Art majors exhibit senior projects at Cummings Gallery

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

artSix graduating art majors at Mercyhurst University are showing their final senior projects in the Senior Art Thesis Exhibition now on display in Cummings Gallery.

The artists – Erin Jenkins, Morgan Karcher, Cole Prots, Valerie Shubat, Sarah Van Alstine and Curtis Waidley – will be honored at a reception on Saturday, April 13, from 3 to 5 p.m. The show continues through May 3.

Focusing on function, form, and aesthetic, Valerie Shubat has produced a full set of stoneware plates, bowls, dishes, cups and mugs. Each ivory-toned piece is adorned with a relaxed, carved scene reminiscent of a desert landscape in navy blue, deep red, and sage green.

Erin Jenkins (work at right) creates calming scenery with a warm palette of watercolors, capturing everyday minute details in her small-scale works, finding balance in the composition of street signs, harmony in the texture of bricks on Mercyhurst campus, and solitude by the shore.

Sarah Van Alstine’s watercolors depict a familiar artist plight: sitting face to face with idle art materials, feeling mocked by a blank canvas. Van Alstine takes a tongue-in-cheek approach, disarming the power of an artist block by making the block the subject.

Morgan Karcher has created a series of five portraits on canvas, using acrylics as her medium with rich bold color. Each portrait introduces a performing street artist Karcher has encountered and interviewed, from various parts of the world. The accompanying text shares their backstory.

Cole Prots represents each of the 12 signs of the zodiac by digitally manipulating his portrait photography. Effects such as crackling lightning and blooming clouds illustrate the elemental properties of each sign.

Curtis Waidley offers a fresh, millennial take on the vintage vacation posters of the past that urged us to “See America.”  But he has titled his poster series “Save America,” addressing the recent slackening of federal protection for national parks.

Each senior has worked for the past year under the guidance of an art faculty member to create the body of work on exhibit. Jenkins and Karcher were mentored by Daniel Burke; Shubat and Van Alstine by Thomas Hubert, and Prots and Waidley by Peter Stadtmueller.

Cummings Gallery is located in the lobby of the Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center and is open Monday-Friday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from noon to 3 p.m.; closed Sunday. The gallery will also be closed April 18-22 during Mercyhurst’s Easter break.

For information, contact gallery director Jessica Stadtmueller at 814-824-2092 or