SALISBURY — With their fine arts show wrapping up this week and graphic art show set to open early next month, spring has been a busy time for senior art majors at Salisbury University (SU).
Leah Lewman, one of those senior art majors who helped organize the fine arts show, said that the experience and her entire career at SU has been “pleasantly” surprising.
“I went into it not really knowing what to expect from the art program,” she said of her initial enrollment at SU, “but when I got here I was just pleasantly surprised and amazed at how talented the faculty is here. I think really the faculty is the best part of Salisbury’s art department because they’re all just so passionate about what they do and so passionate about driving students to want to go further with their lives.”
Lewman heaped special praise on Jinchul Kim, the professor who supervised this year’s fine arts show.
“I feel like he’s brought out a lot of the stronger work in us,” she said. “He’s really been beneficial to the whole show.”
Fellow SU senior and art major Emily Buczynski agreed that the faculty has played a major role in her development and affected her entire art experience at the school for the better.
“Salisbury University’s art program is great. There are so many amazing professors that guide us in our pursuit of a degree in art and help us perfect our own styles and techniques,” she said.
For the fine arts show in particular, which began on April 11 and will conclude on April 26, Lewman explained that students will be doing something uncommon this year by featuring multiple installation pieces.
“This semester I think probably the most unique thing about it is the fact that we have two different installation pieces,” she said.
Installation pieces are large-form and often confused with sculpture. The main difference, according to Lewman, is that an installation by nature cannot be readily moved and depends on the environment around it to convey the message the artist intended.
“One of them is actually a commentary on how painting shouldn’t be confined to the canvas … It’s kind of rebelling against how painting and drawing should only be 2-D,” she said of an installation and this year’s show in general.
Lewman supplied one of the installations herself this year as well as five paintings, all of which will be featured later this month in her own thesis show.
“All of my paintings and all of my work in general is based around the idea of human connections and bringing into question whether or not soul connections might have something to do with the relationships we make in this world,” she said.
The quality of work for the entire show is incredible this year, added Lewman, who said that the production of the show has also gone off without a hitch. While she’s heard “horror stories” about shows past that were plagued with late submissions or arguing students, Lewman was proud that the fine arts demonstration has run like clockwork.
“Luckily, we’ve had a very smooth exhibition design process and everyone has been pretty good about being on time with everything and cooperative and they’re all very talented people,” she said. “There isn’t a single person in that show who isn’t extraordinarily talented.”
Lewman extended the compliment to participants in the school’s graphic arts show which will begin May 2 and last until May 17, with opening ceremonies on May 5. The decision to hold separate fine and graphic art shows was made only within the last few semesters, explained Lewman, and better gives each group time under the spotlight.
“It was just getting too crowed and things were getting overshadowed by other things,” she said, “so they wanted the graphic design students to have the same opportunity to shine.”
Though she isn’t part of the graphic art show, Lewman added that she has high expectations for what the students will produce this year. “There’s going to be a lot of cool stuff on a really large scale. It’s going to be big; I’m excited to see it,” she said.
Lewman plans on translating her experience at SU into gallery and freelance work immediately after graduation.
“I’m thinking one year to kind of freelance on my own, do a couple commissions,” she said.
After that, however, Lewman wants to return to school for her Masters and possibly a career in education.
“Hopefully with that I’ll be able to take my freelance career even further and then eventually I’d like to teach at a university,” she said.
Buczynski also looks to eventually go through a Master’s program and become an art teacher. This month’s show allowed her a chance to see what art as a career might feel like.
“This was a great experience. It gave us a lot of insight on what it is like to put on a show and have our artwork professionally displayed,” she said.
The fine arts show was held in the university gallery in Fulton Hall, which will also host the graphic arts show next month.