This Friday, Nov. 18, will mark the end of the Waynesburg University Department of Fine Art’s exhibition of artist Katherine Volpe’s work.
The exhibition began on Oct. 24, and the students attending had a positive reaction.
“At the opening reception, many of them spent a lot of time speaking with Katherine and examining her work,” Emily Wiedner, Director of the Benedum Fine Arts Gallery, said. “I’ve even had students ask me if they can purchase the works, which is a first!”
The art on display is a mixture of oil paintings, drawings and abstract art. Volpe, the artist who had her work displayed, describes her work differently.
“My work is a display of prominent words from my private journal entries,” she said. “My work is about what we hide, what we reveal and who we tell those stories to. Every person has hidden stories. However long self acceptance takes, it will always be worth it.”
The process of getting the art displayed started back when Volpe went to graduate school at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia. According to her, it was there that she first made contact with Wiedner.
According to Wiedner, this is not the first time that the two have worked together.
“She’s a good friend of mine and we’ve worked on several projects together,” she said.
Volpe said she felt a strong connection to Waynesburg after hearing about its history, which made her want to display her work.
“Finding out the history of the school, even knowing that students created bricks for one of the buildings on campus is something that really stuck with me. The connection to art and making was strong,” Volpe said.
From there, Wiedner said the process involves having meetings about, “when the show will be, what work will be featured and creating promotional material.”
Volpe said that art galleries at universities are “one of the most essential spaces to keep.” They allow for more “student accessibility,” which is important to her.
Volpe hopes that revealing her “truest self” will inspire others to do the same.
“I want students to think of their own journal entries, and what it would feel like if they were turned into newspaper headlines,” she said.
“This exhibit is strongly about expressing yourself as you are in a way that’s meaningful to you,” Wiedner said.
As for the future, Volpe seemed open to the idea of displaying her work at Waynesburg University again.
“I have had such a wonderful experience with the faculty, staff and students both during installation and during the exhibition opening, that I would absolutely love to display work here in the future,” she said. “Every student interaction and conversation I was fortunate enough to be a part of meant the world to me.”
According to Wiedner, the next show will be the student exhibition, which will begin on Nov. 28, and will close on Dec. 9. All are welcome to attend the opening reception.
Volpe said that many students spent a significant amount of time in the gallery absorbing her art, and that meant a lot to her.
“There is nothing in comparison to seeing that response to your own paintings,” she said. “Exhibiting at Waynesburg University’s gallery was wonderful!”