This photo of 2011 SBU graduate Corey Armstrong is among those in the exhibition.
Exhibition at The Quick Center for the Arts runs through July 20
ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y., — Photographs of St. Bonaventure University students engaged in the process of creating art are the subject of an exhibition under way at the university’s Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts.
The exhibition, “Art and Imagination: My Bona’s Students, 2002-2012,” features photos taken by Constance Pierce, associate professor of visual arts at St. Bonaventure. It runs through July 20 in The Quick Center’s Branch Gallery.
“One of my favorite photographic endeavors over the last decade has been capturing images of a wide variety of students in diverse majors who have taken my art courses,” said Pierce. “Watching my art students immersed in the process of creation has been the delight of my time here at the university.”
The photographs show students enrolled in a number of courses taught by Pierce, including “Imaging Journal: Inward Journey,” a course she developed as a research fellow and instructor at Yale Divinity School. Described by the instructor as “part soul work and part personal narrative,” the course combines the healing qualities of journal writing and image making, and is intended to help students discover their own unique voices, said Pierce.
She began offering the course at St. Bonaventure as a special elective 10 years ago, as a way to reach out to non-art majors who desired some form of creative expression.
The photographs displayed illustrate explorations in monotype, watercolor, collage and creative writing.
Also part of the exhibition are photos of introductory painting students engaged in a project titled “Paraphrase.” In this teaching technique, students are carefully guided into a “close reading” of a painting created by a master artist, said Pierce.
With brushes in hand, students research elements such as line, color, texture and composition in the original painting. Then, with the original paintings and their own canvases turned upside down, they work on their own paintings.
“This exercise facilitates correct observation of compositional architecture and tones,” said Pierce, noting history is replete with painters who were educated through paraphrasing prior masters. Examples include Manet, Van Gogh and Picasso.
Another painting project depicted in the exhibition is one titled “Earth Song,” described by Pierce as a “communal visual elegy honoring the preservation of the Earth.” Students created individual monochromatic diptych paintings, then collaborated on conjoining them into a wrap-around mural.
“Participants learned the power of black and white, as well as the excitement of communal collaboration,” said Pierce.
Other exhibited images span a number of projects in courses Pierce has taught in drawing, painting, journals and watercolor, as well as a special version of “Imaging Journal” she utilized in her “Art and Literature” core curriculum course.
The subjects in her photographs include not only studio art and art history majors, but those majoring in other disciplines in the School of Arts and Sciences as well as majors in the schools of Business, Education, and Journalism/Mass Communication.
The Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Galleries are open to the public at no charge.
About The Artist
For more information about Constance Pierce including many art-related links and a link to her personal website, visit her profile page on the university website.
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SBU senior Cristal Mota
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2012 SBU graduate Alexis Cosco
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2010 SBU graduate Justine Whalen
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2006 SBU graduate Gabriel Potter
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SBU junior Tianne Parker
2009 SBU graduate Grant Lytle
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About the University: Inspired for more than 150 years by the Catholic
Franciscan values of individual dignity, community inclusiveness, and
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