The Pittsburg State University Art Department is currently displaying an art exhibition featuring work from former students. The display is one of many exhibits that the department has brought in throughout the year.
James Oliver, chair of the art department, spoke about the exhibition and why it was chosen to be displayed inside of Porter Hall’s Krug Gallery.
“This exhibition is an exhibition of six alumni from the university,” Oliver said. “They’re all affiliated with the art forms gallery, which is a co-op gallery in Pittsburg. They’re all local or regional artists.”
The artists include Michael Cessna, Janet Lewis, Patricia Glick, Rebecca Lomshek, Nicole Meyer-Foresman, and Kristin Girard.
“Five of the six are from Pittsburg, one is from Joplin, but the connection is that they each graduated from the university, so they’re all alums,” Oliver said.
The exhibition features many different mediums of art that address different topics.
“(There is) a variety of work from paintings to jewelry to photography,” Oliver said. “Each of the artists addressed different topics and the different subject matter in their work in a variety of different ways.”
Each of the artists has worked in the art community for over 20 years and many have been teachers inside of Porter Hall.
“These are recent works that were created after they graduated. They were made within the last 3 years,” Oliver said.
In previous years, the art department would bring art from around the country to display for students. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has made it difficult to find outside artists to bring to Pittsburg.
“Well, our gallery shows traditionally emerging to mid-career artists from around the country,” Oliver said. “This year, with several artists dropping out due to COVID and not being able to travel, we chose to focus on alumni so all of the exhibitions in Porter Hall Gallery this year have been alums.”
Oliver talked about the importance of some of the artwork and how connected the artists are to their work. He also suggested that the audience should look for their own message in the pieces.
“Everyone is going to bring their own experience,” Oliver said. “Some of the works are more sentimental and some of them are more decorative. It just depends upon the artist and then what the viewer brings to the work themselves.”
The exhibition hall will host a reception that will be open to the public. The artists will be in attendance to answer questions and go into detail about the artwork on display.
“We’ll have an artist reception for the six artists on Feb. 9 from 5:00 to 7:00 PM and the public is welcome to attend,” Oliver said. “Traditionally we have artist talks during those receptions, or a gallery talk, but we won’t have one for the sake of time.”
Oliver talked about the next exhibition to be featured inside of Porter Hall’s Krug Gallery. The display will feature another former PSU student.
“The next exhibit will begin Feb. 27 inside of Porter Hall with another Pitt alumni being featured in the exhibition,” Oliver said.
The exhibition can be viewed until Feb. 18 inside Porter Hall from 7 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Students and members of the community are encouraged to view the artwork.