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AHA! Fire Hall Gallery exhibit on conservation

By Staff | Jan 20, 2012

The current exhibit at the AHA! Fire Hall Gallery, located at 108 N. George Street in Charles Town, puts the spotlight on the theme of conservation. Artwork created by Shepherd University graphic design, photography and studio art majors provides a provocative and exciting visual experience.

Students were challenged to create a work of art that promoted ideas of conservation. Professor Rhonda J. Smith, chair, Department of SU Contemporary Art and Theater, said the American Conservation Film Festival (ACFF) held in Nov. 2011 inspired the assignment.

The students were enrolled in Visual Thinking Skills I, a freshman course where students begin to understand the nature of contemporary art. They learn how concepts and ideas are conveyed through the language of visual information.

Smith explains, “Imagery has the power to inform and inspire.” The challenge to the students was to create an image that will promote conversation and awareness of conservation. They were to select a theme related to advocacy, respect, protection, defense, reporting, awareness or some other related theme that supports the ACFF idea of the power of imagery to inform and inspire.

Professor Sonya Evanisko organized the exhibit. She said that the artwork had specific guidelines. No people could be used as subjects, yet the image was to bring greater understanding and awareness to others about conservation, how it may be fostered, or how to be an advocate for action.

The solution had to incorporate images that provoke rather than document. “Your goal,” Evanisko told them, “is to stimulate the imagination of the viewer while conveying your conservation message.” She said, “Our students are go-getters. Our faculty inspires innovation and we get results.”

Participating artists are Christine Soares, Richard McClung, Jake Lichtman, Sara Brister, Austin Bridge, Trenton Meiron, Samantha Jones, Kaitlyn Jones, Mariah Donavan, Kyla Johnson, Ana Lopez, Emma Frank, Brittany Bates and Evan Barke.

The artwork was previously exhibited in the Scarborough Library at SU during November and December.

The AHA! Fire Hall Gallery is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

AHA is a non-profit organization of volunteers dedicated to supporting cultural and artistic events and programs for both children and adults in Jefferson County. For more information about AHA, visit www.ahajc.org.