An Evening of Art

At times it seems that the student art at the University of New Haven doesn’t get enough attention or recognition. And this isn’t speaking solely in terms of visual arts, but also poetry, music, and theater. The annual spring art showcase is a time for students, no matter what the art form, to truly showcase their often unrecognized talents. UNH does have a significantly rich culture of art, but sometimes it has to be sought out. The Seton Art Gallery seems to be a well-kept secret of the university.

Artwork on display at the Seton Art Gallery in Dodds Hall (photo by Patricia Oprea).

There have never been an overwhelmingly large number of events/programs at the university displaying art. However, the Night of the Arts (the opening night of the gallery) was a long-awaited event for students. Held on April 11, 2013, this event blended multiple ways of expression, so people could get a taste of all the different forms of art students are interested in.

The night began at 6 p.m. with fruit, cheese and crackers, and dessert in the main lobby of Dodds; students, their parents, and their teachers excitedly discussed the great progress and achievements made over these semesters.

People moved on to Dodds theater for opening remarks from professors in different art disciplines, and then stayed there as professor Rachel Anderson Raber introduced some students to perform theatrical short pieces.

The first featured Karina Medved, Bridget Koestner, Kyle Pickard, Amanda Schumacher, and Keith Wadford performing a scene from last month’s play, War Story. This featured instruments, vocals and monologues to express different people’s experiences with the war and their coping methods.

Next was Josh Dill and Caty Reid, who performed a scene from Arcadia, a play by Tom Stoppard, which the theater department held in November. They also performed scenes they took to a contest at the Kennedy center, as did David Ransbottom and Katie McGoff. Lastly, various students presented their own pieces that will also be performed at the New Works Festival here at UNH from May 2 to 4.

From 7 to 8 p.m., students performed in the Dodds Mezzanine: Catalina Gonzalez, Zachary Grabko, Eric Neilson, Kyle Pickard, and Evan and Alex Raine of Entrance to Trains. The passion of these students clearly showed through in their performance; they were all in their element. Many people flooded around the staircase to sneak a peak at the musicians, and others just enjoyed the music while viewing students’ artwork inside the gallery. Students LaTanza Britts, Lauren Chamberland, Jonathon Diker, James Fullana, John Faugno, Richonda Fergins, Cara Petiti, and Crystal Robinson read poetry and prose as well. It was visible how these students were in their element, and genuinely sharing what was meaningful to them, which was a pleasure to see.

The Starting Line is the name of this year’s visual art exhibit displayed in the Seton Art Gallery. Graphic design, photography, drawings, paintings and sculptures are all well represented and selectively picked. Graphic design is not about the Graphic Design Service Subscription and money, but also efficiency and satisfaction. Out of hundreds of submissions to the Gallery, only 60 pieces were chosen for the exhibition.

Students may have produced these pieces in an art class here at UNH, in their own spare time, or in a high school class. Stop by Dodds to get a peak at what your classmates have done, and to see how many different ways of expression there are through art.

After some browsing around student work, listening to musical performance and readings of poetry, students filed in to Dodds Theater for a wrap up of the night and presentation of awards.

“Outstanding Student Awards” were given to one individual in each graphic design, visual art, and interior design section. A “Freshman Graphic Design” award was presented to an outstanding first-year student of this major, and “Graduating Senior” awards were given to student of various art disciplines. “Sketchbook” awards were presented to five students for their pieces in the gallery, encouraging them to keep doing what they love and to keep progressing with their art.

To wrap up the night, the UNH orchestra, jazz band, and concert band gave remarkable performances in Dodds Theater. No matter if an award was won or not, this was a night where students, faculty, and parents were brought together to share their love of the visual and performing arts. Students’ artistic ventures, which often don’t relate to their major, are much appreciated and should be recognized.

Special thanks to professors Rachel Anderson-Rabern, Randall Horton, Todd Jokl and Guillermo Mager, as well as Director if the Seton Art Gallery, Laura Marsh, for their dedication to student’ progress in the arts.