Friday, April 30, 2010

“Defining Moments” for Art Department on Display

By Tori Centopanti
Staff Writer

All photographs by Tori Centopanti.

An exhibit of faculty art work called “Defining Moments” made its debut in the Housatonic Museum of Art on April 7.

At the opening, over 40 pieces were on display and the smell of paint was still fresh in the air.

Paintings ranging from realistic to abstract adorned the walls, along with drawings, sculptures and photographs.

The pieces were chosen individually by each artist instead of by jury. This gave them the opportunity to showcase their best recent work.

The largest sculpture piece, titled “The Rusty Hinge,” was of an old door with chains wrapped around it and arms coming through. The artist is Art Program Coordinator and Professor of Graphic Design John Favret.

The piece was inspired by roadblocks he has personally encountered in life. “Some people really go head-to-head with somebody who’s unwilling to move out of the way,” he said. “I’m tired of banging heads.”

Favret’s paintings feature places he loves to visit. One depicts a dock with people swimming. Others are of a pastry shop and a pub, both located in New York where he used to live. All these were made using acrylic on canvas.

Professor Peter Rembetsy is the artist behind the other sculptures, which display lacrosse players and skateboarders. He captures the action of the sports with most of his models in mid-air and doing tricks.

Professor Andy Pinto said his paintings focus on “buildings that once symbolized the culture of America [that] are now eyesores waiting for demolition.”

He used acrylic on canvas to create a barn, brick wall, and diner. Another piece he submitted was of a bare tree made using graphite stick on paper.

“I feel that a painting is not a photograph; it should be the product of more information than one moment has to offer and should express a point of view,” Pinto said.

Professor Gus Moran’s works were among the most abstract of the pieces. All five paintings were made using oil on canvas and display people in various situations. They show a painter, a scribe, Indians, a woman on a taxi and a man standing on what appears to be wreckage.

Professor Tom Brenner’s pieces could be considered realism, but he adds abstract elements to them. He used unblended pastels on rough sandpaper to create the city scenes.

“I find inspiration in the urban landscape of Bridgeport, most especially in its decaying industrial architecture,” he said.

Professor Andrew Prayzner’s work displays two mug shots of captured drug smugglers with their faces pixilated beyond recognition. He used oil on canvas in order to blend the pictures to the desired effect.

“They have this dehumanizing, abstracting quality that shifts the portraits away from standard documentation and towards an overarching geometric abstraction that symbolizes a kind of power structure,” he said.

Other faculty artists that contributed include Juan Andreu, Jason Buening, Judy Corrigan, Carmine Picarello, Ernest Lopez, Tom Scippa, Stefanie Victor, Suzan Shutan and Janet Hayes.

Faculty art shows have been done annually for years, but this year was a little different. The art department is entering a new era, which is why the name “Defining Moments” was chosen.

When the previous art program coordinator, Ron Abbe, retired, Favret took his place beginning in the Fall 2009 semester. He has been making changes ever since.

Recently, several new adjunct professors have been brought in and many new classes are being offered to meet the needs of students. Even more classes will be added during the 2010-2011 academic year.

“For the first time all of our classes were full and that’s not typical,” Favret said. “We’re trying to expand what we offer but also raise the bar a little bit for the highest quality education we can give our students.”

The faculty’s exhibit may be over, but art lovers need not fear. The student’s art show will be on display in the Housatonic Museum of Art from April 29 until May 27.

1 comment:

DigitalLyncher said...

That was very good Tori! :D