This month, the art department is presenting the passion fruit art show, an exhibit of works created by art department faculty in the Norman R. Eppink Art Gallery in King Hall. The art show opened Jan. 31 and runs through March 22.
“Anyone who has ever wondered what faculty do with their time when not in the classroom should attend the passion fruit exhibit,” said Roberta Eichenberg, assistant professor of sculpture.
Eichenburg said the show revolves around the theme of highlighting works by faculty members that were created or realized during an artist residency, fellowship, sabbatical or workshop they attended or directed.
The exhibit features works by Eric Conrad, James Ehlers, Roberta Eichenberg, Patricia Kahn, Stephanie Lanter, Patrick Martin, Larry Schwarm and Derek Wilkinson.
Last winter, Eric Conrad, assistant professor of art, participated in the Frans Masareel Centrum Artist Residency Program in Kasterlee, Belgium. Conrad said Frans Masareel Centrum will accept individual works as well as collaborative group proposals, and his group’s proposal was to create fifteen large-scale monotype prints.
“Frans Masareel Centrum is primarily a printmaking residency and has a well equipped print studio,” Conrad said. “In addition, each resident receives an A-frame house with kitchen, living room, bedroom and small studio space within the house.”
In 1999, Patricia Kahn, assistant professor of art education, traveled to Hindman, Ky. to attend the Hindman Settlement School Appalachian Folk Week Class. Kahn made a custom Appalachian style chair that is currently on display in the passion fruit show. Kahn said she felt it was important to experience chair making since she was writing about it for her dissertation
“To make the chair frame, I had to chop down a white oak tree, drag it across the creek to the woodshed and saw it into parts,” Kahn said. “I used an ax to split the wood with the grain. I also used Colonial tools such as die measurements and a drawshave. I cut the parts close to size and used the drawshave bench to refine them, while measuring with a die cut.”
In 2009, assistant professor of engraving James Ehlers was invited to participate in an artist residency at the Print Base in Guanlan, China. Ehlers said he stayed at the Print Base for two weeks, where he worked with artists from China, England, Poland and Canada. Ehlers produced two engravings during his two-week stay at the Print Base.
“One (engraving), a self-portrait, and the other a portrait of a friend from my days in Florida,” Ehlers said. “Many of the Chinese printers asked me if the girl in the portrait was my girlfriend, which I clarified in saying ‘pengyoe’ – which means friend. This of course led to the title (of the second engraving).”
The Norman R. Eppink Gallery is open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday.