SRU’s new SGA Student Art Gallery unveils first exhibit

Flak Set Ceramic fine arts piece

A stoneware clay with ash glaze piece titled “Flask Set” was created by Caleb Sykora-Bodie,
a senior environmental geosciences major from Harrisville. Sykora-Bodie is one of 23 SRU
students exhibiting art at the 1st Annual Student Juried Showcase in the new SGA Student
Art Gallery, April 24-May 4.

April 28, 2017

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - The Slippery Rock University Art Society and SRU Potters Guild are presenting the inaugural Student Juried Showcase at the newly opened Slippery Rock Student Government Association Student Art Gallery.

The exhibit is open noon to 2 p.m., Monday through Thursday, through May 4 in Room 204 of the University Union. An opening reception will happen from 6-8 p.m., May 2.

The Student Juried Showcase features work ranging from ceramics to paintings and metals to digital media. Artwork from as many as 23 SRU students are on display, selected and curated by the SRU Art Society and SRU Potters Guild executive boards.

"We're all very proud and excited," said Nikki Wakefield, a senior art major from East McKeesport, and one of four co-founders of the gallery. "It's nice to see all the hard work finally come together in this great, final product."

Chelsey Werner, Travis Sallack, Anthony DeRosa and Nikki Westfield , members of the SRU Art Society, spearheaded the initiative to open the SRSGA Student Art Gallery.

Chelsey Werner, a junior art major from Sharpsville;
Travis Sallack, a senior art major from DuBois; Anthony
DeRosa, a senior art major from Slippery Rock; 
and Nikki Wakefield, a senior art major from East
McKeesport, spearheaded the initiative to open the
SRSGA Student Art Gallery.

However, this is only the beginning.

"We're now seeing a renaissance on campus," said Anthony DeRosa, a senior art major from Slippery Rock. "As it grows, we'll see a lot more art on campus. It's nice to see this happen at a time when (funding and support for) the arts are at risk."

A concept nearly a decade in the making, the gallery will run independent of SRU's Martha Gault Art Gallery and provide a "student only" exhibition space. While student art is displayed at the Gault gallery, the venue also showcases works from professional artists. The SGA gallery also provides opportunities for students to gain experience by managing the facility.

The gallery, which encompasses 921 square feet, was previously used by the theater department as a production planning room. The SRSGA provided $6,000 for renovations to the space.

"It's an important lesson about teamwork," DeRosa said. "What's most moving is how the students came together to champion a cause, working together to have the courage to ask (campus leaders and organizations) for money. When students work together, some cool things happen."

In addition to Wakefield and DeRosa, Chelsey Werner, a junior art major from Slippery Rock, and Travis Sallack, a senior art major from DuBois help to spearhead the project. Sallack, who serves as the gallery's director, will be handing the reigns over to Kaci Flora, a senior art major from Slippery Rock in the fall.

Gallery organizers hope to attract more exhibits in the future, not limiting submissions to the visual arts but any type of "creative exploration."

For more information about the Student Juried Showcase or to submit proposals for the 2017-18 academic year, email: sga.student.gallery@gmail.com.

MEDIA CONTACT: Justin Zackal | 724.738.4854 | justin.zackal@sru.edu