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November 15, 2013
CONTACT: Gordon Ovenshine

SRU students display, sell art works

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - A mosaic of Slippery Rock University student paintings, drawings, ceramics and multimedia art will be displayed and offered for sale during the Nov. 18-22 Student Art Sale in SRU's Martha Gault Gallery in Maltby Center. Artworks are being collected through today and will be set up this weekend.

"Art students submit all kinds of art, including two-dimensional and three-dimensional," said Barbara Westman, associate professor of art. "Over the past years students sold many of their artworks to people in the SRU community, students, faculty and staff. It is a great opportunity for our students to make some money selling their art."

Based on previous years, Westman said, pieces should sell for $5 to $50. The Martha Gault Art Society, which sponsors the sale, takes a 10 percent commission from members and 20 percent from non-members, she said.

"Students usually are happy with the number of pieces sold," Westman said.

Students selected which of their works to sell and are required to set them up in the gallery.

Artists said the sale gives them a chance to tell their story and show their artistic calling.

"Selling artwork is more than making some extra cash," said Santana Woodring, an art major from Ridgeway who creates figure studies in marker. "It is a chance to spread your ideas and share your visual philosophy with one or possible many persons. Similar to a writer, a visual artist has stories to tell." Woodring said her story, like many artists, is one of personal experiences, triumphs and losses. "It is important for an artist to show and sell work to bring about career advancement and validity to the artwork," she said. "This demonstrates that people in the past have agreed with ideas presented to them."

She said the SRU art department has a wonderful team of professors who help students begin to build a resume of art exhibitions and a top-notch portfolio.

"Students made paintings this semester that are now in a show titled 'Three X Three' in Plano, Texas," she said. "So, making work is only the beginning. Showing and selling work is what determines who defines you as an artist, and what you define as art." Students put finishing touches on their work this week in Art Building I, while Heather Hertel, SRU assistant professor of art, talked about the sale during her "Upper Level Painting" class.

Mauricia Torres, an art major from New Castle and student in Hertel's class, worked on a watercolor Wednesday. She said she would display pieces from a watercolor sketchbook she has been working on six months. "For me personally, the sale is about the exposure it provides," she said. "This is what some of us have chosen to dedicate our lives to and being able to connect with people by selling your art is a big part of that." Torres said art has been a passion for her since childhood. She hopes to teach art and creative drama and continue producing intermedia art, which uses the arts to address human social causes.

"Art has always been a constant in my life," she said. "Visual art appeals to me in particular because I like to know that whether I'm in Slippery Rock or the Himalayas I can still bring something beautiful into the world.

She said SRU art professors give students room to develop as artists. "For those just starting out in art, they are given pretty solid ground work," she said. "For the rest who've been practicing in a specific medium for awhile they're given criticism, feedback, and a wealth of information to help them progress to the next level." Hours for the Student Art Sale are noon to 5 p.m.

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.