Long-running scholarship center of exhibition

Category:  The Arts
Friday, October 18th, 2019 at 11:03 AM
Long-running scholarship center of exhibition by Amber Chisholm
Edinboro's art department recently celebrated the 10-year anniversary of the Michael V. Gmitter show and scholarship. Tyler Podomik won first prize last year. | Photo: Shaddai Crosby

Current and former student artists joined together in Doucette Hall’s Bruce Gallery on Oct. 10, from 6-9 p.m., as part of the 10-year anniversary show for the Michael V. Gmitter Memorial Scholarship Exhibition.

Dietrich Wegner, director of the Bruce Gallery, who’s been involved at Edinboro since before the scholarship started, shared his thoughts on the milestone.

“I knew most of these people as students, and I think what was most fun is just seeing how their work [has] evolved,” he said. “Their work seemed very professional as students, but it’s grown even more from there. I think what’s most gratifying is to see how many of them are still making work, because it can be challenging to start an art career. But they’re all still pretty active and out in their field.”

Involving 21 recipients and finalists of the scholarship (which is awarded in the spring semester), their career paths include professional artistry, supplementary jobs, education, gallery management and over 50% pursuing graduate studies.

One recipient, Ryan Zimmerman, a 2017 graduate who is currently pursuing his master’s in furniture design at the Rochester Institute of Technology, shared his experiences with both his art and the scholarship.

“It was a huge honor. This is such a coveted place to be — the award was great. It definitely helped grease the wheels for my further projects finishing up that semester,” he said. Zimmerman aspires to teach someday and holds strong ties with other winners since his time at Edinboro.
Current students Allyson Chessey and Mikala Wells have considered entering their own pieces into future iterations of the show and appreciatethe sense of community it holds.

“I think it’s really cool that it managed to make it to 10 years. Like it’s really a nice thing to keep going and, you know, a good tradition to have within the department,” said Wells.

Chessey expressed how it feels when Jan Gmitter visits, mother of the late Michael V. Gmitter, as it allows all involved to be a part of Edinboro and witness the family legacy continue on.

Wearing a piece made and given by her son as a Mother’s Day gift, Jan Gmitter shared that she was pleased with the turnout.

“It’s a lovely show,” she said, while then referencing its growth and inclusive nature, the latter especially with media and fine arts.

“It’s not an easy thing to judge, but I think Michael would have wanted it that way,” she added, referring to his friendships and connections with those of other art programs.

“It’s thrilling for me to be able to do this in his name. I know he’s smiling on us,” she said.

“Just keep doing what you’re doing,” is what she would tell potential winners and current artists. Gmitter knows the struggles of being an artist as she does her own work, incorporating her son’s drawings for future ideas.

The Gmitters’ work and stories can be viewed on celebratetheartistinyou.com and rememberingmichael.net.

This event was part of the Edinboro Community Art Walk, which was part of the Homecoming 2019 weekend.

Pictures from the gallery are featured below.

Additional Photos:

Edinboro's art department recently celebrated the 10-year anniversary of the Michael V. Gmitter show and scholarship. Tyler Podomik won first prize last year. | Photo: Shaddai CrosbyRosalie Pelenicky, 2017 winner, with 'Northern Sky.' | Photo: Amber ChisholmTyler Podomik, 2019 winner, with 'Blatherskite of Milk History.' | Photo: Amber ChisholmAlison Stinely, 2010 participant, with 'Conglomerate III.' | Photo: Amber ChisholmMark Arnold, 2013 participant, with 'Untitled Mug and Tea Pot.' | Photo: Amber ChisholmBrad Shuffstall, 2013 participant, with 'Kumiko Panel #2.' | Photo: Amber ChisholmCourtney Powell, 2018 winner, with 'Square Brooch.' | Photo: Amber Chisholm

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