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UNF Spinnaker

Students get a whack at critiquing the critics

Museum of Contemporary Arts Jacksonville is hosting Sept. 16 – Nov. 14 its second annual UNF Art & Design Faculty Exhibition. The gallery will exhibit art from most of the faculty and display a diversity of about 30 pieces of work coming from UNF faculty members, who will give lectures and workshops throughout the month.

Raymond Gaddy, a drawing and painting instructor, is the director of the UNF Gallery of Arts and also serves as the curator of painting and drawing for the UNF gallery at MOCA. He said faculty works make up the entire show, and works range from ceramics to drawings to printmaking.

“It’s always a highly anticipated exhibition for all of us, and I think the students also feel that way,” he said. “We certainly do encourage the students to visit the exhibition. It helps them see what everybody is doing and maybe directs them toward the professor they might be interested in studying.”

Students taking Gaddy’s course, Gallery Practices, are curating the exhibition. He said students will get a say for the first time in how the work will be exhibited.

Assistant sculpture professor Jenny Hager has a cast iron sculpture with two oversized hair pins on display.

Hager is a strong proponent of giving students the opportunity to see their professors’ works.

“I think it’s great,” Hager said. “Our target audience is our students and the Jacksonville community. It’s very important that our students get to see the work.”

Drawing professor Don Bied has three pieces in the show. They are a combination of photography, computer technology and drawing components.

Bied said the mixed media aspect makes his work unique, and computer technology heavily influences him. His work is based on images that appeal his life experiences, he said.

Like the other professors, Bied also supports students being able to see professors’ work.

“Depending on [students’] levels, they are going to be exploring works of a lot of things,” he said. “They are going to develop their point of view. I think it’s important for them to see what the people who are supposedly teaching them do.”

Bied advised students understand that because a student works in an idiom, they may or may not appreciate a professor only after viewing a limited variety of their work.

“There are teachers whose work [the students] may not appreciate right now, who might still have an influence on them later down the line,” Bied said.

Wyatt Parlette, a UNF drawing and painting junior, said he really enjoys having the option to see the different professors’ work. He said by viewing the event last year, he was able to find interesting artwork and ended up taking classes he would not have normally taken.

“It was really cool to see that and then be able to go from there,” Parlette said.

His only disappointment from last year’s show was that some professors didn’t present their work.

“I think that if professors are creating work, then why not show it to us?”

Travis Flack, a photography junior, said he has been discussing the event with photography professor Dominick Martorelli, who is bringing back pieces he did in the ‘70s that he has never shown before.

“Instead of making new work, [Martorelli] wanted to show people what he did back then,” Flack said.

He said he likes going and seeing what the different professors are creating compared to how they are teaching because sometimes it’s completely opposite of what they teach them.

“It’s an interesting and refreshing experience,” Flack said.

PULL-OUT BOX: There is a Members’ Preview Reception Sept. 16 from 7-9 p.m. The event is free for students with their UNF I.D. and food and beverages will be provided, with a cash bar available.

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