Xavier faculty showcase work at biannual art show

Newswire photo by Monica Schweiger | Suzanne Chouteau displayed her work, “Rebel”, during the faculty art show.

Faculty showed off their creative side last Friday night during the biannual art department faculty show opening reception.

Faculty members who participated included Suzanne Chouteau, Bruce Erikson, Jonathan Gibson, Marsha Karagheusian, Kelly Phelps and Kitty Uetz. Adjunct faculty including Chris Hoeting, Jordanne Renner and Dana Tindall also participated.

Each member of the faculty submitted their own original work of various mediums for students, other faculty members and patrons to observe and discuss.

Mediums ranged from fiber arts, sculpture, printmaking, drawing, painting, three-dimensional work, ceramics and mixed media.

An agreed-upon favorite from students was Chouteau’s Rebel, a woven blanket based on a woodcut print inspired by the poem “The Sun Also Sets, Black-Eyed” by English professor Dr. Tyrone Williams.

This poem and others by Williams, along with Chouteau’s original woodcut print, will be published in Saad Ghosn’s upcoming The Best of Poems and Drawings on Peace and Justice by Greater Cincinnati Artists.

When creating her woodcut, Chouteau was inspired by the imagery of fists cracking through the earth. After completing the woodcut print, she enlarged and printed it on a woven blanket which she then embellished with paint and grass. The work symbolizes the racism occurring today, the rebelling against the border that is being strengthened with Mexico, the history of slave labor and the “#Me Too” movement. Grass was woven through the blanket as a way of representing that even Mother Earth is behind the movement of “Take Back the Night.” In the ground the word “rebel” is written with the grass, reiterating once again the overall theme of the blanket and the support of Mother Earth.

Uetz also used a nature motif in her fiber arts. Her work is about color, healing energy, renewal and nature. Her fiber works included a cape, Beaded Butterfly Cloak, created through the shibori color-removed dyed velvet.

Other works included Gibson’s ancestry grayscale structure drawings. Each framed individual work was another layer of structure for a different generation and showed how each structure was connected over time. To the side he wrote the names of his family lineage, their dates and their generation.

Twin brothers Kelly and Kyle Phelps created a mixed media sculpture, titled After the Dream, in which the words of Phelps are about “the American Dream and the terrible political climate right after Obama’s departure as president and the rise of racism and fear soon after Trump’s election. Immigrants, people of color, gay/transgender, the poor and women are all targets.”

Pieces tended to present something that the artist believed reflected their identity, society and/or audience.

For many students, it was exciting to see their professors’ work and technique.

“For most majors on campus, you can ask your professors for a resume to see their qualifications, but for art, you need to see the proof,” Mitchell Tapia, a sophomore graphic design student, said. “This is the proof. There is something powerful about knowing your teachers are qualified.”

Father Michael Graham, president, agreed with Mitchell.

“I say this every time, but it’s because it’s true, I love coming to the faculty show,” Graham said. “It’s a delight to see because of the caliber of work, the range of work, and it is cool to know the students are in good hands.”

By: Monica Schweiger ~Features Editor~