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Faculty Art Exhibition in Connelly Art Gallery

The+Connelly+Center+Art+Gallery+is+now+featuring+a+show+with+works+in+many+mediums+created+exclusively+by+Villanova+staff.
Courtesy of Lauren Armstrong
The Connelly Center Art Gallery is now featuring a show with works in many mediums created exclusively by Villanova staff.

Located on the second floor of the Connelly Center to the right of the front desk, the Art Gallery is typically a quiet haven. The symphony of students hard at work mixed with eager conversation becomes a sort of muffed background music to the subtle yet blunt clicking of one’s heels on the wooden floors of the gallery. However, this past Thursday was the exception, as the Gallery drew in curious onlookers from the dinner rush at the reception for the Faculty Art Show Exhibition. The show features works from Villanova faculty, such as Tina Waldeier Bizzarro, Christine Clay-Gorka, Jeff Dion, Nathan Durnin, Santiago Galeas, Michael Hollinger, Susan Kelly vonMedicus, Janus Stefanowicz, John Welsh and Michael Willse. Their works, according to the Gallery’s online announcement, span across mediums such as “painting, photography, figure drawing, iconography, original music and costume design.”

Held in the early evening, the reception was run and hosted by Art Gallery Director and Curator of Villanova’s art collection, Jennie Castillo. With the help of her student assistants, Castillo worked with faculty across disciplines, including but not limited to, art history, studio art and theater to cultivate an exhibition across mediums, such as monastic paintings from art history professors, creations from the Villanova Theatre’s Costume Shop and paintings from those in the Studio Art Department.

Among the many awe-inspiring attributes of Villanova, the talents and brilliance of the faculty is always one of the first to be lauded. In Villanova’s Art Gallery, the Faculty Art Show affirms the flair that the Villanova faculty and staff, particularly the arts faculty in this case, bring to the table. Castillo, along with the help of her student assistants and numerous Villanova departments, brings a level of care to this collection that is tangible and moving. The works are not just stand-alone testaments to the skills of their creators, they converse with one another, cultivating an atmosphere in which one aches to speak back to them and learn more about them.

In this collection, the works of Clay-Gorka and Galeas transport viewers to another world. Their respective color palettes and intricate designs capture the attention of all those who cross the threshold of the Gallery. The work of Stefanowicz (who earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Villanova) features a breath-taking, Marie Antoinette-esque design. The sketch design is displayed on the wall, leading viewers to witness how a beautiful vision becomes a regal reality.

“The faculty at Villanova are so talented and I’m glad they’re getting the artistic visibility they deserve,” Riley Nelson, a junior with a double major in English and Art History said. To Nelson’s point, this exhibition of faculty work serves as a reminder to the student body of the opportunities available in regard to the arts, including enrollment in the courses led by the creatives who breathed life in canvas, fabric, and design for this show. 

While Villanova is renowned for its Business School and STEM programs, its affinity for the arts remains a hidden gem in plain sight. Villanova’s dedication to the arts is intrinsic to its Irish Augustinian heritage and is present in everyday life at Villanova from the Riley Ellipse statue on main campus, otherwise known as the “Oreo,” to the paintings that adorn every office, waiting room and hallway on Villanova’s campus.

The Faculty Art Show exhibition will be available for viewing in the Connelly Center Art Gallery through March 4. For more information about Villanova’s Art Gallery and future events, sign up for its mailing list online or follow it @vuartgallery on Instagram.

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