"From Water to Wall"
Marist students open pop-up gallery to connect their art to the community
POUGHKEEPSIE (May 16, 2014) – Marist art students have taken their work out of the studio and into the streets, transforming a vacant city storefront into a student-curated pop-up gallery space featuring the work of ten young artists.
More than just available space, the gallery at 330 Main Street is a deliberate effort to take student art into the surrounding community and connect with artists from the region and neighboring colleges, as well as people who don't typically make it to exhibitions at Marist's Steel Plant Studios, says Julia Papiernik. Papiernik, of Buffalo, N.Y., and Zoe Christopher, of Rochester, N.Y., are both senior fine arts majors who together curated the exhibit, "From Water to Wall."
"We decided we really wanted to connect what we were doing with the community," Papiernik said of the dozen students, who worked on "From Water to Wall" as their capping project. "We wanted these great young artists to be seen beyond campus."
From the origin of the concept in January to its May 11 opening, the students had less than four months to find and renovate gallery space, raise money to handle unexpected expenses, ready and curate their work, hang and display the pieces, produce an exhibition catalogue, and publicize the project. They did almost all of the work themselves, including hanging drywall and spackling, and raised funds for the rest, like electrical work. Additional support came from Arts Mid-Hudson, Queen City Arts, and others.
The exhibition features: digital images by Kevin Cabello; oil paintings by Jordyn Fahey, Ethan Kolwaite, and Paige Lewis; works of oil paint on foam board by Daniel Fitzpatrick; works of ink and thread by Emily Hart; steel sculpture by Cole Johnson; digital prints by Alex Marinescu; steel sculpture and digital images by Tyler Sawyer; and digital photographs by Brienna Vos.
According to their mission statement, "The artists' work addresses the emotions pertaining to artistic identity and the anxiety of solidifying their purpose within the creative field."
With their pop-up gallery, at least, these artists and curators have clearly identified and fulfilled their purpose. Visitors to the gallery have included workers from nearby businesses, neighbors, and passers-by, as well as friends and family, and several works have sold.
And while anxiety may be an inevitable part of the mix of emotions for any graduating or rising senior, Professor of Art and Marist Art Gallery Director Ed Smith was confident from the start that his students' efforts would be successful, writing in the exhibition catalogue, "With the head and the heart in alignment, the growth of this remarkable band was assured."