September 12, 2008

Off-campus Exhibition to Showcase RSU Student Art Created in Italy

Rogers State University fine art students brought back more than memories from their summer study-abroad trip to Italy. Students not only saw world-renowned art work in Italy, but created their own paintings, drawings, sculptures and photographs.

Art Show Winners
RSU Italy art show winners Cayla Spears, Sheri Pack, Brandon Gaffney and Jennifer Hanley enjoy their exhibit in Montone, Italy. Many of the pieces from the Italian show will be on display at A Gallery of the Arts from Sept. 18 through Oct. 9.

The public will have a chance to see this internationally-inspired work starting Thursday at Wolf Productions A Gallery of the Arts in downtown Claremore. An opening reception will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 18. The show will run until Oct. 9.

The exhibition, which is free and open to the public, can be seen during the gallery's business hours 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday.

The show will include depictions of everyday life in Montone, a medieval village in the hill country of Umbria in central Italy, where the group spent the majority of their four-week educational journey. In Montone students took art and humanities classes taught by RSU professors.

"It was a once-in-a lifetime opportunity for many of these students and their enthusiasm for the trip comes through in their work," said Gary Moeller, head of the RSU Department of Fine Arts.

This will be the second show for much of the artwork because RSU held an exhibit of student and faculty work while in Italy. At the Montone art exhibit several students earned honors. Sheri Pack, a Collinsville native, won for best overall body of work; Jennifer Hanley, of Claremore, won for best painting; Cayla Spears, a native of Pryor, won for best photograph and Brandon Gaffney, of Claremore and Pawhuska, won for best drawing.

The trip marked the first time RSU coordinated its own study abroad program, Moeller said. In the past, RSU students participated in other universities' ventures.

Moeller traveled to Italy with 19 students and RSU Professors Bryce Brimer and James Ford. In addition to living and studying in Montone, the RSU group traveled to Rome and Florence.

Baird Hall, the home of the RSU Fine Arts program, is undergoing an $8 million expansion and renovation and the campus gallery cannot be used during construction.

During the Baird Hall renovation RSU art shows will be held at various locations including the Gallery of the Arts in Claremore and the Price Tower Arts Center in Bartlesville.

"RSU art students and faculty are grateful community members have stepped in to make it possible for us to continue showcasing art work during our renovation," Brimer said.

"This is a great example of university and community collaboration," Moeller added.

More information about the art show is available by calling A Gallery of the Arts at 342-4210.