Artists highlight their “INFLUENCES”

Martha Gault Art Gallery holds new exhibit

Published by Kayla Raynak, Date: January 29, 2024
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Barbara Weston stands before art in the gallery. Students are invited to look at the art during any time the gallery is open.

The Martha Gault Art Gallery presents SRU with an original exhibition titled “INFLUENCES.”

From Jan. 22 to Feb. 29, individuals can experience a show with artworks by various members from Group A of Pittsburgh. The exhibition is curated by Barbara Westman, a professor of printmaking and fiber art.

INFLUENCES is an exhibition created for the Martha Gault Art Gallery to showcase art that was inspired by how the artist discovered their love for a specific technique, style or subject matter and what led them to become the artist they are today.

“INFLUENCES, this current exhibition, is unique because we are hosting artists from Pittsburgh–so professional artists who have wonderful exhibition records. And I think this is a great opportunity for our community here on campus, our students, faculty, whoever is around here in Slippery Rock to come and see what otherwise would be exhibited in the galleries of Pittsburgh or even somewhere else,” Westman said.

Westman spoke on the concept behind the gallery.

“What were the influences and inspiration for artists to create works when they were younger? How did it happen? What was their path to become an artist?” Westman said. “In this exhibition, we are kind of digging deeper to see–to find out– where people found inspirations and influences that led them to become an artist.”

Group A of Pittsburgh was founded in 1944 and currently has around 80 members. A current member must invite an artist for them to be able to join the exclusive ranks. The group reached out to display an exhibition at SRU. Westman was in charge of choosing the pieces that were submitted by members of Group A.

“My approach to curating and jurying this exhibition is to select works that are different, different from one another and, you know, maybe some interesting techniques are presented,” Westman said.

The Martha Gault Art Gallery has a new exhibit every month whether it showcases professional artists from different areas, students or faculty. Before the event, student workers installed the exhibition and now look over the gallery. This is meant to provide experience for those involved.

This is an inspiring and educational event for students, whether they are studying art or not.

“I’m so excited for them to see artwork that is [from] professional artists, that’s from Pittsburgh,” Theresa Antonellis, professor and director of Martha Gault Art Gallery, said.

Westman described the exhibition as “a unique opportunity for us here on campus to have access to artists of Pittsburgh and Pittsburgh region.”

Thursday, Feb. 29 from 4-6:30 p.m., the gallery will hold a closing reception for the exhibition. Exhibiting artists are invited to attend this event, allowing students and individuals to talk to the creators of the pieces.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity to see those artworks accompanied by those artists’ statements written specifically for this exhibition, explaining the background,” Westman said.

The Martha Gault Art Gallery is open Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. in Maltby Building.

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