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March 13, 2009
Vol. 50 No. 17

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Art gallery to showcase seniors' creations

Courtesy of The Crusader/Abbi Mull
Fruits of labor-- Senior Christina Iezzi's artwork is featured in the Lore A. Degenstein Gallery. The gallery exhibit of Senior Art and Graphic Design portfolios will begin tomorrow and continue until March 22.
The Senior Art and Graphic Design Showcase will begin Saturday, March 14, and continue through Sunday, March 22 in the Lore A. Degenstein Gallery, giving viewers an opportunity to see portfolios of the spring 2009 graduates.

According to Mark Fertig, head of the Art Department, students have been presenting their work at senior showcases for decades.

"The show provides students with the opportunity to celebrate their four years at Susquehanna and all that they have accomplished. In art programs all across the country, the senior exhibition is as meaningful to the students as the commencement ceremony," Fertig said.

"There are too many times when art majors are underestimated," senior studio art major Carrie Olini said. "People tend to think being an art major is nothing but relaxation and doodles. The show gives the art majors a chance to get their work seen and acknowledged."

The showcase is almost completely organized by the students with very little input from any faculty members or gallery workers.

"I work with Art Department faculty and the gallery director to lay a general foundation for what the show should be. Then the students are responsible for everything from that point on," Fertig said.

Gallery Director Daniel Olivetti said: "The senior show is fully [created] by the seniors and I'm just supporting them in an advisory role. Basically, I've gone over the steps and procedures that we usually follow when designing and installing an exhibition. The students then go to work designing their show and when they present ideas to me, I weigh in on the feasibility of implementing them."

Together, the students began planning for the showcase itself at the beginning of this semester, but the students have been organizing and preparing their work throughout their careers at Susquehanna.

"I guess you could say we've technically been planning for the show since freshman year," Jessica Oswald, a senior graphic design major said. "The point of our education is to make a portfolio of all our best work. We've been completing and re-visiting projects since the very beginning. The whole show is self-organized by our class. The artwork, the set-up, the painting, the advertising, even the food, was carefully planned."

Olivetti added: "This is always an educational experience for the students when, step by step, they realize what goes into designing and installing an aesthetically pleasing exhibition in an art gallery, and then at the opening reception and for the duration of the exhibition, they can enjoy the fruits of their labor, as the Susquehanna community comes out to support them and appreciate the quality and imagination of their work."

This year's showcase has a theme, but as in the past, it is being kept secret until opening night.

"There is typically a theme, but the students are fairly successful at keeping it a secret from me. It's usually pretty exciting to see what they do with the gallery space," Fertig said.

"It has an eye-catching theme that will be very entertaining for guests young and old," senior graphic design major Jenelle Anthony said. "They will thoroughly enjoy the design that is going into the gallery itself."

While the theme has yet to be revealed, according to senior graphic design major Allison Kratzer, the showcase will feature a variety of mediums including package design, print design, painting and sculpture.

Senior graphic design major Anne Toal said: "The show features work from all the senior design and studio art majors and it is a good representation of what a group of talented individuals can do. We have worked hard on putting the show together and hope that everyone comes out and has a good time."

The opening reception is Saturday, March 14 at 7 p.m. Visitors can also view the students' work during the gallery's regular hours and find more showcase information at susqu.edu/Art_Gallery/.

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