Continuum Celebration to Mark Inauguration of Graduate Art Lab
Many of us have been caught doodling in the margins of our notepads to pass the time during a lecture or meeting, but associate art professor Keith McElroy has taken the habit to a whole new level, and he may even stand to profit from it.
His collection of "Minutes from Faculty Meetings," a series of 75 digitally enhanced doodles created while he sat in several meetings throughout his 32-year tenure at The University of Arizona, will be for sale at the School of Art's Continuum celebration, a two-day art sale, fundraiser and inauguration celebration for the school's new Visual Arts Graduate Research Laboratory.
McElroy is one of about 30 past and present School of Art faculty members who will sell their work at the event, being held Feb. 20-21. About 120 artists' work will be featured, including art undergraduates and graduate students, alumni, faculty, staff and artists represented by four local galleries â€“ Etherton, Conrad Wilde, Davis-Dominguez and the Museum of Contemporary Art.
The celebration, hosted by the School of Art and the School of Art Advisory Board, kicks off at 5 p.m. Feb. 20 at the Visual Arts Graduate Research Laboratory, 1231 N. Fremont Ave.
The 25,000-square-foot facility was built to provide 50 studio work spaces for graduate students in the School of Art. It brings together students from the two-dimensional and three-dimensional art disciplines, who previously worked out of separate, rented buildings east and west of the main campus.
In addition to 50 individual studio spaces, the laboratory includes a metal shop, welding shop, wood shop, classroom and critique areas, and gallery space for displaying student work.
Two-dimensional art students began moving into the facility in the fall and three-dimensional students are expected to move in later this semester, said Jamie Martin, program coordinator for the School of Art.
"It's an all-in-one place where they get to intermix with one another," said Dennis Jones, director of the School of Art. "This is a milestone."
During Continuum â€“ an event tagged as "celebrating the past, present and future of the School of Art" â€“ the laboratory will be converted into an exhibition hall, where the public can shop for works of art by former and current art students and faculty.
McElroy, who will retire this spring, said it seemed like the perfect opportunity to showcase and sell the collection of doodles he's penned to help him concentrate at numerous faculty meetings over the years.
"I've been on everything from Faculty Senate to the bottom of the barrel," McElroy said with a laugh. "I have a reputation in committee meetings of all kinds for sketching and doodling. I get lost between their rambling words, and it helps me to focus."
McElroy said he scanned his abstract felt-tipped pen drawings and manipulated them digitally to add color.
Ellen McMahon, an associate art professor and faculty coordinator for Continuum, said the event is an opportunity to bring together alumni and past faculty with current School of Art students, faculty and staff for a reunion of sorts.
"This has never happened before," McMahon said. "It's a massively inclusive celebration and it's a really fantastic networking opportunity for them (students) to show their work to curators and faculty and past faculty."
In addition to the art sale, there will also be an inauguration ceremony for the lab and live performances â€“ including an aerial dance, puppet performance and music â€“ during the Friday portion of the celebration, which runs from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m., Martin said. Tickets to Friday's event are $75 and there will be food and a wine bar. All ticket holders will receive a free lithograph print of a work by a School of Art faculty member.
On Saturday, art sales will continue from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m., and there will be a series of art history lectures throughout the day. Tickets to Saturday's events are $10 for general admission and $5 for students.
Proceeds from the event will benefit the School of Art's Visiting Artist and Scholars Endowment and the Director's Fund for Excellence.
For a complete schedule of events, and to R.S.V.P., visit the Continuum Web site.