February 7, 2013

SUNY student exhibition launches new gallery


---- — PLATTSBURGH — It’s a brave, new space in Myers Lobby Gallery, and “Studio Selections 2012-13” is the inaugural exhibition of a fresh series.

Plattsburgh State art faculty curated the exhibition, which features works by art majors working in ceramics, computer art, drawing, graphic design, photography, printmaking and sculpture.

The show features 39 works by 32 Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Fine Arts student-artists and opens Friday at SUNY Plattsburgh.

Dr. Richard Mikkelson coordinated the show.

“The lobby has been renovated, and new lighting has gone in,” said Mikkelson, who is a SUNY distinguished teaching professor of art. 

“We’ve had various formats for student shows in the past. This is a new format in that the museum asked the faculty to curate an exhibition. We, as an art faculty, could have done a variety of things. We decided to have an exhibition representing all the studio areas we teach in. This was our decision for this first show. We could have had an exhibition of printmaking or whatever.”

Justin Gunnell, an art-studio major, has a concentration in drawing and painting. He has two works in the show: an oil painting on panel and a multimedia drawing using oil paint, gouache, charcoal, chalk pastel, oil pastel and gesso. He draws his inspiration from life. 

“The ups and downs of one’s life and other people’s work that you look at,” said Gunnell, who is from Watertown.

“I’ve been working with Pete Russom a couple of years now. He’s a drawing and painting instructor. I’ve been working closely with him.”

Russom told Gunnell about the show and suggested he submit several works.

“We selected the pieces that may possibly work together and also to create more diversity in the exhibition all together,” Gunnell said. “Some of the work is more representational. The ones selected by Peter and myself are leaning more to abstraction, and the painting is completely abstract. No one else really works in that way up there. We figured it would add another element of diversity to the exhibit.”

Jeannie Howard’s works “Pluto,” “Mars” and “Edited Irish Landscape” are representational. The idea behind her planet series was to incorporate a figure.

“In that one, the figure is eating Pluto,” said Howard, a senior and Plattsburgh native.

“Pluto isn’t a planet by a technicality anymore. The ‘Mars’ piece, it’s always seen as this god of war. The image, when you look at it, it’s not a happy image. It has a certain mood about it.”

Howard is a Bachelor of Fine Arts art-studio major with a concentration in printmaking and drawing. The planet series are linocuts. She created “Edited Irish Landscape,” an oil painting, last semester for an assignment.

“I went there (Ireland) during high school, and that’s the photo I took from back then,” Howard said. “I based the painting on a photo I previously had.”

Marlowe Lowe, who was a Bachelor of Fine Arts art-studio major with a concentration in sculpture, has a hanging sculpture in the exhibition. It’s comprised of cast iron, aluminum hands and wood. 

“I did a short series of work dealing with a play on figurative weight but used a literal weight to represent a burden or something weighing down on someone … pressures,” said Lowe, who graduated in December 2012.

“I experienced that the last couple of semesters and what not.”

Email Robin Caudell:

IF YOU GO WHAT: "Studio Selections 2012-2013." WHEN: Opening reception is 5 to 6:30 p.m. Friday. Show runs through March 3. WHERE: Myers Lobby Gallery, Myers Fine Arts Building, SUNY Plattsburgh.