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.”
Start with a science lab. Add one chemistry professor with self-described “wacky interests.” Introduce a visual and verbal art major once obsessed with rocks, especially the minerals that glow under ultraviolet light. Mix up a variety of chemistry experiments under special lights and have the student capture them on camera. What do you get?
The Art of Chemistry, a year-long discovery in pictures of the beauty and form caused –and sometimes concocted – with a variety of chemical compounds. The art exhibit runs through Sept. 28 in Lightner Gallery inside Lightner Library at Keuka College, where an artist reception will be held from 4:30 – 6 p.m. Thursday, September 20. The gallery is open daily; hours can be found on the main page at: http://lightner.keuka.edu
Student photographer Kat Andonucci, a junior from Chestertown, near the Lake George region, did a year-long independent study under the guidance of Andy Robak, associate professor of chemistry. With Robak casting the vision and directing her in each experiment, Andonucci crafted the composition, often using a tripod, a remote shutter and a long exposure to create the images. For example, one image of Robak pouring a luminol solution into a narrow-mouth beaker required the shutter remain open for 15 seconds or more to showcase the intense blues and greens of the liquid.
“Everything we did had to be something visually appealing,” explained Andonucci, describing how the independent study served as her chemistry class for the year.
“I’ve owned my camera since ninth grade, and as a side hobby, I did landscapes and outdoor pictures,” Andonucci said, explaining how she entered college as a biology major, thinking she would pursue a career in forensic pathology. But a film photography course in her first semester got her thinking her high school hobby might turn out to be more than just something to do on the side. So she switched her major to visual and verbal art.
Enter Robak, who contacted Melissa Newcomb, assistant professor of art, last year in search of a student who could help illustrate experiments that would show “the fun side of chemistry.”
“I’ve always been interested in chemistry as art or science as art. You can see from the pictures that a lot of stuff I work with is really cool,” said Robak, who holds a Ph.D. in organic chemistry. He rattled off a variety of compounds, from mercury, with its shiny metallic texture that is “really fun to play with,” to flourescein, which turns neon-green when in contact with water, to glycerol, which refracts light in a way that seems to make objects submersed in it disappear. Images of each of those chemicals appear in the exhibit.
“We wanted to treat as a course, the chemistry of things that are neat to look at, to have a clue what they were,” Robak said, pointing out how many science textbooks use photography to illustrate experiments. The two received a $500 grant from Keuka’s Division of Academic Affairs to help cover costs of printing and framing the images.
For her part, Andonucci said she was “excited and nervous” because shooting under such unusual conditions was outside of her comfort zone with natural, outdoor lighting. Indeed, lighting was the biggest challenge as she would sometimes use a window, a lamp, black lights, or would incorporate the light generated from a chemical itself in different images.
A secondary challenge was the blink-and-miss-it nature of some of the experiments, such as a shot of flames from methane gas bubbles leaping upward from the hand of Erik Holmes, a senior visual and verbal art major.
Andonucci had to be sure to take several shots of each experiment, capturing several on camera by conducting experiments several times in a row. For another image, Robak directed her to bring glycerol, a liquid, into contact with purple potassium permanganate, a solid, which bursts into purple flames and smoke without any introduction of heat, he said.
“Kat worked on that one for a long time. She tried about 20 times and probably took 150 photographs of the same thing in order to get it right,” Robak said. It’s a good thing she shot in digital, because she kept filling up the camera’s memory card every time, he added.
“More than anything, I think she had a really good eye for these sorts of things. She takes a great picture, but out of many, many pictures that she got, she was great at picking out the right ones,” Robak said.
After a year of translating her chemistry class into images, Andonucci said she would be willing to work with Robak again on similar projects. She is considering posting her images online to see if she could market them to companies for commercial use.
“There’s so much you can do with forensic photography,” she said, adding that she’s “pretty open to anything [with photography], as long as it’s not taking pictures of people.”
Robak managed to convince Holmes to paint a graffiti mural on a concrete wall last year. The mural illustrated the chemical structure of concrete itself, and Robak said he has ideas for other special projects involving science and other types of art, whether sculpture, painting or more.
“I’ve got too many ideas and not enough artists,” Robak said. “I’m totally looking for more people to rope into these kinds of things.”
Summing up her year-long experiment and the exhibit, Andonucci said “it’s awesome, it’s pretty and it’s cool. I had fun and learned a ton.”
An avid photographer, Fred Hoyle’s images have graced at least six Keuka magazine covers, numerous inside features, plus countless flyers, brochures and web site pages promoting the people and programs of the College where he worked since 2005.
But the image of the man himself – passionate about students, the College mission and diverse recreational pursuits – has come into sharp focus in the short time since his passing. Hoyle, associate vice president for admissions at Keuka, lost his 11-month battle against melanoma Oct. 26 at the age of 47.
While his death left the College in mourning, his life and heart have inspired many in the campus community and beyond to celebrate his dedicated service and passionate spirit.
With both bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Rochester Institute of Technology, Hoyle’s expertise and verve in the areas of photography, information technology, telecommunications and interactive media commanded attention when he first interviewed for the web coordinator position at Keuka in 2005. Handwritten notes jotted on his resume indicate he was the first candidate to mention a different look and “read” necessary for web marketing. Indeed, the interweaving of branding, imaging and marketing was Hoyle’s specialty.
Making his mark as webmaster, he soon progressed to associate dean of admissions and marketing, then dean, and in 2010 became associate vice president for admissions. He led a team of nearly a dozen admissions counselors and staff in recruiting and welcoming each year’s freshman class.
“Fred was one of the smartest hires I ever made,” said COO/Executive Vice President Carolanne Marquis. “He exemplified exactly what Keuka College was about. He knew how to lead a team, how to handle the Admissions process in a way that fit the mission of our College. He was adored by every constituent on this campus.”
Vice President for Academic Affairs Anne Weed said Hoyle “brought tremendous wisdom, compassion, and dedication to his work with Keuka’s students – and took genuine pride in their success.”
Chris Austin, a 2008 graduate, conducted a Field Period, the 140-hour yearly internship that is a cornerstone of every Keuka degree, under Hoyle in 2007 and recalled Hoyle’s excitement about the potential of social media to engage prospective students. While Austin discovered that Facebook rules then prevented organizations from hosting their own pages, Hoyle never let go of the idea, Austin said. Today, Keuka boasts multiple Facebook pages, including ones for special admissions subgroups, such as incoming student classes, where Hoyle often commented and interacted with students himself.
“I will remember Fred as a visionary,” said Austin. “Under his leadership, the reach of the Keuka College marketing initiatives increased its geographic territory which no doubt has helped Keuka grow. Keuka College has lost a profound leader that helped make [it] what it is today.”
In a written commentary, Joseph Burke, president emeritus of Keuka, said Hoyle embodied the Keuka spirit, even encouraging Burke to stay focused on the students when Burke would phone Hoyle at home during recovery from treatments.
“He was the epitome of a true Keukonian. He was passionate about everything,” Burke said, naming the quality of the school’s educational program, its mission and student welfare as just a few examples. “Fred mixed his passion with an uncanny ability to inspire the very best in those around him.”
Hoyle was especially devoted to students, and relished helping them, recommending scholarships and hearing their stories, said Keuka Webmaster Pete Bekisz, who worked under Hoyle for five years.
“When he’d talk to families, Fred made them feel like the most important people in the world. That’s something not a lot of people know how to do,” Bekisz said. Referencing the numerous student memories shared online, as well as on posters placed in the campus dining hall, he added: “There’s a lot of students who would say that what [Fred] might have considered a small conversation really changed their life, and that’s just the kind of person that he was.”
Other passions of Hoyle’s included car racing – particularly at nearby Watkins Glen – and competitive cycling. Hoyle finished fifth in the 55-mile master’s division (ages 35-44) cycling race in the 2006 Empire State Games, hosted in the Rochester region. He later bested that with a bronze medal finish in the 2008 Games. For pleasure, Hoyle often cycled the 40-mile round trip between his Middlesex home and campus.
Fine wines – particularly French ones – and gourmet foods were another pursuit. Hoyle’s recipes, photography and travel adventures with his wife, Pam, would often be featured on his blog, www.afoodexperience.net.
On campus, Hoyle started a unique marketing initiative: a summer barbecue for prospective students and their high school counselors where Hoyle himself would grill the hamburgers and hots.
“He was a fantastic chef. He made some of the best-tasting things I’d ever had, and there wasn’t a food dilemma he couldn’t fix,” recalled Bekisz, who shared Hoyle’s culinary interests. “He had specific, quirky interests with food. He’d travel miles on end for a good cut of beef.”
He also enjoyed bird-watching, animals, jazz music and what Hoyle called the technological “art” of Apple products, Bekisz recalled.
Residence directors Tim White and Eugene Mont named Hoyle an executive producer in their campus film, The Curse of Ball Hall, which will debut at the College Halloween night. White described how Hoyle went out of his way to support the project, lending the two a video camera to film scenes and suggesting a variety of marketing strategies to pique interest from the student body.
“He was excited from the word ‘Go,’ – and [shared] how we could tailor it into an Admissions piece to recruit and retain students,” White said, adding that he and Mont are now dedicating the film to Hoyle’s memory.
“Fred’s enthusiasm was contagious, whether it be about cycling, food, wine or photography,” said Lynn Lannon, a 1969 Keuka graduate and member of the Board of Trustees. “And then there was his enthusiasm for and commitment to Keuka. He was an amazing ambassador, committed and passionate … We have lost a wonderful human being, a wonderful Keukonian.”
Condolences from students, former colleagues, and countless friends have poured into the College from all corners for Hoyle and a scholarship has been established in his honor. Contributions to the Fred L. Hoyle Endowed Scholarship for incoming Keuka College students may be directed to: the Division of College Advancement, Keuka College, P.O. Box 98, Keuka Park, N.Y. 14478.
Calling hours for Fred Hoyle will be held Sunday, Oct. 30,
from 2 to 6 p.m. at:
A memorial service for Fred will be held Saturday, Nov. 12 at 2 p.m. in Norton Chapel. A reception will follow in Lightner Library.
Messages of sympathy may be sent to:
Mrs. Pam Hoyle
996 Old Vineyard Road
Middlesex, N.Y. 14507
We invite you to share your memories of Fred and condolences for his family by leaving a comment below.