SRU senior art shows begin April 17


(From left) Jamie Mulac, Erin Pandolfino and Nikki Wakefield

(From left) Jamie Mulac, Erin Pandolfino and Nikki Wakefield are among 13 SRU senior art majors who will exhibit their artwork at senior shows in the Martha Gault Art Gallery beginning April 17.

April 12, 2017

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Slippery Rock University will host four shows featuring 14 senior art students' capstone projects beginning April 17 at the Martha Gault Art Gallery.

"It's like the climax of my whole career here," said Jamie Mulac, a senior art major from Indiana. "It's like graduation, but it's better than graduation because it's your own show."

Mulac will be among the first students to display their artwork as her show, titled "Disclosure," is one of three exhibits featured April 17-21. An opening reception will take place 6-8 p.m., April 17. Three other sets of exhibits will be displayed April 24-28, May 1-5 and May 8-12 with opening receptions from 5-7 p.m., April 24; 6-8 p.m. May 1; and 6-8 p.m., May 8, respectively. Gallery hours are noon to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Mulac's "Disclosure" will consist of at least eight relief print portraits of people with distinctive facial expressions captured in conversation. She created the prints by photographing the subject, transferring the images to linoleum blocks using acetone and rubbing alcohol, and carving areas of the blocks so that ink on the remaining surface was used to make the prints.

"My whole show is about the expressive nature of the human face," said Mulac, whose subjects include fellow students and other contemporaries significant in her life, such as former roommate Madison Samler. "I'm inspired by people and interacting with them. The quirks that show through people in their face and in their emotion and how it adds to the conversion."

Body language is expressed in another show, "Women: A Private Affair," April 24-28, although less deliberate. Like Mulac, Erin Pandolfino transferred photographs of human subjects by using pronto-plate printing. Instead of carving linoleum, Pandolfino embroidered her images with floss on a cotton background, creating depth both visually with color values and with stitching to build up the surface.

For the composition, Pandolfino cropped images of women's bodies within hoop-shaped frames. The circular backgrounds and intimate settings, as in a bedroom or during moments of repose, created a keyhole perspective.

"It's just to bring light to these intimate moments that you typically wouldn't see. It's something that is unique about everyone," said Pandolfino, a senior art major from York, who plans to display 20 pieces, each which required 10-15 hours of work.

The female body takes the form of functional ceramics in the Nikki Wakefield exhibit, "Vessels," May 1-5. By accident a year ago, Wakefield made a pot that appeared to resemble a female figure. She developed the concept further with varying shapes to create 16 "lady vessels" for her show, which plays on the biblical reference to women as the "weaker vessel" - and the pejorative of women as "vessels of reproduction" - and comparing them to container vessels.

"It's going back to that and saying, 'If we are referred to as vessels, we carry these great characteristics and we're vessels of good things,'" said Wakefield, a senior art major from East McKeesport. "You know, 'Hey, it's us, the female species and we're awesome and we all look different.' Here's my bumpy lopsided one and here's my super tall and thin, curvy one and we're all still vessels of good things."

Each of the student exhibitors have an inspiration and message in their shows, making the event more meaningful to them when compared to more conventional end of the semester summaries.

"Some people have to write really long papers and some people have to take super-long tests; we get to put on our show," Wakefield added. "It's nerve-racking, but it's also very exciting."

The schedule for the senior art shows is as follows:

April 17-21 (opening reception: 6-8 p.m., April 17)

  • "Tiny Oracle" by Chenoa Gregory from Freeport;
  • "Creature" by Kasey Kurpakus from Sarver; and
  • "Disclosure" by Jamie Mulac from Indiana

April 24-28 (opening reception: 5-7 p.m., April 24)

  • "Summit" by Lindsey Knaby from Grove City;
  • "Women: A Private Affair" by Erin Pandolfino from York;
  • "Aesthetic Taxonomies" by Kayley Thomas; and
  • "Feast" by Justine Zimmerman from Johnstown

May 1-5 (opening reception: 6-8 p.m., May 1)

  • "Impression in the Round" by Kaitlin Cliber from New Kensington;
  • "Elevate the Real" by Kaylin Clingensmith from New Castle;
  • "Silver Linings" by Travis Sallack from DuBois; and
  • "Vessel" by Nikki Wakefield from East McKeesport

May 8-12 (opening reception: 6-8 p.m., May 1)

  • "Natural Selection" by Anthony DeRosa from Slippery Rock;
  • "Demons" by L. Elizabeth Hornaman from Cambridge Springs; and
  • "Chromatic" by Erin Oulton from Aurora, Ohio

MEDIA CONTACT: Justin Zackal | 724.738.4854 |