The Tobacco Project – Art & Social Change Lecture

Gallery Lecture
Thursday, September 28, 11am – 12pm.
Boland Hall Gallery, Saint Joseph’s University

Ryan Coffman, MPH, CHES, CTTS-M, Tobacco Policy and Control Program Manager for the Philadelphia Department of Public Health will come to Saint Joseph’s University to speak to students about “The Tobacco Project” and the Health Department’s initiatives to reduce tobacco addiction especially among Philadelphia youth.  He joins SJU art history professor, Dr. Emily Hage who will speak about art as a means for social change.

The lecture begins at 11am in Boland Hall.  Following the lecture, visitors can view the artwork in the gallery while enjoying a light lunch.  This event is free and open to the public.

“The Tobacco Project” on display in the Boland Hall gallery is a collaboration between Saint Joseph’s University, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the Philadelphia Department of Public Health, Get Healthy Philly.

The tobacco used to create this art was illegally sold to undercover youth surveyors, who visited tobacco retailers and attempted to purchase tobacco.

The cigars, cigarettes, and “loosies” in these pieces were originally intended to recruit the next generation of smokers. We are using innovation and art as a tool for social change by repurposing products intended to cause harm and addiction. The art was created in Professor Ron Klein’s Art 147-Appropriated Art class by the following students:

Zachary Burns, Pablo Diaz, Danielle Dortic, Joseph Grevera, Alexis Hewish, Joshua Lascano, Sarah Mastrocola, Alana Paolella, Alejandro Seda, and  Michael Spinelli.

 

 

“Urban Fabric” by artist Heidi Nam

Inspired by natural rock formations, grid patterns, and the constant evolution of urbanity, Heidi Nam’s collage and multi-media works explore the crossroad between the organic and the metropolitan. Nam’s enamorment of urban development is influenced by both personal and artistic experience, and it is reflected in both her work and her artistic process.

On a 2011 trip to her childhood home in Korea, Nam found the small village of her memory replaced by new development and modernity. Although in many cases the new had completely replaced the old, in some instances, new development was simply layered over the small village’s history. This melding of what was and what could be, paired with her fascination with scape, pattern, and repetition, serves as the fuel on the fire for Nam’s artistic experiment.

To create these pieces, Nam deconstructs her own silkscreen and woodblock prints, drawings, photos, and paintings, and reconstructs the fragments to form new, unique urban landscapes. This construction of the new from the old symbolizes the evolution of urban space. Nam’s multi-faceted work is layered with experience, depth, and variation.

– Devon D’Andrea
Gallery Exhibition Research Assistant

“Silent Scream” – Eun-Kyung Suh

 Silent Scream
Silk organza, printed text, cotton thread
Dimension variable
Seven comfort women survivors’ testimonies were projected on the inner faces of silk organza. Each arch, consisting of truncated pyramid forms, witnesses each survivor’s painful and unbearable memory of the abuse they suffered as sex slaves during WWII.
 
 
 

We, Survivors

Silk organza, printed images
I investigated extreme Diaspora experience of Korean Comfort Women. During World War II, 200,000 young women were recruited and forced into sexual slavery in Japan’s military brothels in Asia. The abuse of comfort women has proved a painful and unbearable memory. It was 1990 when the first South Korean women lifted the veil of shame and requested a formal apology and compensation for the thousands of women affected by the Japanese government. Today only over 50 of the 239 women who publicly acknowledged their experiences are alive in Korea. The portraits of the 50 survivors and their testimonies are incorporated into silk organza boxes to express symbolic sympathy for their suffering. The portraits of the Comfort Women survivors (military sexual slavery by Japan) provided by the Korean Council for Women Drafted for Military Sexual Slavery by Japan.
 

“The Tobacco Project”

A collaboration between Saint Joseph’s University, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the Philadelphia Department of Public Health, Get Healthy Philly.

Through our partnership with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Art Department at St. Joseph’s University, and Professor Ron Klein’s Appropriated Art course, we are transforming these products – initially intended for harm and deadly addiction – into works of art. Professor Klein’s students learn to manipulate everyday objects, using multiples and the technique of repetition to create something entirely new from something ordinary. In the past, they have worked with discarded books, q-tips, objects found in abundance at the dollar store, and now they are experimenting with tobacco products. They re-imagined these products, weaving them together in a visually compelling way, and created a series of wall-hangings that will draw in onlookers and surprise them as they come closer.

Art has the capacity to transform how we look at the world, how we interpret our environment, how we connect with others, and can be a powerful platform for spreading social justice messages. These pieces will provide a unique opportunity to address this life and death issue in our city, and an invaluable experience to join together the arts and public health.

 

Junior Art Majors

 

Participants:  Michaul Williams, Julian Smith, C. Sofia Naab, Hannah Kerkering, Eliana Actor-Engel

Michaul Williams – photography

Hannah Kerkering – photography

Julian Smith – ceramics

C. Sofia Naab – mosaics and photography

Eliana Actor-Engel – ceramics

Senior Art Thesis Exhibition

 

The senior art majors spent the past four years honing their artistic skills and finding ways to use their art to express their ideas formally to the world.  This exhibition is a culmination of their hard work, soul-searching, and artistic development during their time at Saint Joseph’s University.
Jesse Buxton, Krista Jaworski, Katherine Lord and Colin Mallee are exhibiting work that is varied not only in medium, but also in style and ideology.  These young artists deftly meld influences from personal struggles, life experiences, artistic research, and the work of a wide range of ancient to contemporary artists.

K A T H E R I N E     L O R D
_________________________________________________

My work is a reflection of myself and experiences I have had throughout life. I take materials I find to be satisfying and work with them to create pieces. I enjoy the process of taking something that is "nothing" and making it in to something.  Typically I reflect on whatever thought has caught my attention, and transfer the thought to expression. This causes my work to be mostly abstract with a common theme of figurative undertones. The process of reflection and then translation in to creating is a very therapeutic process for me. In a way, you could say art is my own personal therapy. I take what I see, experience, and hear about and process it through creating and making work.

Common subjects of my work are things that have impacted my life severely, good and bad. I find strength in my family, and although a large portion of my work reflects traumatic experiences I have had in my life, there is always an undertone of strength. That strength being to overcome tragedy and find beauty in it. I find beauty in pain. There is a distinct moment when a person chooses how they will be effected by something that has hurt them. That moment is when one chooses to accept what had happened and how it will impact their lives. I have chosen to find beauty in pain in everything I have ever experienced. This could be from a lack of choice. You have to deal with what you are handed, and this must be how I do that. I try to share this beauty with others around me so they can find strength and solace in it as well. As people, we are comforted by another understanding us, it is in a moment of relation that we are able to feel cared for and find strength. I want to share my strength and experience with as many people as possible and I do that in my work. That doesn't mean I think my work will have that effect on everyone. I am successful if I am able to effect one person in a positive way. To make one person feel that they are not alone in their pain. My art is the way I choose to do this, and is the way I am capable of doing this.

J E S S E     B U X T O N
_________________________________________________
My strong interest in history informs my work in ceramics. The shards left behind act as physical evidence of ancient cultures.  From pots left behind, we can learn how people used them for utilitarian purposes and also track aesthetic trends. I am interested in integrating features from historical vessels into a more contemporary context. My work is an expression of my experiences and taps into the material culture that has been created by those before me.

My contemporary influences include Carl Cunningham-Cole, Svend Bayer, and Ben Carter in his podcast Tales of a Red Clay Rambler, which introduced me to the close-knit clay community. As far as material culture from the antiquity, Greek and Roman pots have particularly held my interest.  These pots have also impacted the forms that I create to a great extent.  Specifically, the ancient Pithos, or storage jars associated with Greece from the Bronze and Iron ages that held food and store liquids are an exceptional display of technical achievement and necessary function.  These massive forms make the audience wonder what is contained within and marvel at the sheer volume of the jars.

My process for making includes creating composite vessels, or vessels made up of many building blocks.  This is done by using the wheel as a tool to create inventive features for traditional parts of a vessel.  I am also experimenting with the Onggi method of throwing coils, allowing me to make larger work and presenting an intense technical challenge. These methods allow one to play with proportions and experiment with ancient Greek proportionate ideals.  I aim to bring my own creative take on traditional notions of beauty and proportions. I strive to master the technical ability and blend historical references with my own artistic voice.

C O L I N    M A L L E E
__________________________________________________
I found out I was good at art in my freshman year of high school. At the time I was very religious and I remember recalling a bible passage that went something along the lines of, “Whatever you are, strive to be the best at it.” Nowadays, I look at my art from a slightly different kind of view. Striving to be the best I can be, my work is now more personal. By that, I mean to say, my art is an inside joke with myself.

I like comic books both of the western and eastern variety. Much of the inspiration for my work and style comes from things like cartoons and anime.  Stories of heroes drawn with thick outlines that seem to pop right off the page have always interested me. When making my art I like to incorporate many of the techniques involved in making comics and graphic novels such as line weight variation, strong, confident mark making, and dynamic angles.

Comic book artists and graphic novelists like Jim Lee, Alan Moore, and Frank Miller are some of my biggest inspirations.  I admire their unique takes on the use of line and line weight variation as well as their employment of various shading techniques.  I’ve also drawn some inspiration from more traditional artists like Roy Lichtenstein and Kehinde Wiley.  Their particular use of vivid colors and attention to the human figure is what inspires me most about their work. The inspiration to add three dimensional elements to some of my pieces came both from a curiosity in expanding on what I could do on a canvas as well as a desire to blend my love for painting and drawing.

I’m not a political person and neither is my work. I make what I know and what I know best is what makes me happy. As an actor, especially in an ensemble performance, the most important rule is if you don’t look like you are enjoying yourself the audience won’t either. In this way, I hope my work shows how much care and delight goes into each piece. I’ll keep the punch line of my inside joke between me and my art, but I hope those who view my art will still smile along with us.

K R I S T A    J A W O R S K I
__________________________________________________
Social media is admittedly a very large part of our lives. Our virtual worlds and reality are one and the same, yet the way people behave online and in real life are very different. I am fascinated by the way people have developed their lives alongside social media, and what it means in our society today. In everyone’s bubble of virtual media people are obsessed with creating a better image of themselves online and gaining arbitrary instant gratification. We’re often bombarded with this media, and sometimes peek into the real lives’ excessive thoughts and anxiety behind posting these forgetful images. It doesn’t matter.

In this show, I aim to bring these ideas to life with multiplicity of the most recognizable image: our own faces and digital icons. I’ve personified characteristics of social media and those who use it in my imagery.

I’ve mainly used a combination of acrylic paint, paint markers, and acetate layering. I wanted to replicate the feeling of my sharpie sketches, and transfer it to a different medium, so using the paint makers on canvas accomplished that.

Student Art Exhibit – Chromatic Entropy

 The Boland Hall Gallery provides a space that helps to educate and serve the SJU and surrounding communities.  Student work is rotated on a monthly basis and March features ceramic work from Senior Art Major, Sue Henry.

Sue Henry’s Chromatic Entropy

 by Molly Ledbetter, Gallery Exhibition Research Assistant

In this powerful, vibrant body of work, artist Sue Henry explores such themes as nature, the organic, deterioration, and femininity.  The title of her show, “Chromatic Entropy,” suggests a sense of beautiful degradation, a concept much of her work embodies.  In many ways, her collection enshrines and celebrates the natural processes of aging and wear in life, capturing simultaneously the stunning intricacies that accompany such change.   Her show exhibits decay and aging in the natural world, and from this emerges realized notions of maturity, growth, rootedness, and strength.

Art has always been an important part of Henry’s life, though it took a back seat when she started a family and pursued a career in another field.  When her children got a little older, she reconnected with clay through local art classes and studios.  Years later, however, she developed a painful case of arthritis and had to take a break.  It wasn’t until her second year at Saint Joe’s that she rekindled the flame and found herself back at the wheel, where she took her work in an entirely different direction from her functional ware—dishes, bowls, mugs, plates—of the past.  In an interview, she expressed some personal parallels to her work:

…there is a connection for me to this feeling of entropy.  As a woman, the older I get, the bolder I get.  Around age 50, I realized that I cared less about what others thought, but in a good way.  I just turned 60 and know I have a voice, have opinions that I share sparingly, and am so much more embracing of differences in people.

In a word, she speaks to the positivity and wisdom that comes with maturing—a message most manifest in her work.

With the titles complementing each piece, Henry “wanted to give the viewer something to consider,” as you browse and lean in to the work to discover discrete elements and texture.  In the sea of this nature-inspired collection hide little gems and secrets and morsels of detail folded into the shadows.  Engulfed in blankets of undulating petals and shells emerge succulent, embossed, shiny little pods and pearls and seeds.  These components, hiding in crevices and nestled into small nooks in the sculpture almost breathe life into each piece.   The attention to minutiae and liberties with color help the work come to life in a very organic, elegant, and dynamic way.

            

2014-2015 Gallery

“Minimal Landscapes”
Alex Losett
Philadelphia, PA


“B-sides”
Adam Ledford
Philadelphia, PA


“Gabion”
Lindsay Carone
Rhode Island


“The Landscape Before Me: Cape Cod”
James Abbott
Ardmore, PA


“Quantum One”
Paintings by Sky Kim
Jersey City, NJ


2015 Senior Art Majors


“Bridging Cleveland”
Vaughn Wascovich
Commerce, Texas

2013-2014 Gallery

Melissa Wilkinson
Bono, Arkansas

 WilkinsonBoat
“Boat”  india ink on paper 43 x 59″  2009


Tom Bendtsen
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Bendtsen11
“Conversation #5” detail   8,000 books   2013


Deborah Zlotsky
Delmar, New York

Zlotsky1Vumb
“Vumb” powdered graphite on mylar  60″ x 48″ 2011


Matthew Christopher
Mt. Gretna, Pennsylvania


Jay Walker
Philadelphia, PA


“Contemporary Art and Social Justice”
curated by SJU Art History Professor, Emily Hage, PhD
featuring the work of Glen Saks, Sarah McEneaney, Susan Hagen, Daniel Heyman


2014 Senior Art Majors

 

2012-2013 Gallery

Laura Watt
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Watt16
“Mandala Crossed #4”    oil/linen   2009


Meghan Cox
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

 Cox1
“Posey”    Oil on canvas mounted on panel   2012   11 x 14″


Peter Miraglia
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Miraglia11
“Celine” Archival Pigment Print  20 x 16″


Rachel Rotenberg
Baltimore, Maryland

Rotenberg2


Sukjin Choi
Harrisonburg, VA

Choi1
“Recollection Installation”   porcelain, stones, sand, paint   2012


2013 Senior Art Majors

Madelon Crosson     Germantown, TN (digital photo)

Nehru Ganeish     Singapore (digital photo)

Nora McGuire     Summit, NJ (digital photo)

Lisa Sucharski     Springfield, PA (painting)