Faculty Art Show Open at Concord through Saturday, October 6
Athens, W.Va. – The artistic talents of several Concord University faculty members will be on display throughout the latter part of September and the first week of October. Exhibitors include the following full-time and adjunct faculty members: Kevin Bennington, James Biggs, Steven Hunt, Jeff McNew, Rita Montrosse, Mark Tobin Moore, John Nelson, Fernando Porras, and Jack Sheffler.
Select biographies follow:
Kevin Bennington, a graduate of Concord University and graphic designer for Concord’s Public Relations Office, is an adjunct faculty member of the Concord art department, teaching graphic design and computer courses. He currently attends Miami International University where he is working towards his master's degree in graphic design. His artwork is a product of his course work in Graduate Studio I, which prepares students for their thesis projects.
Bennington’s art, which includes four creations of bodies of water: lake, pond, river, and ocean, brings attention to the issues surrounding water conservation, focusing on major sources of water pollution in rivers in these areas. “These sculptures are an overview that first depicts the best of nature and then conversely portrays the worst of man’s polluting practices. The message is simple, to create consciousness on environmental pollution. My goal is to help people become aware of the need to protect our waters and the environment as a whole, and to become more conscientious at a rudimentary level.”
James Biggs, a Concord graduate and instructor in design and ceramics, is showing various stoneware, hardware, and large pieces of pottery. Behind each piece is a unique story handed down to Biggs from his grandmother, who raised him on a farm in southern West Virginia. The pieces, fired in a gas kiln, are the result of two years of hard work and are representative of old butter churns, farm equipment, and stories of oral tradition – a tradition Biggs says is not only a part of his family but also a part of Appalachian culture as a whole.
Rita Montrosse, a graduate of Concord University and Radford University, has taught in Mercer County public schools. She currently is an instructor in jewelry and art education at Concord. Her featured works in the gallery include watercolor and mixed media. Her works have been showcased at Tamarack, “The Best of West Virginia,” the state’s premier arts and crafts center.
Fernando Porras, a graduate of Concord University and University of Florida and an instructor in advanced illustration and graphic design at Concord, has seen many shows feature his art, both in the United States and in his home country of Venezuela. He has worked as a graphic designer for such clients as Adidas, American Express Cards, DuPont, Colgate Palmolive, Ford Motors, and many Venezuelan companies. His works featured at the faculty art show include oil and watercolor on canvas. One of his works entitled “A Fish Story,” is a colorful representation of the experience of the Warauno tribe, an indigenous people of the South American rainforest.
Jack Sheffler, a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University and Northwestern University, has taught art at the University of Pittsburgh and other colleges in New York and Pennsylvania. His work featured at this month’s gallery includes mixed media oil, acrylic, and silkscreen paintings in bright colors.
Interim Vice President and Academic Dean, Dr. Stephen Rowe, procures many pieces of art for display on Concord’s Marsh Library’s walls. He is excited about the opportunity for faculty members to showcase their talents to the campus outside of the art department and to the general public outside of Concord. “Part of what we expect of our faculty is professional development, and for art faculty that means to produce and show. This is impressive to me because everyone – both full time and adjuncts are represented. All are first-rate,” he said. “People don’t need to go to New York City to view good art. Students, faculty, or community members who are interested in seeing outstanding works of art need go no further than the Arthur Butcher Art Gallery.”
Gallery times are 12:30 p.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday in the Alexander Fine Arts Center, Arthur Butcher Gallery. For more information, contact James Biggs, director of the gallery, at 1-304-384-5351 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
PHOTO: Shown are works of art by faculty members at Concord University (paintings by Fernando Porras, stoneware by James Biggs, and sculptures by Kevin Bennington).
CONCORD UNIVERSITY NOTES: Persons with disabilities should contact Nancy Ellison, 1-304-384-6086 or 1-800-344-6679, extension 6086 if special assistance or help is required for access to an event scheduled by the University on campus.
Corrie McKee a senior majoring in communication arts wrote this news release. Her hometown is Nitro.