Taking the stage

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Being crowned Miss Crawford County launched Brianna Layman’s pageant career — and helped her choose a new professional one.

Layman, a 21-year-old rising senior at Allegheny College who will compete in the Miss Pennsylvania pageant starting today, was a member of the college’s pre-health club and likely headed to medical school after graduation.

But when a friend suggested she compete in the 2015 Miss Crawford County pageant, she needed to find a cause to support.

“I couldn’t put my finger on anything except my passion for art,” Layman said. “It’s very sad to me that programs for art and music and theater and drama have been substantially cut and devolved into very small programs.”

Layman now plans to graduate with a degree in biochemistry and enroll in a master’s program in fine arts. Ultimately, she wants to combine the two interests and work in the emerging field of bio art: The artistic representation of science and scientific research.

She spoke with the Erie Times-News about competition, the biggest misconception about pageants, and her ultimate goal.

Read the full article.

ERICA ERWIN of the Erie Times-News can be reached at 870-1846 or by e-mail. Follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/ETNerwin. Read the Happier Ed education blog at blogs.goerie.com/education and post comments.

Source: Academics, Publications & Research

Pageant contestant advocates that arts provide ‘a new perspective’

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Brianna Layman is using her beauty to advocate brain power.

As a biochemistry major and upcoming senior at Allegheny College, the 21-year-old Franklin Park resident said she is living proof that music and art education are vital to understanding science and math. When schools eliminate the arts from their curriculum, she said they are committing a great disservice to students.

To better spread her message, she entered her first pageant — a local pageant near her college campus in Meadville — where she competed in swimsuit and evening-gown competitions, a talent contest, on-stage questioning and creation of a personal platform based on an issue she will work to promote.

Layman’s platform, titled “The Art of Science: From STEM to STEAM,” stresses the importance of music and art education in schools, where subjects such as science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, are taking increased precedence and funding. The “A” in STEAM stands for “arts.”

Read the full article.

This article appeared in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Laurie Rees is a freelance writer. Photo courtesy of Brittany Marie Photography.

Source: Academics, Publications & Research

Monday Q&A: Erie Art Museum director John Vanco

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The following article about Allegheny alumnus John Vanco ’68 appeared in the Erie Times-News

Spring sunlight poured into John Vanco’s all-white office at the Erie Art Museum, illuminating the floral artwork hanging on one of the walls.

Vanco, 69, of Erie, has been director of the Erie Art Museum since 1968.

In those 47 years, he’s shepherded major growth at the museum, including the addition of various free programs and events — one of which, the Mid-Day Art Break, starts anew Wednesday.

The weekly event is free and open to the public. It features live local music every Wednesday from noon to 1 p.m. on the Erie Art Museum’s Fifth Street patio all summerlong.

“It’s been very successful, especially in highlighting our free admission on Wednesdays,” Vanco said.

Read the full article.

Sarah Stemen is the online reporter for the Erie Times-News and @GoErie.

Photo by SARAH CROSBY/ERIE TIMES-NEWS.

Source: Academics, Publications & Research

Professor Steve Prince Exhibits in One-Man and Group Shows

Assistant Professor of Art Steve Prince is exhibiting in a group show titled “Contemporary Artists Respond to the New Orleans Baby Dolls” at the George and Leah McKenna Museum in New Orleans. Professor Prince is showcasing a 9 x 20 foot pencil drawing titled “Bird in Hand: Second Line for Michigan,” March 27-June 6. He presented a lecture, “The Second Line: Art as a catalyst for Communal Change,” at the National Art Education Association Conference in New Orleans on March 28. Professor Prince had a one-man show at Indiana Wesleyan University Beard Arts Center, titled “Old Testament: Covenantal Relationships,” February 11-March 12. Hinging on the premise that “true love is like an old testament made new each day,” the series is laden with subtle symbolism and narrative on couples and relationships.

Source: Academics, Publications & Research

Thomas Shows Work in Three Exhibitions

Ceramics and Sculpture Technician Ian F. Thomas’s solo exhibition “Something Sweet” is at BLUEOrange Contemporary Art Gallery in Houston, Texas through April 25. “Something Sweet” is an examination of gender inequality found in commercial cereal advertising. The multidisciplinary exhibition, with use of classical cereal iconography and the utopic vision it supplies us, poses questions about masculinity and dominance within this seemingly all-inclusive realm. Thomas also had a solo exhibition, “Specifically,” at Western Illinois University’s art gallery February 6 through March 14. The interactive installation, completed with the assistance of the students of the WIU art department, examined art, labor, and community. Thomas also participated in the NCECA (National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts) Biennial. He was one of 50 artists whose work was selected out of 1,500, submitted internationally. On display at Brown University’s David Winston Bell Gallery, the exhibition ran from January 24 through March 29.

Source: Academics, Publications & Research

A Crowning Achievement

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Allegheny junior Brianna Layman is a biochemistry major and a studio art minor. She also is a varsity soccer player, a volunteer coach for the Meadville Area Soccer Club, a committee leader for Relay for Life, the philanthropy chairman for Gamma Rho Chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma, a volunteer advocate for Women’s Services and a peer buddy for Best Buddies International.

“I am most importantly, though, a role model for the children—and many others—of Crawford County, with a goal of exhibiting the benefits of a liberal arts education to future scientists,” she says, referring to her new role as Miss Crawford County 2015, a title she won in February.

The spare time she had leading up to the ceremony was filled with fulfilling pageant requirements, including service (each candidate is required to raise a minimum of $100 to support the Children’s Miracle Network and the Miss American Scholarship Fund) and creating a platform on which she would run.

For the fundraiser, she organized an event where a dollar donation to swing at a junk car on Allegheny’s Brooks Walk went toward “smashing out children’s diseases.”

Conceiving her platform required much more energy and thought, although it makes perfect sense when you see and understand these passions in her life. (Brianna transferred to Allegheny to pursue a liberal arts education, one that allowed her plenty of time to explore her various interests, most notably biochemistry, studio art and music.)

“‘The Art of Science: From STEM to STEAM’ delves into the importance of a nurtured and balanced education between the sciences and the arts to enhance the neurological capacities of those in the science world. I believe to reintroduce the United States as a world leader in sciences, we must work to regain public funding for the arts, and have more liberal arts trained scientists,” Brianna says of her pageant platform.

“I am super passionate about my platform because I embody it. Not only has a well-rounded education helped me out—for example, art and music classes give me a different perspective in my chemistry labs—but, as an older sister to five siblings, I want to continue to be a role model. I love being able to show younger people that the arts are super important.”

Although she now spends most of her time stressing the importance of a well-rounded education to others, she still learns more about herself every day from her own education. “I had planned to go to medical school after graduation, but now I am leaning toward getting my master’s in fine art so that I can pursue Bio-Art, a tiny field I learned about from a professor of mine. This wouldn’t have happened without opportunities and unusual classes offered at Allegheny,” Brianna says.

She will pursue those goals in time. For now, though, she is excited about the opportunities she has to make the title her own this year. “I want to squeeze as much as possible out of this role. It’s more important that I communicate my passion than worry about advancing.” She will have an opportunity to compete for a state title next year.

Brianna decided to pursue the title after realizing that the position would give her abundant opportunities to volunteer and the possibility to enact change.  “I decided to run because I believe that this title gives me a vehicle to amplify my voice,” she says, “the voice that is inside each one of us.”

– Kathleen Prosperi-McClard ’11

Source: Academics, Publications & Research

Entries Sought for Doane Prizes in Art

Through the generosity of the late Foster B. Doane, a former Allegheny trustee, awards in art are given annually as a result of a competition. The prizes in Painting and Drawing, Graphics, Sculpture or Ceramics, and Juror’s Prize will be presented on March 31st, 2015, during the opening reception of the student art exhibition. All winners will receive a cash award and a book inscribed to indicate the nature of the award.

Entries are due on March 23rd and 24th from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. No late entries will be accepted.

Additional information is available in the Art Gallery, Doane Hall of Art, or from Art Department faculty.

Prince Presents Work at the Symposium on Worship

Assistant Professor of Art Steve Prince presented and conducted a retreat at the Symposium on Worship on January 29-31 at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Mark Charles and Professor Prince presented a workshop titled “Learning Christ-Centered Lament: Worship and Reconciliation in Light of a 600-Year Pattern of Systemic Injustice.” In addition, Professor Prince conducted a workshop titled “Iconic Woodcuts: A Message to the Congregation.” He also opened an art show, “The Art of Steve Prince: A Gospel of Beauty,” at Woodlawn Ministry Center in Grand Rapids.

Source: Academics, Publications & Research

Spring 2015 Kleeman Award Recipients

This years 2015 Spring award recipients are:
Jaysa Alvarez, Andrea Brush, Janos Cseh, Jasmine Davis, Regina Sun-Mo Koo, Ziania Narvaez, Michael G. Singer, Rachel Simmons and Sachika Yamaguchi.

The Richard Kleeman Research Fund, an endowed fund, created in 1992 in recognition of Professor Kleeman’s 39 years of dedicated teaching at Allegheny College is designed to, (1) help defray the expenses of art-related travel and study, (2) help with the expenses of significant senior projects, and (3) help students meet studio or art historical research expenses for other ambitious work.

Award recipients are named in the Spring and Fall of each year by the faculty of the Art Department after proposals are submitted and reviewed on a competitive basis.

Work by Steve Prince Showcased in Two Exhibits

Assistant Professor of Art Steve Prince is exhibiting in a two-person exhibition, titled “Diary of Souls,” at the Gallery at the Art Institute of Virginia Beach October 7 to December 1. The multimedia exhibition explores the emotional, psychological, and spiritual terrain of the human existence. Prince was in a three-person exhibition as part of the Visual Artists Network Annual Meeting in Tulsa, Oklahoma, November 7-22. This multidisciplinary group exhibition featured artists who have participated in the Visual Artists Network Exhibition Residency program and a Tulsa-based visual artist. The exhibition is held in conjunction with the National Performance Network/Visual Artists Network (NPN/VAN) Annual Meeting, a national gathering of artists, curators, presenters, and colleagues. This exhibition is hosted by Living Arts, an NPN partner. Participating artists are engaged under a VAN Exhibition Residency contract and served a week-long residency at the NPN/VAN Annual Meeting.

Source: Academics, Publications & Research