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Gallery exhibition offers in-depth view of Shepherd’s art faculty

By Staff | Feb 8, 2019

Some of the sculptures from the faculty exhibition at Shepherd University's Phaze 2 Gallery. Thomas Girod

SHEPHERDSTOWN Shepherd University is hosting a faculty art exhibition in the Phaze 2 Gallery until Feb. 20, featuring displayed works from the faculty of the university’s art department.

The Phaze 2 Gallery, located inside the campus’ Contemporary Arts Center, hosts multiple exhibits from students and the community throughout the academic year. Some of the displayed works are up for sale, and all are available for free viewing by the public.

According to the faculty, the work in the show reflects the cultural and collegiate value of the gallery.

“Visual communication is so much more important than just a sculpture or painting on a wall,” said professor of art and exhibit contributor Sonya Evanisko. “We are an image oriented society and we lead these students to create a profession within these images.”

Evanisko has coordinated art programs at Shepherd for 25 years and was the recipient of the 2015 West Virginia Professor of the Year award.

“Our mission in displaying this gallery is to bring work to students,” Evanisko said. “Focusing on contemporary art rooted in the current year allows us to show them the types of visuals and forms that they will encounter in their professions.”

Evanisko’s works on display are three paintings titled, “Precariously LongingLingering” (2018), “Spaces Between the Dreams” (2018) and “The Silence that I Keep” (2018). Her works are a part of a decade long series that “calls into question what we need as humans, how we discard those things, and what kind of consequences does that have on the natural world around us.”

According to faculty member and gallery contributor Rhonda J. Smith, these exhibits help students learn to absorb and develop multiple artistic styles and embrace challenges and problem solving.

“I believe it is important in all areas of campus that students realize the faculty are practicing professionals who put into practice the skills, knowledge and information they share with students into work and endeavors beyond the classroom experience,” Smith said.

Smith’s works in the gallery, titled “Dreaming of Safe Journeys Home” (2018) and “Hoping Helping Hands are Always There to Assist You” (2018), are linoleum prints that draw upon “African and Mexican traditions of prayers and talismans to keep one safe.”

Along with Smith and Evanisko, a number of other faculty members’ works are displayed for viewing and sale, including: Erin Neve, assistant professor of photography; David Modler, associate professor of art; Robert Farmer, adjunct professor; Brad Hamann, assistant professor of graphic design; Evan Boggess, adjunct professor; Kay Dartt, clinical faculty/3-D fabrication manager; Michael Mendez, adjunct professor; and Christian Benefiel, associate professor of art.

The faculty exhibition is open to the public, and hours are from noon to 7 p.m. Monday-Friday, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday or by special request.