In the few months that Keuka College has boasted an expanded curriculum in its newest major, Art and Design, students have begun digging into new studio art and digital design courses. Now, they’re showcasing what they’ve learned.
Currently on display at Lightner Gallery in Lightner Library at the College through April 11, the student art show features a collection of digital illustration, mixed media and other designs from the new classes. These pieces are in addition to the photography, paintings, drawings, ceramics and sculptures created in existing classes.
“What you see when you walk into the space is the range and breadth of what the new art and design program offers,” said Melissa Newcomb, assistant professor of art.
On Thursday, March 20, from 4:30 – 6 p.m., an artists’ reception with light refreshments will be held at the gallery. All members of the campus community are invited to attend the event, which is free and open to the public. The work in this show has been crafted by freshmen, sophomores, and juniors as well as seniors whose major is not in art. Graduating seniors in the current program will exhibit their cumulative art portfolios later, in the final gallery show of the academic year.
“This year’s student show work is stellar,” said Winsome Zinkievich ‘14 of her fellow artists. “Though each piece is unique and tells its own story, each piece also compliments all the other works presented.”
Those distinct differences proved a bit perplexing however, when it came to handling logistics for the exhibit, Newcomb pointed out.
“The layout was a challenge because everyone has their own individual style. One piece is not like the next – so how do you create a sense of flow? But it came together with more than one set of eyes and it worked out wonderfully,” she said, crediting Zinkievich, Jesse Ninos ‘17 and Mitch Leet ‘16 for help crafting the overall design of the show.
This year’s show demonstrates the strength of the talent being developed at the College through the old and new programs, said Leet, who switched to the new art and design major this fall. Some of the additions to the curriculum include Foundations of Design, the prerequisite course in which students begin developing their art portfolios, Mixed Media, Visual Design, Digital Illustration and Digital Storytelling.
“I’m very excited about the future of art at Keuka and I feel very lucky to be part of such a fantastic show,” Leet said.
The Keuka College campus is cleaner, thanks to the 11 staff, faculty, and students who came together to celebrate Earth Day (April 22).
Sponsored by the Staff Advisory Council’s Events Committee, paper, old gum, bottles, cigarette butts, and nails, among other items, were collected and placed in trash bins or set aside to be recycled.
Brett Williams, digital media specialist, wanted to participate in the campus clean up because “it makes me feel good to get together with friends and colleagues to make Keuka a little cleaner.”
Keuka’s initiative was spearheaded by SAC Events Committee members Paulette Willemsen, secretary for the Division of Education and the Division of Social Work; Vickie Tobias, database administrator; Justin Krog, program developer, and BJ Hill, office manager for the Division of Student Affairs.
Other Earth Week events at Keuka include:
Peter Cottontail might be out of a job.
That’s because, as the perennial favorite says, members of the Keuka College community brought every girl and boy—in the Head Start programs in Dundee and Penn Yan—baskets full of Easter joy.
Keuka students, staff, and faculty donated toys, bubbles, stuffed animals, and other Easter basket goodies and distributed them to the children in each class.
The Community Service Resource Center in the Center for Experiential Learning and the Class of 2015 coordinated the Easter Basket Project, a College tradition since the mid-1990s. The baskets were then given to the Dundee and Penn Yan classes.
On hand to help distribute the baskets were Jamie Allen, a sophomore psychology major from Canandaigua, who serves as treasurer of the Class of 2015; Nikita Wilkins, a sophomore biology major and a community service advocate in the Center from Bloomfield, Savannah Fuller, a sophomore occupational science major and community service advocate in the Center from Philadelphia, N.Y; Mary Leet, a freshman visual and verbal art major from Stanley and a community service advocate in the Center; Kalya Hall, a sophomore occupational science major from Ballston Spa and Class of 2015 representative; Emily Brown, a sophomore occupational science major from Homer and Class of 2015 representative; Sarah Schneider, a freshman childhood education major from Stanley and community service advocate in the Center; Paige Fuller, a sophomore American Sign Language major from East Greenbush; Alex Morgan, a junior biology major from New Berlin; Shanita Williams, a freshman exploratory major from Geneva; and Jeffery Miller, a sophomore occupational science major from Bloomfield.
Learn more about Methodism. Conduct research. Understand the impact and importance of religion on a particular population. Grow spiritually.
These are goals that Keuka College freshman Mary Leet and sophomore Vincent Glanville share for their Field Periods. And thanks to receiving Spiritual Exploration Field Period scholarships, both will be able to pursue their goals with less financial burden.
Leet, a resident of Stanley who is spending January at St. Paul’s Methodist Church in Ithaca, received $1,000. Glanville, a resident of Cape Town, South Africa, is working with Claremont Methodist Church’s Serving Strangers program in his hometown. He received $2,000 to help offset his costs.
Spiritual Exploration Field Periods involve work with churches, missions, Hospitals, or hospices with an eye toward providing aid to needy individuals and/or groups, in this country or abroad. Funding for the scholarship is provided by an Institutional Renewal Grant from The Rhodes Consultation on the Future of the Church-Related College.
Leet’s mother serves as a pastor at the Port Byron United Methodist Church, so Leet has a “deep” connection with God and her religion. But that connection was tested as Leet began to understand and accept who she is.
“As I got older, I began to learn slowly at first, then all at once, that I was not like my friends,” explained Leet. “I realized I was a lesbian in middle school, and at the same time learned just how unacceptable that was in the eyes of the church.”
Though her mother insisted that Leet didn’t need to turn away from the church, she gave up her religion and had no part in the church for three years. Since then, Leet said she has grown to understand that God loves and accepts all of His children, and she is anxious to return to a congregation where she can fully participate.
When Leet chose to come out to her mom, “I was met with support and love, and we immediately immersed ourselves in finding a way to make our lives better suited to accept everyone like the Bible said we should. That is how we were both introduced to the concept of a Reconciling congregation.”
A Reconciling congregation is a United Methodist local church that makes a public statement welcoming all persons, regardless of sexual orientation, to participate fully in its congregational life.
“[My Field Period] will be a personal journey because I have not yet found a church I consider ‘home,’” said Leet. “I have spent these past three years attending an Episcopal summer arts camp, occasionally attending my mother’s church, and often volunteering. But I have yet to feel comfortable actually joining a congregation.”
During her Field Period, Leet intends to become involved in “various activities of the church, including meeting its board and the Reconciling committee, and participating in discussion groups regularly,” said Leet. “I also plan to participate in youth and Sunday morning activities, and use social media and a newsletter to promote St. Paul’s.”
Leet plans to keep a journal of her reflections, and stories she collects from others through the blogging website Tumblr.
“I hope to compose an insider’s view of what being a Christian really means for a LGBTQIA person,” she said. “In doing this, I will have created something tangible to give others like me hope, and help begin the necessary conversation in more churches to help the Reconciling movement spread.”
Added Leet: “By participating in a church again, I hope to find that I can still belong to a church where I can explore my own spirituality and reflect on what it means to be a lesbian Christian.”
And while Leet will stay close to home, Glanville will trade winter for summer as he returns to his hometown.
“Spirituality has always played a big part in my life, whether it was going to church on Sunday with my family, or going to youth groups on Friday nights,” said Glanville. “I have often taken this spiritual surrounding for granted and as such, have never gone out and experienced the impact a faith such as Christianity has on people less fortunate that me.”
But Field Period is giving him that opportunity via the Serving Strangers’ mission trips.
“Mission trips have always been something that has interested me, and this particular Field Period marries my interest in these trips with my psychology major,” said Glanville. “I believe faith is as much about people’s ideas and thoughts, as it is about their belief, and I want to explore that.”
Serving Strangers aims to help churches reach out to the communities of unreached people who exist around every urban and suburban church. This involves teaching courses, leading seminars, and mentoring. Part of Serving Strangers’ mission is that there is never a time to grow out of the basic responsibilities Christians have toward others.
Glanville also hopes to gather some psychological data on the influence of Western religion—specifically Christianity—on native South African tribal people. During his Field Period, Glanville intends to conduct research on the people Serving Strangers helps. He wants to learn what role psychology plays in a mission, especially the group psychology behind a missionary organization and the group psychology of those they help.
“This will encompass experiencing mission work first-hand,” said Glanville. “I will study the effect Christianity has had on tribal people, how it has bettered their lifestyle, how it has changed their views on their culture or spirituality, and how it has been incorporated into their belief system.”
According to Glanville, most of the people he will be in direct contact with on the mission trips live in tribes or are the descendants of people who were in tribes.
“There is such a spiritual wealth to draw from in conversation and interaction with them,” he said. “Historically speaking, these are the people who were the most in tune with the ‘spirit of the land’ and had heavy reverence for their ancestor’s spirits. It is a spiritual belief system that has been entrenched into them from birth, and one that is far removed from my own.”
By the end of his Field Period, Glanville hopes to understand the impact of Western religion on African culture.
“I want to see why so many of them turn away from their ancestors’ belief system and embrace something many of them consider a ‘white man’s religion,’” said Glanville. “It’s interesting that they would choose to follow Christianity, when they shun so many other things in Western society.”
The late American educator Mary Ellen Chase once said “Christmas is not a date. It is a state of mind.”
And the Christmas state of mind was evident in the number of ribbons and bows that adorned the bags and boxes for 38 children receiving gifts though Keuka College’s Angel Tree Project. The gifts for the children were wrapped and delivered to the Child and Family Resource Center in Penn Yan Monday, Dec. 3, where Santa Claus was on hand to give the gifts to the children.
“Angel Tree gives the College a way to do community service,” said Valerie Webster, community service advocate adviser and co-curricular transcript coordinator. “It makes people stop and realize how important it is to help others, and to understand the true meaning of the holidays.”
Freshman Mary Leet agrees.
“[Helping others at] Christmas feels more like Christmas when you give, rather than receive,” said the visual and verbal art major from Stanley, who also serves as a community service advocate.
A community service staple and College favorite, the annual Angel Tree Project is designed to make the holidays a bit brighter for area children in need. Students, staff, and faculty select a paper angel from a Christmas tree. The angel contains a child’s age and gender, and a suggested gift of toys, clothes, or both.
Savannah Fuller, a junior occupational science major from Philadelphia and community service advocate, said Christmas “is a time to cherish all kids, and by choosing an angel from the tree, I felt good knowing I helped make a child’s Christmas brighter.”
Webster said two clubs—Rotaract Club and Drama Club—bought gifts for two families. The clubs combined to give the families necessity items including cleaning supplies, laundry supplies, towels, and pots and pans.
Rotaract Club member Brittany Gleason, a sophomore mathematics and management major from Carthage, says “the club is all about community service, and we feel good knowing that a family is getting things they need that they might not otherwise be able to get.”
Added Webster: “The Angel Tree Project gives everyone a chance to have those wishes we all have. And it gives the community of Yates County insight into the giving spirit of Keuka College students.”