The Clark University Visual and Performing Arts Department celebrated the artistic visions of 17 studio art alumni at a Feb.12 reception for the third “Art After Clark” exhibition, now on display through April 2 at the Traina Center for the Arts’ Schiltkamp Gallery. Represented media and techniques range from handmade journals and fabric sculpture to printmaking, photography, painting, drawing and graphic design. Approximately 50 alumni who majored in studio art submitted work for this juried show. Class years of the selected artists range from 1983 to 2011.
According to exhibition curator and assistant professor of studio art Toby Sisson, informing the selection process was a desire to feature diversity from artists who had graduated in the previous two decades. She also wanted to allow space for several works by each artist.
“The varied work of our graduates highlights the multiplicity of practices a strong arts program can cultivate,” Sisson notes. “No single style dominates a well-rounded program, and Clark’s is no exception. “
Four of the artists, Reid Seifer ’95, Rebecca Herskovitz ’06, Maren Jensen ’10, and Adrienne Adeyemi ’10, M.P.A. ’11 — all based within a half-day’s drive of Worcester — attended the reception and spoke briefly about their work. Other artists whose works are on display are Cheryle St. Onge ’83, Kati Toivanen ’88, Christopher Gorman ’90, Brian Kiss ’01, Lynne Mullen ’01, Adam Ryder ’04, Rachel Loischild ’05, Matthew Altieri ’06, Ruth Bleakley ’07, Maria Frati ’07, Bridget Kane ’07, Stephanie Richardson ’11, and Amanda Kidd Schall ’11.
By showcasing what Sisson describes as “the real, tangible accomplishments of the graduates of the studio art program,” she acknowledges the important role the exhibition can play for current studio art majors.
“Studio art majors need to be able to see what they can go on and do [after graduation], and have people they can meet,” she says. “I want them to be able to network and make connections.”
Sisson curated “Art After Clark” with the assistance of four studio art interns: Nina Borland ’14, Granite Huang ’14, Natasha Isokangas ’14, and Ananya Sikand ’14. Over the course of the fall 2013 semester, January, and early February, the team organized, juried and mounted the show, a process the interns have found highly rewarding.
“I have loved working on the show,” says Borland. “From designing collateral to hanging work and running an opening, the experience could not have been more exciting. Working as a gallery intern has opened my eyes to just how much a curator does.”
Huang explains that, for him, “Working as a gallery intern has been a great opportunity to look at artists’ work from all different media, and to meet the ones that come to the openings.”
The show is a source of inspiration for Sikand. “Seeing the work and interacting with the artists at the opening made me realize that I, too, can keep making art, and that there are ample ways to fund one’s art-making practice as well.”
A panel discussion featuring several of the alumni artists is being planned for later in the semester.
“Art After Clark” was first held in 1993 by professor of studio art and current program director Elli Crocker, and repeated in 2002.
— Anne Gibson, Ph.D. ’95