, who was impressed by the variety of styles on display.
One of the most talked-about pieces at the opening was Carole Loeffler’s “Occurrences of Introspection,” an installation in which a rocking chair is turned into an interactive work of art. Visitors can take part in Loeffler’s artistic vision just by sitting down and rocking.
Uncapped markers dangle from red ribbons appended to the back of the chair, which sits on a mat. By the end of the month, Loeffler hopes that the mat will be covered with drawings created by all the visitors who took a seat and rocked back and forth. “The idea is that, as you draw, you’re relaxing. The clicking noise is calming, so each mark [made on the mat] is a mark of calmness,” said Loeffler.
While she intended for her piece to be playful, Loeffler admitted that “Occurrences of Introspection” has a romantic edge to it as well. Her use of red ribbon was inspired by the idea of the “red string of fate” which developed in East Asian legends. The string is said to symbolize the invisible tie between soul mates. Loeffler’s fascination with this idea has inspired her to use the color red in previous pieces and continues to influence her work.
Members of the Arcadia community and the public are encouraged to make their way to the Gallery to see the exhibition, which will remain on view until Dec. 16. It is the hope of the artists that those who come to explore the exhibition will see each individual’s “persistence in drawing,” and, in Loeffler’s case, become a part of the creative process.