Student Digital Photography

Coffee Hour, Tuesday, 2/20 8am – 9am.
Stop by Boland Hall Gallery for coffee and take a look at this series of student photographs

Samantha Hagelbarger

Students in Professor Krista Svalbonas’s Digital Photography I class present their latest images. There are over twenty photographs on display by fifteen students from varying backgrounds covering a wide range of subjects.


Natalie Simms

Experimenting with shutter speed, aperture, depth of field, the rule of thirds, and light,  students from Professor Krista Svalbonas’s Digital Photography 1 class explored a particular theme or idea in these photographs Practicing different techniques has pushed students to identify certain technical and aesthetic characteristics of a photograph inside and outside of the classroom.  According to Svalbonas, “Digital Photography 1 introduces students to the fundamental terminology, concepts, methodologies, and techniques of digital photography. It focuses on the principles of composition, lighting, and visual story telling in photography.”

These photos show students’ perspectives on “how to tell a narrative story of the human experience” through digital photography, according to Professor Svalbonas. Svalbonas encouraged students to “photograph something that you feel strongly about, that interests you and you want to learn more about.”

For Dylan Eddinger ’19, Digital Photography 1 has challenged him to come out of his comfort zone as a photographer. As Eddinger reflects on taking Digital Photography 1, he now feels confident that I can effectively create my own narrative in photographs.” Eddinger recalls one of the biggest obstacles he faced:photographing a series of photos thatinvolved something bigger than myself.”         

Eddinger chose to shoot his photographs at different locations throughout the city of Philadelphia. Prior to taking each photograph, he had a specific vision in mind. The man he photographed surrounded by American flags is a Philadelphia native and blues rocker who idolizes Bruce Springsteen.     One of Eddinger’s favorite images in the exhibition is from his long exposure series that contains the tagline for the fight against opioid addiction; “It only takes a little to lose a lot.” In a place where heroin takes over the streets, Eddinger found himself walking past “many struggling homeless people, and witnessed two corner deals” as he stood under the L train in Kensington Philadelphia at 2:45 am. As a result of witnessing what many people face in their daily lives, Eddinger believes that there is hope for these people who have become addicted in our city.” Using photography, Digital Photography 1 had the opportunity to bring social and political issues in Philadelphia to light.


“Photography can offer you a new way to look at your surroundings. It can surprise, inspire, excite and re-imagine the world around us.”    Professor Krista Svalbonas

—Kelly Smith ’19
Gallery Exhibition Research Assistant

Blaise Knebels


Andrew Cornell Robinson “Wishful Thinking”

Unfortunately, because of the Eagles SuperBowl parade, the University is suspending operations on 2/8 and we are not able to reschedule the artist talk.

Artist Talk:  Thursday, February 8, 2018 11:30 am – 12:30 pm in the gallery.
All are welcome!

Wishful Thinking

In Wishful Thinking Andrew Cornell Robinson explores how humans create meaning. These works, primarily ceramics and photography, defy traditional ideas of what objects of worship should look like, while upholding their original function.

Living and working in New York City at the time of the 9/11 terrorism attacks, Robinson took particular notice of the way the people of Manhattan mourned their dead. Specifically, Robinson fondly recalls witnessing sanitation workers fiddling with some flowers, candles, and missing persons posters placed along a bridge. A concerned woman asked if the men were taking down the objects, then realized they were covering them with plastic to protect them. This exchange was proof that the small shrines erected in memory of the victims were important to not only the people who put them there, but to the entire community. This poses the question: how do people create meaning from objects?

In answering this question Robinson also looks back to his childhood in New Jersey, where his grandparents housed “curiosity cabinets” from which he could choose an object and hear a fantastic story of its origin. His grandparents invented these stories, but they were meaningful to young Robinson nonetheless.

These moments of personal history expanded to community and then world history for the artist, prompting him to ask Who and what is worshipped in the rest of the world? One of the artist’s reasons for creating these works was to explore who is glorified and who is forgotten, and why.  For example, the main inspirations for Rebel Heart is the story of the Death of the Marat. When Jean-Paul Marat was fatally stabbed by Charlotte Corday in 1793, he became one of the most powerful martyrs of the French Revolution. After his death, Marat’s organs were removed and placed in elaborate reliquary jars for worship after his murder.

The goal of these works is to prompt viewers to question what we worship, and, more importantly, how we worship. In speaking about this exhibition, Robinson described it as “kind of a riff on altarpieces.” This series of modern shrines and reliquaries emphasize and redefine the physicality of worship.

~ Devon D’Andrea ‘20
Gallery Exhibition Research Assistant

12 x 10 x 8″ slip cast porcelain


Andrew Cornell Robinson has developed an intuitive and socially engaged approach to the production of interdisciplinary art with a particular interest in bridging art, design and craft with design strategies and methodologies. Robinson creates ceramic, sculpture and mixed media objects and images with a rich attention to materiality. He begins most projects with research that is often historical in nature and driven by a fictionalized character derived from design personae; a methodology used by industrial designers. Leveraging this device enables him to reexamine memory through the production of images and artifacts that tell a revisionist history, examining coded languages and mistranslations. His recent work is often focused on the queer and peculiar within the context of forms that include reliquaries and memento mori artifacts. In carefully researching and creating rich narratives and personae represented by a network of images and objects, he aims to engage the ways we understand historical memory and our place in it.

Hidden narratives have always been important to Robinson.[*] Signs and symbols, colors and materials may all convey meaning from the spiritual to the profane. Robinson’s latest project translates his interest in revisionist histories and is partly a meditation upon the discord within American culture and politics. Expressed through a series of secular shrines, reliquaries, artifacts and images the project began with an examination and reinterpretation of the life and death of the French revolutionary Jean-Paul Marat. When Charlotte Corday plunged her knife into the heart of Marat in July of 1793, she created one of the French Revolution’s most powerful martyr heroes. His body and memory were elevated into a ceremonial pantheon. His heart was removed and placed into a makeshift reliquary–a bejeweled urn that had once belonged to the deposed French monarchy. The reliquary served as a focal point for public ceremony and devotion. The cult of the Sacred Heart (Sacré-Coeur de Jean-Paul Marat) derived from Catholic rituals and idolization became a visual and formal sign that Robinson has abstracted and reinterpreted through a grotto like form in ceramic, glass and mixed media; as well as a series of shrine like tableau in a contemporary exploration of the memento mori. Translating stories through fragmentation and layering result in a collection of signs and artifacts that act like a rebus open to interpretation.

Born in Camden, NJ, he studied ceramics and sculpture prior to completing his MFA at the School of Visual Arts in New York City where he studied with Thomas Lanigan-Schmidt, and worked with painter Frank Moore, et al. He received an Albee fellowship residency and was a visiting artist in Port Au Prince, Haiti and at the Agastya Foundation, in Bangalore, India. His work has been presented throughout the world with the Kustera Gallery, David & Schweitzer Contemporary, Joyce Goldstein Gallery, Christopher Stout Gallery, Baltimore Contemporary Museum, Bruce Museum, Ross Art Museum, and the United Kingdom Crafts Council. He lives and works in New York City and is a member of the faculty at Greenwich House Pottery and Parsons School of Design.

Robinson’s interest in hidden narratives and coded languages spans many topics that include cultural bias, the misinterpretation or obfuscation of culture and identity and simply mistranslation. For example, “Le Livre des Sauvages” in the Bibliotheque de l’Arsenal in Paris is of particular interest to him. The work was the subject of an 1860 study by Christian Abbe Em Domenech, a missionary to North America, who discovered a document covered in cryptic pictograms and glyphs, which he assumed was created by an indigenous person of the American plains. Domenech’s theory of its provenance has been in question by several German critics, who point out that many of the glyphs are characters comprising German words written in clumsy handwriting. Contemporary opinion of Le Livre Des Sauvages is that its bizarre pictures and odd text were merely the doodling of a German-speaking child living on the American plains.

Another example of a coded language that interests Robinson, is Polari, an innuendo fueled English slang language used primarily (although not exclusively) by gay men in the United Kingdom between the 1920’s and the 1970’s although it’s history and etymology can be traced further into the past. It fell out of use after the partial decriminalization of homosexuality in England and Wales in 1967. This ‘lost language of gay men’ served simultaneously as disguise and identification, when mere existence in the United Kingdom and beyond was punishable with imprisonment and public disgrace. Polari was a form of resistance, a way of queering language, and the expression of a shared culture and identity. Transforming craft materials, artifacts and narratives by speaking through codes and abstraction underlines some of the themes within Robinson’s work.

12 x 10 x 8″ slip cast porcelain

Student Work – Drawing II

Professor Steve Cope’s Drawing II student work featuring:
Rozana Almaddah, Ian Asaph, Shane Chapman, Angelica Christina, Francesca DeSapio, Matthew Erlandson, Kyndall Hawkins, Erin Kelly, Jessica Kerns, Zoe Malone, Regina Oliveri, Hunter Schmeusser, Alexa Sinatore, Andrea Warren, Anissa Wilson

Zoe Malone

Professor Steve Cope’s Drawing II course focuses on enhancing students’ drawing skills. The first half of the semester focuses on sizeable still life drawings. These drawings pay close attention to form, light and shadows, and values of light and dark. Shading within these still life drawings pays attention to the intricate folding of fabric, the features of sculpted heads and texture and shape of pottery vessels. For homework assignments, Professor Cope gives the students a word to interpret in any way that the student wants. For example, one word was “cast.” The drawings produced varied from a fisherman casting, to a cast at a closing of a show. The broad interpretations of the word demonstrate each student’s personality and interests.  Some other homework assignment words were: post, feat, multiple, turn, wearily and swanky.

Gabriella Youshock ’20
Gallery Exhibition Research Assistant

Angelica Christina

Erin Kelly  “Swanky”


Jessica Kerns

Within this illustration, a model shifts her head to the left to reveal scenery in the background. The dark and dense background suggests to the viewer that nighttime is swiftly approaching. This is illustrated by the light behind the figure. This drawing was done in pencil, blurring the lines between fiction and reality. This obscuring plays a crucial role in creating feelings of uncertainty, or uneasiness.
– Gabriella Youshock

Ben Schwab – “Getting Here From There”

11/9/17 Artist Talk – Ben Schwab

Everything Is Different, But Still The Same, Oil on canvas, 88 x 138 inches, 2017

Getting Here From There

            New York artist Ben Schwab grapples with the theme of “getting here from there” in his collection of cityscape paintings. In this gallery, viewers witness how Schwab’s work questions what he calls our “natural tendencies” as he tries to “make the unobservable, or unseen, more visible.” At first glance, each image appears to be bordering abstraction.  However, the negative space alongside minimal use of color compels the viewer to take a closer look at the details that reveal deteriorating cites such as Damascus and Aleppo.

            Getting Here From There is inspired by Schwab’s interest in video footage collected by drones. Schwab’s “honest sense of curiosity,” as he calls it, motivates him to incorporate images of decaying cities into large scale paintings. In his artistic process, Schwab manipulates and layers multiple screenshots through Photoshop to create one image. Further, the spaces that Schwab works with might appear to be equally familiar as they are unfamiliar to some viewers. Rather than presenting a single perspective in his paintings, Schwab forces viewers to step out of their comfort zones and look at spaces they most likely haven’t seen before. As a result, the nature of “getting here from there” ultimately encourages viewers to strengthen their ability to connect with a place when presented with an image depicting an unfamiliar space.

~ Kelly Smith ‘19
Gallery Exhibition Research Assistant

Transposition Of Immensity, Oil on canvas, 84 x 76 inches, 2016



Annual Alumni Exhibit – Kate Ambrose & Julia Newell

In this exhibition, alumni artists Kate Ambrose and Julia Newell prioritize the viewer’s emotional and sensory responses to their works. Both artists understand their works as vehicles of self-recognition, reflection, revelation, and remembrance.

In her exploration of abstract expressionism, Ambrose finds her ever-changing artistic approach calling forward the viewer’s subconscious. Attempting to tap into that unfiltered mindset, “evoking raw conversation,” Ambrose says, “is what [she] lives for.” Her work battles with spontaneity and intent, candidly coaxing us to self-examine with a childlike innocence.

Newell similarly places the viewer in control, offering works she says are “fuel[ed by] advocacy to help those who have suffered through mental illnesses.” Her organic forms express seemingly familiar narratives that invite viewers’ interaction. Newell understands painting, she says, as “simply a time to zone out and create.” Her works appear as moments to temporarily forget—or remember and reflect.

~ Nick Crouse, ‘19
Gallery Exhibition Research Assistant

“I’m in the Wrong Film” photography by Hans Gindlesberger

I’m in the Wrong Film is a consideration of our troubled relationship to the marginal places that exist in the national landscape. The title of the series is a colloquialism used to indicate a speaker’s disorientation in regard to physical surroundings that have taken on a disconcerting, fictitious quality. In this series of staged and performative photographs, the experience of individual dislocation the phrase describes is applied more broadly, in articulating the collective loss of identity that permeates the rural and post-industrial landscape of America.

Presented as a constellation of narrative fragments, each photograph manifests the shared psychology between a transient character and constructed environments suggestive of Middle America. The character, wandering with alternating senses of desire and reticent detachment amid his surroundings, is an extension of a place no longer able to sustain itself. The photographs present transitory moments, in which the agency of the character is called into question, arrested by the stillness of the photograph. His impotence and perpetual immobility mirror the circumstance of the small town, which, after being used politically, socially, and aesthetically in defining a national image and identity, is now marked by the stasis of economic decline. Whether by accepting and naturalizing their erasure or attempting to salvage viability through a nostalgic commodification of their past, these communities succumb to an estrangement from their own history and sense of themselves.

A corollary to this rupture can be found in the physical construction of the photographic tableau. The character’s performances are recorded in-studio and are later inserted into landscapes imagined out of multiple photographic fragments. Referencing the mechanics of the theater and silent film, wherein a décor foregrounds the actor’s performance, the composited backdrops provide a visual context for the performances while also establishing a physical and psychological separation. At times, these virtual stages reveal their artifice and begin to falter and collapse upon the character. This implicates not only the narrative content, but also the materiality of the photograph and fallibility of its construction as synchronous sources of the character’s sense of being “in the wrong film.”

The social narrative of the small town, the lack of agency in the character’s performance, and the faltering construction of the image compound upon one another in describing both the instinctive desire and the relative absurdity in attempting to recover a sense of belonging in a time of dislocation.

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.



“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.