Students, faculty, alumni heavily featured in juried exhibit

"Underbelly" by School of Art alumnus Jesse Walp is part of the Burchfield Penney show that opened Oct. 14.

Of the 48 artists whose work was selected for a juried exhibition at a well-known Buffalo, N.Y., gallery, more than a quarter have close ties to the College of Art and Design (CAD) at RIT.

Thirteen students, faculty and alumni of CAD’ School of Art (SOA) and School for American Crafts (SAC) are featured in the biennial “Art in Craft Media” show that opened Oct. 14 at the Burchfield Penney Art Center. The exhibit, which will remain on view until Jan. 28, 2018, is an exploration of the glass, wood, fiber, clay and metal work of fine artists in the region.

Monica Moses, editor-in-chief of American Craft magazine, an American Craft Council publication, chose the work as the show’s juror.

A small but intricate glass sculpture
Photo by Elizabeth Lamark: "Polymerous Brick" is one of two works by RIT glass lecturer David Schnuckel that is "Art in Craft Media" at the Burchfield Penney Art Center.
Toddler stands in front of a large art piece on a wall
"Becoming Brand New" is a collaborative piece done by Jesse Walp and SAC alumna Bethany Krull

On top of RIT’s high participation in the show, an alumna received a prestigious honor. Emily Bellinger, a 2016 graduate of SOA’s MFA fine arts studio program, was given the exhibit’s purchase award for her contemporary quilt that, she said, utilizes a variety of hand-printed fabric and found fabric materials. With the selection, Bellinger’s piece, “Fractured Memories,” was entered into the Burchfield Penney’s permanent collection.

“I am very honored to be accepted into the show, and am still speechless to receive such an award,” Bellinger said. “I had no idea, going into the opening reception, that I been chosen for this award, so it was quite the surprise for me. I thought the entire exhibition was very impressive, so the fact that my piece was chosen amongst so many other artists I respect makes it that much more special to me.”

An asymmetric quilt with abstract pattern
Emily Bellinger's "Fractured Memories" quilt.

Bellinger said that her quilt represents her emotions related to previous relationships, with the intuitively pieced-together fabric serving as a metaphor for the connection to memories and people from her past. When sewn together, Bellinger said, the individual pieces of cloth signify segments of life combined into a nonlinear timeline.

“I wanted to create something I had never seen before,” Bellinger said. “Not only does the piece break out of the traditional rectangular shape that you typically see with quilts, it is also rich with concept. I see most of my quilts as fabric paintings and compositions, and in this piece, specifically, I used muted colors and repetitive linear marks as a method of abstract storytelling.”

The others from RIT with art in the Burchfield Penney display are:

• Nancy Belfer; SAC alumna (MFA)

• Hyesook Choi; SAC alumna (MFA glass)

• Karen Donnellan; SAC alumna (MFA glass)

• Ryan Florey; SAC alumnus (MFA ceramics)

• William Keyser; RIT professor emeritus who taught in SAC for many years. He earned an MFA in furniture design from RIT in 1961.

• Namdoo Kim; SAC alumnus (MFA glass)

• Bethany Krull; SAC alumna (MFA ceramics)

• Chenyang Mu; SAC student (MFA glass)

• David Schnuckel; SAC lecturer (glass)

• Daena Thompson; SAC alumna (BFA metals and jewelry design)

• Jesse Walp; SOA alumnus (sculpture option within the MFA fine arts studio program)

• Jieun Yoon; SAC student (MFA glass)

small glass ferris wheel with images on the outside
Work by Jieun Yoon
art and design

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