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Visual artists return to campus home

By Abbie Corkern
On November 11, 2010

Alumni artists are currently being featured at Southeastern's Louisiana University Contemporary Art Gallery (SLUCAG) for the annual Alumni Exhibition. The exhibit opened on Oct. 23 and runs through Nov. 13. For this year's exhibit, eight of Southeastern's visual arts alumni were chosen by faculty in the department to submit in recent pieces of their artwork.

"Most alumni that were chosen were recommended by more than one of the faculty here," said Dale Newkirk, associate professor of visual arts and gallery director. "All graduated from here at Southeastern within the last 10 years, some even within in the last three years. Most of the alumni chosen are still in or just finished graduate school; even one alumnus featured is currently giving back as an art teacher."

The entire exhibition featured an array of artwork from sculptures, paintings, prints, graphics and advertisements.

"The alumni exhibition adds a sense of purpose, and that they can achieve something in the visual arts," said Newkirk.

"For me, that evokes a sense of hope and anticipation that drives to me excel and learn from each artist," said Georgia Polkey, junior art history and painting major.

The Alumni Exhibition has been going on for several years, and each year the SLUCAG has approached it differently, whether featuring eight artists, or possibly even one artist. The exhibition is always opened around the time of Homecoming, which is one of the biggest alumni events that Southeastern offers.

One of the artists featured in the alumni exhibition, Heidi Elbers, came back to give an art lecture on Wednesday, Nov. 3. The lecture focused on her current pieces of art, and life after graduating from Southeastern. A 2008 graduate, Elbers majored in drawing and painting and was a former president of the Visual Arts Society. Elbers' work entered in the exhibition was an oil on canvas painting titled "Self Portrait in Red Dress and White Veil" created in 2010 as a senior at the New York Academy of Art. In her lecture, Elbers encouraged students to continue their art education after Southeastern and to apply to numerous graduate schools. She also bestowed advice on how to handle the competitive art business.

"The best way to get noticed and receive job offers is to put yourself and your art work out there for people to see," said Elbers.

The Alumni Exhibition will come to a close on Saturday, Nov. 13. Next up for the SLUCAG will be the Senior Show for the graduates of the fall 2010 semester. The exhibit will open on Nov. 18 and will display the final art pieces the seniors have been working on for the majority of the semester.


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