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Art Faculty Show held at MU

by Rebecca Hazen - February 3, 2016

The Mansfield University Art Faculty Show held its opening reception on Thursday, January 28.

Loomis Gallery, which is in Allen Hall on Mansfield University’s campus, is host to a number of art shows throughout the year. The first one of this year features members of the art department.

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Visitors to the show will see works by Martha Whitehouse, Kenneth Cobb, Martha Campbell, Nicholas Economos, Daniel Roemmelt, Michelle Schlegel, Alan Bennett and John Shanchuk.

The theme of the show is that there is no theme. Each professor was able to decide what they wanted to present at the show.

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Whitehouse included a series of pictures of a tattooed man named Rob in the gallery. “I have always thought that people using their skin as a permanent canvas is really interesting. It is scary to me,” Whitehouse said. “I don’t know if I could do it myself. This young man, Rob, works at a drive through barista business, so he would put his arm out to give you your coffee, and each time he seemed to have a new tattoo. He designed all of them himself.”

Economos’ contribution to the show was a series of six digital video pieces. There is a television hooked up in the gallery, and visitors can sit and watch the videos.

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Schlegel included a piece titled “Look Closer” which comprised of tiny canvases of pictures that she took during a trip to China. The message behind the piece is that when we hear something is ‘made in China’ it comes off as being negative, and Schlegel wanted to break that barrier down.

Cobb’s work included paintings, and a set of drawn cartoons. “I started playing with the new trend of coloring books. So I started sketching these out with that in mind. I went with a nature theme. When I was a kid, cartooning and comic books were my initial draw to art, so I had a lot of fun doing this,” Cobb said.

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Shanchuk’s art included a framed spiral collage that was made out of tiny pieces of paper cut out from a map, and a wooden fish.

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Campbell’s work included black and white film photography, with accompanying silk screens of the photographs. “I found two rolls of film and they date back at least 25 years,” Campbell said. “I like grungy stuff, so I actually wanted the film to be damaged. I took the whole roll of film, and got some pretty wonderful prints. The damage to them was just wow! I decided to make high resolution digital images of them and break them down into layers of values of blacks and whites.”

Bennett had a series of ceramic fish. “It started when I was five years old and someone caught a blue gill and it was the most beautiful thing I ever saw. I put it in my pocket and took it home and I kept it under my pillow. My parents eventually found it and made me put it in the garden and after that I started making fish and haven’t stopped,” Bennett said.

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Roemmelt, who is a realist painter, contributed a series of paintings to the gallery, all of which had a Greek theme.

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In the center of the gallery is a curio cabinet that holds little items from each professor. “It contains little objects of curiosity. Not all of it is necessary artwork, but just items that we found,” Cobb said.

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For those who want to visit and see the artwork, Loomis Gallery is open daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. or by appointment.

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