Exhibit Showcases Faculty Artwork

Exhibit Showcases Faculty Artwork

By Alexis BlueUniversity Communications
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"Black Shield: Backed by Various Kudos Credit," watercolor/digital print by art professor Jackson Boelts
"Black Shield: Backed by Various Kudos Credit," watercolor/digital print by art professor Jackson Boelts
Art professor Moira Geoffrion's "Gertrude's Desk" is a memorial to her mother.
Art professor Moira Geoffrion's "Gertrude's Desk" is a memorial to her mother.
"Untitled (Cardboard) #1," by photography professor Frank Gohlke
"Untitled (Cardboard) #1," by photography professor Frank Gohlke

Students in the University of Arizona's School of Art have the opportunity to work with a team of experienced and talented faculty, but they don't always have the chance to see what their professors do in their own art studios.

Those students, along with other members of the University and Tucson communities, can get a glimpse of UA art educators' work during the Faculty Art Exhibition at the UA Museum of Art.

The exhibit, which opened in September and runs through Nov. 8, features the work of nearly 30 faculty artists, including paintings, drawings, photography, sculpture and more.

"This is probably one of the best opportunities to see really what instructors do outside of class and how they express themselves," said Jamie Martin, a program coordinator in the School of Art.

This is the first time that the biennial exhibit, which is held every other fall, features participants from the disciplines of art history and art education, Martin said.

In a "reading room" adjacent to the main exhibit area, visitors can look at publications, such as books and journals, featuring work by faculty in the School of Art's art history and art and visual culture education divisions. 

"We wanted to show all the disciplines in the school," Martin said.

Visitors to the reading room will be able to watch a 20-minute video in which School of Art faculty members discuss their teaching methods and view a computer slideshow of photos of exhibit participants and their philosophies on art education. 

For professors who have visual pieces in the show, the Faculty Exhibition allows them to show students a different side of their professional life.

"I think a lot of the students forget that a lot – I'd say a good 95 percent – of our faculty are exhibiting artists with work all over the United States," said Alfred Quiroz, whose own work is held by the Tucson Museum of Art, the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art and the Museum of Fine Arts in Santa Fe, N.M.

His exhibition piece is a vibrant oil painting satirically characterizing Franklin D. Roosevelt, part of his "Presidential Series."

Some faculty members incorporate visits to the Faculty Exhibition into their coursework.

Professor Barbara Penn, who teaches painting and drawing, said her students can review the faculty show by comparing the work of two faculty members for one of their written assignments.

"It's interesting because they work with all of us and they enjoy going in there to scrutinize the work that we do," said Penn, whose acrylic painting "... And so proceed ad in-fi-ni-tum" is themed around war – from drug wars, to nations at war, to internal wars.

Most pieces in the show are recently completed, which also allows faculty members to check in on their colleagues' current work.

"I always think it's fun. It's really great to keep up with new pieces and new directions people are going in," said art professor Moira Geoffrion, who has a sculptural piece in the show.

Geoffrion's "She Who Went Before II: Gertrude's Desk" is a memorial to her mother, who lost her battle with cancer in 1982.

The sculpture consists of her mother's own desk, covered in plastic casts of objects symbolizing different elements that were important in her life, like leaves and flowers for her love for gardening, and polished stones and metalworking tools for her jewelry-making hobby. Her mother's old mirror and piano stool are also part of the piece.   

The Faculty Art Exhibition will be on display at the UA Museum of Art through Nov. 8. Museum hours are Tuesday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, noon to 4 p.m. Admission is $5 for the general public and free for UA employees, students, children and museum members.

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