Graduate Art Association takes over Bates Gallery

Category:  The Arts
Tuesday, September 29th, 2020 at 3:45 PM
Graduate Art Association takes over Bates Gallery by Hazel Modlin

Edinboro graduate artists pursuing a variety of artistic disciplines recently came together to put on a combined show in Bates Gallery from Sept. 20-26.

Kathleen Charnley, a graduate printmaker, further explained. “There was no theme; it’s just to highlight the graduate students at Edinboro. We’re all at different stages of our artistic career — there are first years, second years, and third years in the show.” The gallery featured a variety of both 2D and 3D pieces, some of which were made during the students’ time at Edinboro, and some of which were made before. 

The exhibition was hosted by the Graduate Art Association (GAA), a club composed of Edinboro graduate students, either pursuing a master of arts (MA) or master of fine arts (MFA). 

Ashley Paskov, a graduate ceramics student and president of the GAA, said: “It’s really competitive to get into Edinboro, so these people come from all over the country. We’ve got people from Florida, New York, Nebraska, and I’m from Connecticut … we just want to make sure that people know we’re working hard.” 

The GAA allows these students to get together with other graduates outside their artistic disciplines, as they don’t often get to see each other. Areas of expertise include metals, wood, ceramics, print, drawing, painting and sculpture. In addition, Charnley said the GAA provides a “opportunity for us to have exhibitions, and we even talked about doing a trade show with other campuses [and] with other grad students, which has been difficult given the global situation.” 

The GAA typically does at least one show per year — often one per semester. While the jurying for Bates is usually done a semester in advance, it was postponed due to COVID-19 and the uncertainty of whether or not students would be attending classes on campus. Because of this, the GAA had very little time to put together this showcase. “We really only had a week and a half to two weeks to plan it out and get it all going. It was pretty quick to put it all together,” said Charnley. 

Luckily, there are a large number of graduate students to contribute work to the show. Those involved in the exhibition included Erikka Spaid, Whitney Timbrook, Monica Hewryk, Anthony Ferris, Morgan Calabrese, Jaden Estes Carlson, Ashley Paskov, Kimberlyn Bloise, Rachel Maly, Victoria Branagan, Tyler Hawes, Kathleen Charnley and Madison Egleston. 

Everyone in the GAA was asked to give at least one of their pieces to the show, but some students contributed a few. Branagan, a graduate metals student, had three pieces in the exhibit: two brooches and a necklace. Branagan also included wood in her pieces, a medium that serves as her minor. Charnley presented a variety of different prints, including a lithograph, a couple of intaglios, and a collagraph. Paskov had a small ceramic mug and planter in the show. 

Despite the abundance of art, it was still a tight week, according to Paskov. “The panel that juried the show reached out to us and asked if we could do the first show because they felt that because we’re the graduate students, we could be ready right away. We did manage it … Kat (Charnley) and I did a lot of work.”  

Paskov and Charnley were busy with planning, like making sure all the necessary labels had correct information and further setting up the show. “I think we’re really happy with the way it came out,” said Paskov. 

Normally, exhibits include a reception, but the GAA felt that would attract unwanted crowds during the ongoing pandemic. The exhibition was open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., and masks were required upon entry. Some of the pieces within the show were for sale, and the labels identified which pieces could be bought. 

The gallery was also partially put together with the GAA’s intention to show the university that the MA and MFA programs are still active amid rumors of potential program cuts in the greater Edinboro art world.

“What it sounds like to me is that they’re looking at the higher education programs that are pretty low in attendance,” said Paskov. She feels, and has talked to others who feel a similar way, that graduate students bring a level of art and sophistication to the classrooms.  

“I felt it was really important to kick off the semester with a show to show off some of the work that we do and how really dedicated we are to this program.” 

Hazel Modlin is the Arts Editor for The Spectator. She can be reached at edinboro.spectator@gmail.com.

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