August 25, 2009

Downtown Claremore Gallery to Showcase RSU Student Art Created in Italy

Rogers State University fine art students are preparing to share more than stories from their summer study-abroad trip to Italy. Students not only saw world-renowned art work in Italy, but created their own paintings, drawings, prints and photographs.

A show comprised of student and faculty internationally-inspired work opens Thursday at Wolf Productions A Gallery of the Arts in downtown Claremore. An opening reception will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, August 27. The show which is free and open to the public runs until September 12 and can be seen during the gallery's business hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday.

Most of the student and faculty art works will be for sale so gallery visitors can take a piece of Italy home with them.

"The objective is to immerse and expose RSU students to a broader world of art. Naturally the best place on earth to do so is the land where the Renaissance and arguably western art as a whole started in Italy," said Gary Moeller, head of the RSU Department of Fine Arts.

The exhibit will include depictions of everyday life in Montone, a medieval village in the hill country of Umbria in central Italy, where the group spent the majority of their four-week educational journey. In Montone students participated in art classes taught by RSU professors Bryce Brimer and Denny Schmickle and by Rebecca Bacchetti, a Montone-based artist and the program's on site coordinator.

"This year's trip was a great success and eye opening experience for the students. For many of the students this was their first experience traveling out of the country," Brimer said.

This summer the RSU study abroad trip included eight students Kristofer Burton of Catoosa, Rachel Green of Chelsea, Charity Weigant of Bristow, Amanda Borchardt of Claremore, Brian Lunk of Adair, Kaci Scott of Altus, Perri Jo Johnson of Claremore and Carl Hart of Drumright. In addition to living and studying in Montone, the RSU group traveled to Rome, Florence, Assisi and Orvietto.

"The students studied painting, drawing, digital photography and this year we were able to add printmaking. The work in the show is excellent, and does a great job of reflecting the beauty of the surroundings in which it was created." Schmickle said.

Baird Hall, the home of the RSU Fine Arts program, is undergoing an $8 million expansion and renovation and the campus gallery cannot be used during construction.

During the Baird Hall renovation RSU art exhibits will be held at various locations including the Gallery of the Arts in Claremore and the Price Tower Arts Center in Bartlesville.

More information about the art show is available by calling A Gallery of the Arts at 342-4210.