Museum reception marks opening of student art exhibit

Penn State Harrisburg students were in the spotlight when an exhibition of their art works debuted with a reception May 14 at the National Civil War Museum in Harrisburg.

In celebration of the bicentennial of Abraham Lincoln’s birth, the exhibit entitled “Lincoln Comes to Harrisburg” features the creations of 25 students in a graphic arts class taught by Instructor in Art Paul Manlove. The exhibit is open to the public through June 15.

As a class project during the spring semester, the students were challenged by Manlove to take an image of Lincoln and recreate it in one of three historical art movements – cubism, surrealism or photorealism.

“I tried to give all the students a great deal of freedom to create their own work. Some were more traditional while others interpreted the Lincoln image in many different ways – and none of the works were similar.

The project was “a part of the process,” he adds. “You learn something as you make something. I make every effort to engage students in their projects and their learning and it comes through unexpected results, like the wonderful art works in the exhibit.”

Students who attended the opening reception were unanimous in one area – their project was an enjoyable one.

Eric Stump, an English major from Schuylkill Haven used multiple mediums to effect a “contemporary, floundering feeling with the current economic difficulties” and blended it with an image of Lincoln by using newspaper clippings from 2009.

“I provided a link to Lincoln and his own troubled times,” Stump adds. “The project was a lot of fun. Most finals are tests or papers that can cause some anxiety. The art project was a lot of fun; it became an escape and stress reliever for me.”

Environmental engineering major Allison Funk from Paxtonia admitted that the art effort was not in her academic area, but that she enjoyed it and mechanical engineering major Steve Georges from Elizabethtown added, “I haven’t done art for a long time. I enjoyed the class and I’m thinking of taking a photo shop class next.

Structural design and construction engineering technology major Logan Swartz of Loysville, who attended with his grandparents, concluded with “It was something I never did before and it turned out to be a lot of fun.”

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Last Updated May 06, 2010