The Elzay Gallery of Art featured new works by the faculty of the Art & Design program of Ohio Northern. The display featured artwork including photography by Professor Staton, paintings by Professor Eddings, sketches by Professor Mancuso, and ceramic sculptures created by Professor Sheets.
Rae Staton is the professor of photography, with her photos primarily being portraits. She strives for a natural ambiance. Rather than highly editing her photos, Staton chooses to show her model’s natural beauty.
“Photography, to me, is not so much about what I see but how I see it and finding beauty and something interesting in the ordinary.”
William Mancuso is an assistant professor of Art. Mancuso’s sketches are widely known on campus for their artistic interpretation and picture perfect moments. He sketches what he sees right where he is, in that exact moment.
“For myself, drawing and painting are about paying attention through sketching. By participating in the process of sketching, I try to practice being conscious of the choices and marks I make. It is all about seeing and participating at the moment.”
Melissa Eddings-Mancuso, an Associate professor of art explained how she found her passion for her work. Edding’s paintings are simplistic and elegant, sticking to what she sees and not adding any unnecessary flourishes or elements.
“What began as an exercise to ameliorate my creative practice before launching into something grander and more serious evolved into an exploration that proved boundless in its complexity.”
Luke Sheets is the ceramics and 3D design professor of ONU. Sheets’ sculptures are all natural, three-dimensional, forms. They take on the shape of whatever the individual who is looking at it, is feeling. His work is not meant to be any one element, but a unique form that is up for interpretation.
“My art work stems from my love of experimenting with different forms and styles and drawing on historical inspirations as well as ideas from other materials. These inspirations allow me to create an evolving series of pieces. It’s this thrill of exploration with clays, surfaces, and firings that keep my next pieces coming.”
Since graphic design professor Brit Rowe did not have featured artwork in the gallery, he opened the gallery with a presentation called Collaborate: For the Better Good of Community-Based Design. He went into detail about how the school’s art and design program has been able to better our community through global and local projects. One project that was touched on in the lecture was the Artists Against Hunger campaign in which students, faculty and alumni helped create ceramic bowls that they then served soup in for donations to a local charity. The students also had the opportunity to help refurbish Ada’s local train depot and create awareness about Yellowstone’s light pollution project. It was a thought-provoking allocution about the positive impact that art can have on the world.
“Graphic design is so much more than a pretty logo, branding, and identity. What we value in life should always influence our work. I always believed serving our community and bettering our world should be at the forefront of what we do no matter what.”