“Colorful, eclectic, vibrant, unique. “There's something for everyone,” says University of St. Francis Gallery Coordinator Justin Johnson.
Something for everyone wasn't the intent behind this recent show at the University of St. Francis' School of Creative Arts but that's the result. These are works by current faculty members and former students of the schools art programs, artists teaching young artists and recent grads now working out in the art world. This lovely watercolor of Rome's Castle St. Angelo is by current art professor Tom Keesee. Alum Neil Boston teaches art in Mishawaka, his painting called 'Red House Blues' celebrates the decaying beauty of Cuba's vibrant culture and the often anonymous people who exist within it.
“It's just exciting to see the wide variety of what our alumni are doing from an artistic standpoint,” says Johnson, who says this show is a collection of work that is also instructional, giving the school's current art students something to work toward.
“Recent graduates who they went to school with when they were underclassmen are now in the industry and are bringing works in for the show,” he says, “so it gives them an opportunity to see what again their friends and peers are doing just a few years out of school.”
Many of these works are beautiful, this pastel of a wetland scene by alum Tony Bouillon. Others are fun, this Buck Rogers rocket ship by Bob Kiel is made out of an old Kenmore vacuum cleaner. And other works are disturbing, these pieces by adjunct professor Elena Smyrniotis mourns the disappearance of family members in Stalinist Russia; homey, wallpapered scenes with haunting images of loved ones lost in Stalin's Gulag, others who simply vanished never to be heard from again. This annual show is a celebration of one of 21 Country's finest art programs, one of the finest in the Midwest, whose teachers and graduates walk the cutting edge of artistic creativity, paving the way for others about to follow in their footsteps.