Image: Kelley Finley: Untitled, 2019, 15″ x 13″ x 24″ (each), concrete, wood
KUTZTOWN, PA – Kutztown University students and faculty teamed up to present their “Inspiration & Transformation: Mentee as Leader” exhibition at the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education Boundless: Arts and Intellects conference Friday and Saturday, Oct. 11-12, in the Ware Center of Millersville University. Boundless: Arts and Intellects is the first-ever State System-wide conference focused on the arts, humanities and social sciences.
The collection of artworks featured in the Inspiration & Transformation: Mentee as Leader exhibit pairs KU student-artists, who break the traditional model of mentor and mentee, with the art of their mentors. The exhibit aimed to demonstrate how inspiration, transformation and social change must come from a boundless creative environment, where a mentor learns from their mentee and how the visual arts can transcend the constructs of social limitations and foster fluid progressive thinking that can reshape our world.
“I responded to [KU student Kelley Finley’s] sculptures because they strike the balance between being structural plinths inherent of concrete and distorted organic forms of unknown origin,” said Heather Ramsdale, KU assistant professor of Art and proposal curator. “I found this dichotomy very appealing.”
The exhibition featured art by KU professors and mentors including Ramsdale, Rose DeSiano, Margret Noel, Elizabeth Quay and Jayne Struble as well as their students Kelley Finley, Bethany Riley, Lauryn Teti and Cecelia Grant.
“Lauryn’s techniques and materials are used as a minimalist gesture, but still allow the viewer to develop a deep appreciation for the concepts behind her work,” Quay said. “As a bit of a maximalist myself, seeing her work inspired me to start paring down the amount of techniques and materials I used in each piece to get to its conceptual essence.”
The conference featured 17 panels and more than a dozen artworks and performative pieces including painting, photography, dance, poetry, audio-visual installations and sculpture. Showcasing the work of students and faculty from eight represented universities in the State System, Kutztown University shares the space with Bloomsburg, California, East Stroudsburg, Millersville, Shippensburg, Slippery Rock and West Chester.
The Boundless Conference provides an opportunity to join together to share/recognize/honor the myriad ways that the singular sensibilities and abilities fashioned and sustained by an education in the arts, humanities and social sciences are so crucially important to the future of our life-worlds. Boundless: Arts and Intellects, showcases the vitally important work of students and faculty in the humanities and liberal arts disciplines, where scholarly meets creative.