Enigmatic Reflections: Faculty Art Show

By Douglas M. Campbell

Seventeen faculty members contributed their works for the show, including Claudia Berlinski, director of the McDonough Museum of Art with her series Closer Than They Appear. Photo by Douglas M. Campbell/The Jambar

In a white room, bursts of color line the walls. Abstract figurines fill tables, and one features a flashing TV. This semester, the McDonough Museum of Art’s “Enigmatic Reflections” faculty art show is on full display.

Seventeen faculty members, both full-time and adjunct, have contributed their works for the show, including Claudia Berlinski, director of the McDonough Museum of Art.

“The faculty show highlights the most recent research and artwork produced by the department of our faculty,” Berlinski said.

Due to COVID-19, this semester’s show implemented safety precautions for anyone who wishes to view the gallery. Masks are required inside the gallery. Capacity is limited to seven people and directional arrows on the floor guide guests to adhere to social distancing protocols.

Three faculty members discuss their work through live-streams on Facebook and Instagram from within the gallery. 

Dragana Crnjak, a professor of art, spoke about her work on Sept. 8 on the museum’s Facebook page. Professor of art Christine McCullough will speak Sept. 22 at 1 p.m., and adjunct faculty member Lauren Baker will speak Oct. 6 at 2:30 p.m.

“I’m not going to tell you everything about these paintings, you will have to tune in. All I will say is that both of these paintings came from a box I’ve had for a long time,” McCullough said.

Photo by Douglas M. Campbell/The Jambar

McCullough’s paintings are titled “Southfield 6” and “Too Young.”

“A lot of research goes into my work. All of the [Southfield 6] pieces are from games. I want to make sure they are all authentic,” McCullough said.

Jennifer Kirkpatrick, an adjunct studio art support specialist, has similar themes of nostalgia in her work.

“This summer, as I was deciding on what I was going to make, I was thinking a lot about home. I chose to work with a lot of elements from my hometown,” Kirkpatrick said. 

In Kirkpatrick’s piece “Wandering Home,” she incorporates elements of her hometown through architectural ornamentation. The style is often found in the architecture of older buildings and decorative columns. 

To incorporate the architecture in her work, Kirkpatrick uses a 3D program called Rhinoceros, which she translates into 2D drawings. Eventually, the drawings are cut onto masonite with a laser-cutter and the stone is hand-painted.

Sharon Koelblinger, an adjunct art professor, hopes to challenge people’s perception of art in a series called “In the City, You Forget to Look at the Sky.” 

The pieces are sculptural steel frames with photographs melted to the inside of the frame facing the wall.

“The way that viewers can see the photograph is by looking at the mirror and seeing the reflection of the photograph. So viewers are forced to look to the side,” Koelblinger said.

Koelblinger, familiar with photography, learned to use the Rhinoceros program and laser-cutting techniques to complete her pieces. 

“It was a collaborative effort getting someone to help me do this process which I didn’t have access to the tools to do,” Koelblinger said.

Berlinski encourages students to visit the gallery and explore all of the art pieces. 

“There’s quite a variety of work, with various themes, media and approaches. There’s going to be one artist that everyone will pick up on and connect with. Everyone will find something that they will like,” Berlinski said.

The McDonough Museum of Art is open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The show will run until Oct. 24.