Art at Western

Art exhibits open for viewing this October at Western

Camille Lenning | Entertainment Editor              

Western’s galleries are open again after an 18 month hiatus, and pieces in galleries such as the Student Gallery in the ITC, the Cannon Gallery of Art and the second floor gallery in Hamersly Library are open for public viewing during normal building hours, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. until Oct. 29. 

The Annual Juried Student Art and Design Exhibition returns in its 53rd iteration to the newly remodeled ITC, featuring the talented students who entered in last year’s online exhibit. 

Senior nontraditional transfer student Melody Barrett has two collage pieces in the student gallery, “Frida Rides Again” and “Ladies in Waiting.” A dedicated artist, Barrett has also sold a print of her piece “Ladies in Waiting” to the City of Monmouth Arts Committee. 

“I believe art is an expression of the artist, what we see and feel, experience and imagine,” Barrett said. “That is why I love using a wide range of mediums including collage, acrylic painting, soft pastels and mixed media, because each one allows my thoughts, feelings and ideas to come through in very different ways.” To see her other work, check out Barrett’s website at

Graduate student Genvieve Hardin has two pieces in the gallery, sculptures “D20” and “Be Not Afraid.” Hardin is in the Master of the Arts in Teaching program, and has expressed her excitement for having her work in the ITC gallery.

“My art is a way to connect with others and express myself. It is wonderful to have my art on display; I always wonder what people see and feel when they view my work!” Hardin said.  

Senior zoology and art and design double major Tobin Roark has three pieces on display.

“’Liquescent Shift’ was a tribute to my gramma opening up and freeing herself from the grief of her husband passing,” Roark said of their art. “’Burning at the Stake’ was commentary on the demonizing of sexuality and women linking burning witches at the (stake) with pole dancers. And lastly ‘Touch of Menace’ … was commentary on how appearances can be deceiving and corruption and greed.”

Senior art major McKenna Suarez displayed her digital pieces “Photoshop Series” in the exhibit. Her art was the only digital entry. 

“These pieces to me mean a lot, as they help to represent or show what Social Anxiety is like to me, and the ‘tricks’ I use to help me talk to people or interact in public,” Suarez said. “Similar to the phrase ‘Just think of them in their underwear!’ when you ask someone for tips on public speaking. I just imagine everyone with a bird head with a cool aesthetic background.”

Senior art major David Tomasiewicz has one piece displayed in the gallery, “MotoDrop #3.” Different from the peers he shares the gallery with, Tomasiewicz’s preferred medium is animation or film. 

“I see art as a tool and means to create the animated fantasies that exist in my collective dreamscape,” Tomasiewicz said, “a way to invite people to peer into the landscapes existing within my conscious.” 

Also included in the exhibit are students Marilyn Bergsma, with “If Wishes Were Horses Beggars Would Ride” and Mitchel Garson, with “Image of Guitar,” “Insomnia,” “Why,” “Untitled” and “Unfortunate Futures.” 

Venturing outside of the student exhibits, Eric Tautkus, an aerosol and graffiti artist, has unveiled his newest art installation, “Derailed Marginally” in the Cannon Gallery of Art in Campbell Hall. This new work is a colorful, immersive piece spanning an impressive 50 feet — split between two walls. Smaller paintings by Tautkus are on display as well. When the exhibit closes on Oct. 29, two-foot square sections of Tautkus’ work will be sold to help fund the student gallery in the ITC. 

Additionally, in the second floor gallery of Hamersly Library, local artist Diane Elizabeth Wilson debuted her exhibit titled “On Bended Knee, We Honor Thee,” in reference to the symbolic act of kneeling in protest for civil rights. The exhibit features 60 oil painted portraits of civil rights leaders and activists that have made an impact on society. 

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