One senior is fascinated with her family history. Another is focused on finding beauty in any body. And yet another is fixated on beads and jewelry. This trio of artists will showcase signature works during “Mixed Media Minds,” the senior art show at Keuka College’s Lightner Gallery.
Friendship resident Emma Wolf has crafted mixed media collages of her great-grandmother’s family using a typewritten essay, old photos recreated on tracing paper, and a wash of coffee grounds and water to create a vintage look. From collage renderings of parts of the bodies of many women, Kaye Field of Torrington, Conn. has fashioned one body, with a mirror in place of the head. Meanwhile, Ayuko Sakurai of Yokohama, Japan, south of Tokyo, has crafted multiple works with colored beads, jewelry and fabrics.
Each young woman is a visual and verbal art major, and all three will be on hand to greet the public at an artists reception, Thursday, April 24 from 4:30 – 6 p.m. at Lightner Gallery in Lightner Library, where light refreshments will be served. The show continues through May 16.
According to Melissa Newcomb, assistant professor of art, this exhibit features not just three unique styles, but three creative approaches to communicating an idea, emotion or experience, with each artist incorporating pieces of her life experiences
According to Field, body image and the concept of beauty remains an intrinsic struggle for women everywhere and became the subject of her work, “Beautiful Reflections.” She chose to use a variety of media “to depict how no woman and no person is the same. We are all created differently and all of these differences are what make us all beautiful,” she said.
Field said the women who participated in her project came from all over the world and showed their courage and bravery by sending her photos to use as inspiration for the work.
“The mirror is a big part of this piece. Everyone should look in the mirror and be able to smile at their reflection,” Field said.
Wolf, too, could cite courage and bravery of strong women in her family history, such as her great-grandmother, Lula May, and other relatives who survived in regions of Florida where wild, untamed shores and marshes made daily life a struggle. Scattered for display below her mixed media works of Lula May as a child, and later, an aging woman, are knickknacks and small treasures: old-fashioned pocket watches, arrowheads, a large seashell, and an heirloom quilt. A 1938 sepia tint photo shows Lula May as a young mother, standing on a windblown beach, with a child at her feet. Other family members also appear in Wolf’s creations.
“I became avidly interested in their struggle for survival and how they were able to push through and move on to better things, when times got tough for them,” Wolf said. “I wasn’t quite sure what to focus my project on, but writing the essay helped me figure that out.”
Another prominent piece within Wolf’s “Strong Roots” exhibit is a sculpture of a tree rising out of the pages of a book. The work, “Family Tree,” serves as a visual metaphor, she said.
For Sakurai, the intricate work of beading or sculpting jewelry echoes the same multiple dimensions, colors and facets of her personal history, studying abroad beginning at age 15 and traveling to more than 10 countries. One work she will display is a handmade dress designed from egg shells and other unique materials. According to Melissa Newcomb, assistant professor of art, Sakurai has been working on the dress for over a year.
“As I see something, I often find a connection between it and something I remembered [from my travel or study], which gives me a new layer of knowledge,” Sakurai said. “Different objects or ideas are connected through my interpretation. This makes my world muti-colored and multi-faceted, like a well-polished crystal and also stimulates me in combining both traditional and contemporary styles and concepts of art.”
During her January Field Period™ with a jewelry designer, Sakurai handcrafted her own unique gold necklace, and that experience ultimately led her to the Metal and Jewelry graduate program at Rochester Institute of Technology, where she will begin taking courses this fall.
Just this year, Keuka College began offering a new Art and Design program, providing more studio courses to give students opportunities to learn skills in a greater number of mediums. The increased diversity helps students build a portfolio with greater breadth, as well as develop strengths in a particular area, Newcomb said.
“In this case we have three seniors displaying work in multiple mixed mediums, which shows a range of experiences not only in their skills and abilities,” Newcomb said. “It also becomes a very personal but rewarding way to share their story, whether it relates to the past, present or future.”
Thanks to its long-running Field Period internship program, and five courses already offered each year, Keuka College will have a near-seamless transition for students – both degree-seeking and non-matriculated –to earn a state credential in early childhood education.
The New York State affiliate of the National Association for the Education of Young Children has offered a credential known as the ITCCC (Infant/Toddler Child Care Credential). In formal documents from the state’s affiliate in Albany, the credential is described as giving “formal recognition of those who display a specialized knowledge of infant and toddler development, the partnership of caregivers with the families of the children in their care and professional practice based on respect for the individuals, the system and themselves.”
Approximately 12 hours of coursework is required by the state in four areas: infant/toddler development (birth to 36 months), family and culture, environment and curriculum, and assessment and evaluation. The state requires applicants to have obtained at least three of those credit hours within the last five years. Additional on-site work experience, known as “field work” and a professional portfolio are also required before an applicant can be awarded the credential, but it could be possible to complete requirements within one year.
According to Deb Dyer, assistant professor of education, the credentialing body has already looked at five Keuka courses and confirmed they fulfill the state’s educational component. This means undergraduates may add the credential and the process to obtain it within a degree program they are already pursuing. In addition, those in the work force seeking to add the credential to their resume can also look to Keuka for help, because the College offers courses to non-matriculated students, or those who are not seeking a specific degree.
According to Dyer, the state requires either one year of direct experience caring for infants and toddlers in a licensed setting, or two semesters of supervised “field work” plus six months work experience in a licensed setting. All total, 480 hours of documented work must be completed.
Keuka’s long-running Field Period program, requires each student to complete a 140-hour internship each year at a real-world work site, and would provide nearly half the hours required for the field work component, Dyer said. That means a Keuka student who conducts a Field Period at a child care facility or service site could count that time toward the credential requirement, she said.
A professional portfolio that includes extensive documentation of an applicant’s competency across the four areas of study and across the stages of birth to 36 months is also required. According to Dyer, the portfolio must include documentation across each of the four areas, and the types of documentation must vary at least twice within that, including a photo or video journal, work samples such as communication with families or record-keeping systems, written observation from another person on the candidate’s interaction with infants or toddlers, or an essay discussing an ethical dilemma. Keuka professors would work with applicants and mentor them through submission of the portfolio, Dyer said.
“If they want our help, we can help them with the field work or maybe they have some of the hours already,” she suggested.
According to Dyer, the latest state day care regulations call for one year of specific training for infants and toddlers for those seeking “lead teacher” roles in a day care center, and advises obtaining the new credential. Day care centers in the state are moving towards a “star rating” system, she said, and centers that employ more staff with the credential are more likely to receive higher ratings.
“I think the marketability [of this] is another advantage in a tough market that may put you ahead of the pack,” Dyer said.
For more information on the new credential, go to: www.earlychildhood.org
Almost two years after first taking her three younger brothers – now ages 6, 13 and 16 – into her home, and formally enrolling as a foster care parent, Kayleigh Rappenecker of Rochester is on the verge of adopting them. While a December court date has not yet been finalized, the adoption could be complete before Christmas.
It’s a personal milestone that has given Rappenecker an uncommon level of experience when working with future clients in the next vein of her emerging career as a social worker.
That’s because Rappenecker is still completing courses for her bachelor’s degree in social work through Keuka College’s Accelerated Studies for Adults Program (ASAP). At 25, Rappenecker is younger than the “typical” adult student enrolled in a Keuka ASAP course of study. She first began courses in January 2010, while pregnant with her first child.
ASAP Assistant Professor of Social Work Julie Burns said that while it is common for family members such as grandparents, aunts or uncles to take in younger children as foster children, or even adopt them, it is rare for an older sibling to take on the role of surrogate parent. In Rappenecker’s case, she wanted to intervene and keep her brothers together.