March 7, 2014
The Saint Vincent Gallery will present two exhibitions this spring with each featuring the work of four senior art majors.
Student Exhibition I, from Friday, March 14 to Sunday, March 30, opens with a reception from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, March 13 and will show the work of Loretta Bobetich, a graphic design and communication major from Duncansville; Jennifer Kisner, an art education major from Elizabeth; Natalie Woodruff, an art education major from Ringoes, N.J.; and Camden Yandel, a graphic design major from Pittsburgh (15221).
Student Exhibition II, from Friday, April 11 to Sunday, May 4, opens with a reception from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, April 10 and will show the work of Tyler Friend, a graphic design major from Thompsons Station, Tenn.; Matthew Miller, a studio arts major from Apollo; Amanda Schrott, a studio arts major from McKeesport; and Michael Waver, a graphic design major from Webster, N.Y.
Gallery hours are 1 to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays. The Gallery is closed on Mondays.
Admission is free and open to the public.
Bobetich has served as secretary of the Student Government Executive Board, and as the Orientation Committee’s event coordinator. Active in the Women in Business Club, Mad Comm Club and intramural volleyball, she has been a member of the dean’s list, Alpha Lambda Delta honor society, Lambda Pi Eta honor society and Who’s Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities. She completed an internship with the conference center at Saint Vincent.
“I gain inspiration from all over,” Bobetich commented about her art. “Once an idea has been conceived, I then begin to assemble the pieces like a puzzle. Although my main focus within graphic design is to develop media that will send a message to people through a combination of words and pictures, I still love to explore new media and techniques. My art and my skills have developed throughout my life and I am constantly learning how to create and share my work. As a graphic designer, I enjoy turning an idea into a clean piece of art that can be used to communicate a message. My inspiration seems to come from everywhere I look: nature, people, places or even my daily thoughts. My work may focus on various subjects but holds consistency through the clean style that I use. I believe that simplicity, if done correctly, is the best way to reach an audience and convey an idea. I find that by keeping my mind open to any kind of subject allows me to develop my art further and explore new media and techniques. As I continue to grow as an artist, I believe that my work and ideas will grow as well.”
Kisner has done pre-student teaching and student teaching at Hillcrest Elementary School in the Norwin School District. She has also taught Native American Art and Artifacts in the Step-Up Program at Saint Vincent and done field experience and observation at Latrobe Elementary School, Greensburg Central Catholic High School and Saint Cecilia’s School for Autistic Children. A member of the dean’s list, she enjoys playing soccer, drawing and painting, reading and working with animals at a local dog kennel.
“Art is a way to express creativity and individuality,” Kisner commented. “It is a way to relax; to put thoughts and emotions on paper in more than just words. It is hard to compare myself to other artists or to call myself an artist in general. I do not know which medium I prefer over the rest, but what I do know is the feeling I get whenever my work is in front of me. I enjoy working with my hands to discover new ways to express myself whenever I cannot finds the words to do so. Imagination is a key to being creative and I want people to take away what they want from my artwork. I saw my inner artist come out when I began to show an interest in my art classes during high school. I found myself spending most of my time in the art wing whenever I was not in my regular classes. This was because I knew that I could communicate with people through my creative mind. I have fun with my artwork. I tend to try new things in order to better my abilities. I want people to use their own creative mind in order to complete pieces that I have first created. My dedication lies within the pride I take in my own artwork. I know that the effort I put into my work represents the person I am. I love taking the time to solve problems within my own artwork because at an upper level, that is what art is all about – being able to take colors, textures and materials and turn them into a masterpiece. Once I become an educator it is my goal to instill these ideas into every student I have the opportunity to inspire.”
A dean’s list student, Woodruff has been honored with induction into the Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society which she also served as chapter historian and as a Kappa Delta Pi honors program member. She has also been honored by being named to Who’s Who among Students in American Colleges and Universities and a Saint Vincent College Community Service Award for her volunteer note-taking for disadvantaged students. She completed her student teaching experience at the Maxwell and West Point Elementary Schools in the Hempfield Area School District. She also has experience as a prefect (resident assistant) in the Saint Vincent College residence life department, as an art teacher with Art Attack in Flemington, N.J., as a counselor with the Saint Vincent College Education Department and as an assistant religious education teacher.
“Art is a store of value – it’s my dollar bills,” Woodruff commented. “Art is a mode of communication – it’s my alphabet. Art is a way to make sense of the world – it’s my metaphor. As a kinetic learner with ADD, I experiment with multiple artistic forms, with an emphasis on three-dimensional art. I dabble in weaving, book-making, pottery and needlework. My main focus is on the intersection of paint and fiber, as epitomized in my wall hanging collection. I love finding creative ways to combine my natural ability to draw and paint with my love of woven works. As an artist with a disability, I rely on art to express the feelings and ideas I cannot express with words alone. My dyslexia forces me to move beyond the printed word, into the world of paint and pencil, clay and canvas, to communicate effectively. On the whole, my desire is the same as any other human being: I want to know, and be known. My art is a fusion of forms, combining three-dimensional and two-dimensional works into intricate, evocative hybrids. My art is a fusion of styles, bridging the traditional Western styles of my upbringing with the East Asian landscapes that have inspired my young adulthood. My art is me, as I am and as I wish to be.”
Yandel has a wide variety of work experiences including the Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation, a non-profit organization that dedicates itself to preserving local architecture as landmarks; PhiriVon, LTD, a Pittsburgh-based clothing company; Saint Vincent College Facility Management; and Artists Image Resource (AIR), an artist-run print shop.
“Throughout my childhood, I watched television and read comics almost religiously, copying what I saw as best I could,” Yandel commented. “As I got older, I became more and more interested in the art and process of visual storytelling and started making comics, and recently taught myself how to animate, although very crudely. My recent work has been a reflection of adolescent life and love told from the perspective of a character I developed, a 13-year-old boy named Kamal. In addition, this series serves as a study in visual narrative and motion on two-dimensional plane.”
A member of the freshman orientation committee, Miller has also served as a student assistant at The Saint Vincent Gallery. He has studied abroad in Italy for a semester at Florence University of the Arts, and has done language studies at Cuernavaca Language School in Mexico. His work experience includes tech crew and set construction for Saint Vincent Summer Theatre, an internship with John Ritter Illustrations and work as a lifeguard and swim instructor at the East Suburban Family YMCA.
“In my art, I deconstruct myths, fairy tales, Greek and Roman images and religious icons to present them in a contemporary style,” Miller commented about his art. “Oftentimes, the image is used to display a moment of heightened emotion. I primarily use – but am not limited to – oil paint. The methodology behind my art is consistent. Although there might be similarities between different projects, my art is linked by recurring forms and thematic elements.”
A graduate of Franklin Classical School, Tenn., Friend has a wide variety of work experiences including serving as an IT intern at CME Engineering, instructor at Firstlight Arts Academy, host at Mexicali Grill, student assistant at the Latimer Family Library, global news writer for the Review student newspaper and graphic design for Prodigium, LLC. He has been published in Saint Vincent’s Generation magazine and has exhibited at Firstlight Arts Academy in Franklin, Tenn., and Art All Night in Pittsburgh.
“I’m a serotinal, middle of the night, cool blacktop walk artist,” Friend commented on his artistic approach. “I’m a disemboweled dictionary artist. I’m a sloth in the aviary artist. I enjoy working with different mediums, both traditional and digital, and mixing them in experimental ways. I have a passion for color and like to explore the realm of texture. I’m also very preoccupied with the balance of order and chaos, and most of my pieces try to incorporate both precision and freedom. I also have a preoccupation with the relationship between the natural, spiritual and human worlds. Similarly, my works often combine elements of portraiture, landscape and abstraction. They often touch on themes of identity, gender, sexuality, community and isolation. I believe that the truest artworks are at least semi-autobiographical. I also draw heavily from literary works, especially A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”
Schrott has been active at Saint Vincent in the Art Club which she served as president, Sports Friendship Day and the Empty Bowl Project. She also has experience as a catalogue specialist for the McCarl Gallery, as a sculpting intern for Earthview Studios and in art studio maintenance for the Saint Vincent Visual Arts Department.
“Art explains what words cannot,” Schrott commented about her art. “Sometimes emotions, ideas and thoughts can be so overwhelming that words cannot express the feeling in a way that is satisfying to me, so I turn those things into images. My inspiration comes from my childhood history and social issues in today’s society. These social issues affect all of us, many times in ways we do not understand. The lack of understanding is where I draw my motivation to create. My artwork has a lot of symbolism in the content and the composition. I like to place items within the piece that hint at what I am trying to explain without words. I create my best work after I have read or learned about the issue at hand. Whenever I learn about a new or old issue, I feel the need to express that issue using images. My artwork means the world to me. I want to educate the masses and learn more about myself while doing so. Art has taught me who I am as a person and what I believe in. Now I want to show others who I am using images.”
Waver is a graduate of Webster Thomas High School, N.Y. He has done freelance assignments including designing the band logos and t-shirts for two local bands and designing and painting an artistic piece on a bass guitar. His work experience also includes culinary production for the Aramark Corporation and gallery attendant for The Saint Vincent Gallery where he greeted visitors.
“I make art because I see the world as it is, and as it could be, as things and people that exist and that which does not,” Waver commented about his artistic philosophy. “In the artistic world, things can’t be created that cannot exist in the reality we are accustomed. Yet, my creations are made for the real world; It’s like connecting reality to unreality. These two separate worlds meet, and make one creation. The art, and the response it receives, are like cause and effect. I find inspiration in everything naturally beautiful, from the stars of the sky, to the curve of a smile, to the light radiating from the sun in the evening to the natural curls of a winding vine. Although my own art does not often physically represent that which inspires me, it is purposeful; See, I see not a reason to create that which inspires me, if it already exists. I use their given inspiration as a springboard; to propel myself into a creative state in a world where imagination is the only guide. Oftentimes, I mean to create art that is something unique; that comes across as real enough to believe its reality, but retaining aspects of unreality. I love the nature of science fiction and medieval works, so the majority of my work ends up drawing upon either of the given categories. I try to evoke something moving yet powerful through my use of colors and high contrasts, often ending up in my art having a darker style. I don’t think my work is perfect, not terrible, like all other things of this world. But I think it to be different, and I work hard to make it that way. Does it affect you? That is not for me to decide.”
Photos: Jennifer Kisner, Loretta Bobetich, Natalie Woodruff, Camden Yandel, Matthew Miller, Tyler Friend, Amanda Schrott and Michael Waver.
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