The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.
– Aristotle, Nichomachean Ethics
How important are the visual arts in our society? I feel strongly that the visual arts are of vast and incalculable importance. Of course I could be prejudiced. I am a visual art.
– Kermit the Frog, Muppets
Too often I take for granted the numerous outstanding opportunities that we have at Saint Vincent to experience the Fine Arts. Earlier this month the Saint Vincent Gallery had the opening of 2X20. This remarkable exhibit features two works from twenty regional artists everyone should know. Gallery Curator, Chairperson of the Visual Arts Department, and our reigning Projektenmacher Br. Nathan Cochran, O.S.B., put together a very diverse show that includes paintings, sculpture, furniture, and photography. If you have not been to a Gallery opening, you are missing an outstanding event. An opening provides opportunities to mingle with the artists, students, faculty, and friends while enjoying the art, great food, and refreshing drinks, all free of charge. The 2X20 exhibit will be on display until February 19 with hours from 1-4pm Tuesday through Sunday.
The next Gallery openings are the two senior exhibitions. These should not be missed! Mark the dates, Thursday, March 15 and Thursday, April 19 from 6-8:30pm. Come out and support our seniors as they exhibit the best of their work over four years.
The McCarl Coverlet Gallery, located in the Fred Rogers Center, gives another on-campus opportunity to experience the arts – this time folk art. Curator Ms. Lauren M. Lamendola oversees one of the finest collections of coverlets in the country. The current exhibit was assembled by senior history major, Casey Wertz. Distelfinks Among the Dutch highlights coverlets from the collection that have a Pennsylvania Dutch motif. The exhibit includes other types of Pennsylvania Dutch art including a quilt, freehand scherenschnitte (paper cuttings), Mennonite Bibles, furniture, and fraktur (elaborate calligraphic lettering). Walking through the exhibit and reading the material on the walls will give a good background on the history of the Pennsylvania Dutch – including the fact that they are German and not Dutch.
Also not to be missed are the remaining performances of the Saint Vincent Concert Series (March 17 and April 14), the Saint Vincent College Players’ performance of Stephen Sondheim’s musical “Company” at the end of the February, and the SVC Gilbert and Sullivan Players performance of “H.M.S. Pinafore” at the end of March – the latter two under the direction of Colleen Reilly, Director of Theatre. In addition to these events, the voices of our Saint Vincent Choir, under the direction of Tom Octave, and our Camerata, under the direction of Fr. Stephen Concordia, O.S.B., during our many celebrations highlight the talents of our students and faculty.
Please take advantage of these and other events to experience the Fine Arts on campus this semester. Art can open the mind to new possibilities and remove the limits of artificial horizons. At its best, art can be transcendent either illuminating a better understanding or allowing us to humbly recognize the limits of our understanding. These are opportunities not to be missed.
Dr. John Smetanka,
Dr. John J. Smetanka has been a member of the full-time faculty since 1997 and currently serves as the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Academic Dean of Saint Vincent College, a position he has held since January, 2008.