campus news & events

Colby-Sawyer College Hosts 'Art Teaching Art: Practicing Art, Enriching Education' Exhibition Featuring Works by High School Art Educators

NEW LONDON, N.H. - Oct. 29, 2007 - The Colby-Sawyer Fine and Performing Arts Department will host Art Teaching Art: Practicing Art, Enriching Education, an exhibition featuring a selection of works by art educators from high schools throughout New England.

The opening reception will take place on Friday, Nov. 9, at 5 p.m. in the Marian Graves Mugar Art Gallery. Light refreshments will be served and admission is free. The exhibition will continue through Dec. 7, 2007.

"Art educators devote a tremendous amount of work and time to teaching their students, which leaves them very little time to promote and exhibit their own work," says Rebekah Tolley, director of the college's art gallery and assistant professor of Fine and Performing Arts. "Practicing art is a crucial part of educators' effectiveness as teachers, and this show seeks to encourage and support their growth by giving them an opportunity to exhibit their work."

The works represent a great variety of artistic media, ranging from photography and printmaking to ceramics and painting. Each artist was asked to select two pieces of their work for the exhibition, without the usual juried selection process.

The photography of Wendy Morgan Root (Pinkerton Academy) is best described as spontaneous. The subjects of her photos are all anonymous, and not intended to represent specific couples but rather to capture a specific moment in time.

“I want the viewer to experience each moment as it was felt by the subjects,” said Root. “The overall goal of my photography is to preserve fleeting moments. I look to express some of the most pure, exciting, and personal of human emotions. It is a daring look into someone else's experience, which is ultimately the mirror of a relationship that we all hope to find during our lifetime.”

From the time, she was a little girl, painter Elizabeth Saitta (Masconomet Regional High School) dreamt about love and marriage. Now she uses those childhood dreams as inspiration for her works. “My work deals with the ideals of marriage,” said Saitta. “As a little girl, I dreamed about love, marriage and wedding gowns. I had an ideal of what I thought each of those should be. As I've matured and experienced life firsthand, I realize my actual experience does not always match my ideals.”

In her paintings, she looks at the loss of this ideal and what it does to the human heart. “Stripping away an ideal is like losing a security blanket,” she said. “We enter uncharted territory where what we expected is not what we realize to be true.”

In her role as a high school art teacher, Jane Grant Tentas has enjoyed sharing her passion with students of all skill levels. During her 20 years at Manchester Memorial High School in Manchester, N.H., she has continued to attend classes and workshops on painting in order to further her skills.

“Currently I am taking classes in watercolor painting, and much of my recent work has been in that medium,” said Tentras. In addition to painting, Tentas also writes and illustrates children's books.

Robert Allen (Tilton School) began his art career painting the vast, colorful landscapes of Maine, where his family owns a summer home. Over the years, he has transformed his art into a more ambiguous and abstract form. He has replaced oil paint with acrylic and has incorporated more texture and structural tension into his work. Through his work, Allen is able to express his feelings about the world that surrounds him.

“I have always felt an underlying tension between my need to express feelings about the natural world and the essential abstract process that this expression requires,” said Allen, “And it is this tension that exists between 'reality' and 'abstraction' that has defined my work for a number of years.” Though Allen admits that he is never completely satisfied with his work, he says that “each work is an invitation to engage in the next, and each work is an attempt to further clarify my personal landscape.”

While studying art at the Museum School in Boston, Sharon Lee, who teaches at Brewster Academy, fell in love with printmaking and ceramic work. The focus in her works has always been printmaking, specifically intaglio prints such as etching and collagraph. She finds that these art forms emphasize the surface texture of ceramic work. In addition to her work in ceramics, Lee also finds time to paint and draw. “Drawings, prints and paintings tend to be related to things that are happening in my daily life,” said Lee.

Other artists whose works are featured in the exhibition include Jennifer Vigneau from Exeter High School, Abra Andrews of Spaulding High School in Rochester, Kate Smith from Tilton School, Jennifer Vigneau from Exeter High School,Lauren Hammond and Valeria Khislavsky from Brewster Academy, Amy Wilson and Martha Shepp from New Hampton School and Donna Calleja from Watertown High School.

Additionally, the works of Christina Bucala and John S.Burke from Catholic High School in Goshen, N.Y., Robin Asbury and Patrice Martin from Proctor Academy, Jon Cripps from Manchester West High School, Betsy Gammons from Rundlett Middle School, Stephanie Gordon from Hanover High School, Greg Barry from Oakmont Regional High School, Susan G.M. Aldridge from Bellows Falls Union High School in Vermont, Susan Rives from Cardigan Mountain School, Sarah Glass from Seminary Hill School in West Lebanon, along with Constance Panetski, Christine R. Hawkins, Tom Borden, B.G. Hodges, Claudia Michael, Kathy Statires and Ellen Wolper, will also be highlighted in the exhibition.

To learn about other Colby-Sawyer College events visit:

-Amber Cronin '11

Amber Cronin works in College Communications at Colby-Sawyer College.

The Marian Graves Mugar Art Gallery
The Marian Graves Mugar Art Gallery, directed by Rebekah Tolley, hosts seven major exhibitions and related public events each academic year. The gallery is located on Seamans Road on the west side of campus in the Sawyer Fine Arts Center. Admission is free and events are open to the public. Gallery hours are 9 a.m.–5 p.m., Monday through Friday, Saturday from 10 to 2 p.m., and other times by appointment. The Mugar Gallery and Sawyer Fine Arts Center are fully handicapped accessible. For information, please call (603) 526-3000.

Colby-Sawyer College, 541 Main Street, New London, New Hampshire 03257 (603) 526-3000 telephone/(603) 526-2135 fax