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Cummings exhibit features works of Pa. art educators

Monday, November 10, 2014

“Abstract Landscape,” Jeff Yonkers, Harding School

Pennsylvania art educators from across the state show works in a variety of media in a juried exhibit co-sponsored by the Pennsylvania Art Education Association with the Mercyhurst University Art Department. "Shaping the Future: Pennsylvania Artist Educators" continues through Jan. 4 in Cummings Gallery at Mercyhurst University.

The artists will be honored at a public reception on Saturday, Nov. 15, from 2 to 4 p.m.

Juror Yuha Jung, Ph.D., chose 48 works by 31 artists for the exhibit. An art educator and museum scholar, Jung earned her doctorate from Penn State University in art education (museum education and management) and is an assistant professor of arts administration at the University of Kentucky.

“When it comes to teaching, my art-making experiences can be used as an example to demonstrate certain art techniques or genres,” she said. “In addition, I can be a wholesome art educator whose teaching practice is embedded in her own experience as an artist. Making art is also a metaphor for the long journey of life. We plan our lives as an artist envisions his or her art, but in the end, we do not know or fully control what the life or the work of art will look like; the process is serendipitous, unknown, and exciting. How art is and can be used ultimately depends on every one of us.”

The show includes a wide variety of media, from Christina Martin’s 12-foot-high steel sculpture titled “Micro” to Lauren Clark’s realistic acrylic painting, “Portrait of a Resting Dog.”

Jeffrey Yonkers of Harding Elementary School earned a Juror Award for his graphite drawing, “Abstract Landscape.” Yonkers explains his inspiration for the piece: “As an elementary school art teacher, I am continually fascinated by the uninhibited use of line and shape by students in the early primary years. As we teach them how to form letters, numbers and shapes, they teach us how to deconstruct our own preconceived notions of how to draw. This composition was inspired by the urban landscape drawings completed by my kindergarten students.”

Jung also presented Juror Awards to:

  • Sarah Everett of the Neighborhood Art House for her wood-burned and stained gourd, “Summer Harvest”
  • Jennifer Peters of Fort LeBoeuf High School for her mixed media on wood piece, “July-September: Cicada Sounds”
  • Michael Bocianowski of the Robert Benjamin Wiley Charter School for his brush, ink and digital illustration, “Share Th’ Journey!”

Cummings Gallery, located in the lobby of the Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center, is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 2 to 5 p.m. The gallery will be closed Nov. 24-30 for Thanksgiving break and open by appointment only Dec. 12-Jan. 4 (closed Dec. 24-25 and Dec. 31-Jan. 1).

For information or to schedule an appointment, call 824-2092.