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March 29, 2013
CONTACT: Gordon Ovenshine

SRU Student Juried Exhibit opens April 1

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. -The textures, shapes, colors and lines of art will be displayed en masse during Slippery Rock University's April 1-25 Student Juried Exhibition in the Martha Gault Gallery in Maltby. The juried exhibition gives students the opportunity to display their work and receive critiques from SRU art faculty and an outside juror.

Students also learn the ins and outs of art installation and promotion and will have their artwork viewed by a broader audience.

BERDIS "As aspiring artists, it's always important to get your work out there," said Jon Shumway, SRU associate professor of art. "The making of art is certainly important, but it is equally important to get your work out there in the public to be seen. It is becoming a part of the artist dialogue. You see the work of others and that influences what you do."

The exhibition will feature more than 30 student works, including paintings, sculptures, digital media, ceramics and drawings. Awards for Best in Show and first, second and third place juror's awards will be presented.

Students submitted more than 150 pieces of artwork for the exhibition. Nina Marie Barbuto, the juror, will choose 30 pieces for the show and pick the award winners.

Barbuto is the founder and director of Assembly in Pittsburgh, a community art space. Her own media includes architecture, film, sound and art installation.

Brittany Knapp, an SRU art major from Mars, Pa., said she would submit a painting and perhaps one of her wood burnings. She is primarily a two-dimensional, figurative artist.

"It's valuable to present your artwork in exhibitions because it is an excellent resume builder and opportunity to get your work out to the public," she said. "The process gives you the ability to observe the way your work affects the viewer and promotes growth as an artist."

Even though she is an art major, Knapp said she didn't view herself as an artist until she began to show her work in exhibitions. "Exhibiting my work has been a confidence builder and helped prepare me for the growing and competitive field of art," she said.

Knapp said professors have helped her progress as an artist.

"The art department at Slippery Rock University is tight-knit, and the faculty-to-student ratio allows for ample communication with professors," she said. The environment is comfortable and it's easy for students to share their opinions and ideas with the faculty. The advice my professors have given me throughout the years has made a deep impression on me. I have applied the knowledge I gained from them and now I am able to carry it into my career."

Eric Berdis, an art major from Erie, said he would submit a colorful, dancing self-portrait. "I chose to use expressive color and patterns to reflect that energy and fun spirit dancing brings me," he said.

Berdis said he has submitted work to exhibitions yearly.

"The Martha Gault Art Galley exhibition gave me the first opportunity to exhibit my work to the public," he said. "I learned so much about finishing work and gained a ton of confidence about my work. As an art major this is something I hope to continue for the rest of my life. I hope to gain gallery representation and produce work that will support me financially. As you may know the art career is not necessarily a 9-5 job. I am looking for positions at museums and galleries post graduation."

Students decide whether to try to sell their work by putting a price next to the piece. Selling work is optional. The exhibit will be open noon to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday.

Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.