Faculty display meaningful artwork

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artshow:Professor of Art Inge Balch talks about one of her pieces with Case Hall Departmental Assistant Barb Coffey during the faculty art show in the Holt-Russell Gallery. The show, "Current Work," displayed mixed media pieces created by the studio art faculty. :Emily Hink

Tuesday marked the opening of a new exhibit at the Holt-Russell Gallery. Instead of featuring student art pieces, though, faculty members put their artwork up for show.

Professors of Art Lee Mann and Inge Balch, Adjunct Professor of Art Jennifer Jarnot and Walt Bailey, special assistant to the president for development of the arts, all have art on display ranging from paintings to ceramics.

"My work includes a grouping of small drawings I did in June while house sitting in Santa Fe, N.M.," Mann said. "There's nine drawings grouped together of hands touching and interacting. I call it ‘Compassion of Friends.'"

Mann's other pieces in the show involve marbling and suminagashi, which is a Japanese technique. She has eight pieces on exhibit total.

Balch has ceramic pieces on display with themes ranging from religion to politics.

"I have one called ‘On the Road to Damascus,' and it has a Christian side and an Islam side and shows how we don't get along, though we believe in the same thing," Balch said. "And then I have ‘St. Babs Strikes Back.' It's about St. Barbara and how her father beheaded her and locked her up in the bathhouse, and it's just kind of a funky piece."

Balch also has a piece she said is "just fun." "Holy Socks: Laundry at a Higher Altitude" was made after a conversation with her daughter.

"My daughter who lives in Colorado called me and was talking about the mountain of socks she has that never match," she said.

Jarnot has two large drawings and four oil paintings in the show.

The drawings, titled "Structure I" and "Structure II," are based on a swimming regimen she began in January to help with a birth defect of her ribs, spine and sternum.

She said her oil paintings are conceptually different but are still autobiographical.

"… They are vivid, energetic, playful and full of character," Jarnot said in an e-mail Monday. "When viewed up close, the pieces may seem somewhat abstract, but taking a few steps back will present the viewer with a realistic take on the work."

The show, which runs through April 3, is the first faculty art show for Mann and Jarnot, who are both excited to display their work.

"I am charged and delighted to be part of the faculty show," Jarnot said. "It gives my students a chance to see my paintings and drawings in person."

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