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Arts in full bloom at Pa. campus

April 06, 2006|by BONNIE H. BRECHBILL

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Artwork by students was all over campus Wednesday- some of it in trees, on sidewalks and in chemistry labs.

The sixth annual Wilson College Arts Day, sponsored by the college's Fine Arts Department, encourages students and the public to appreciate and celebrate art.

Haiku could be found painted on rocks on the campus, in keeping with a Japanese tradition.

Most of the art was more traditionally displayed, as with the student art exhibition in the Bogigian Gallery.

Local printmaker Sue Frotscher acted as juror for the show, choosing the 35 displayed works from among 150 submitted.

First place went to Anna Tonnesen's pencil drawing "Water Glass," which Frotscher said "is a skillful characterization of an everyday common object. The glass also reads beautifully as simply an enlarged abstract form fractured by light and defined by shadow."

Second place went to "Wine Bottle Still-Life," a charcoal work by Stephanie Shrader. Rebecca Heston's sculpture, American Elephant, took third place.

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"Most of us pause to take notice of what is aesthetically pleasing. These young artists find the time to interpret for us, the viewers of art, what is significant to them in shared surroundings," Frotscher said.

Four- and 5-year-olds from the Wilson College Child Care Center viewed the exhibit Wednesday morning. Zoe and Imirah said they liked "the kitty one," while Seth preferred "the horses." Colin's favorite was "the No. 1 ribbon" and Jordan said he liked "the cow one."

Despite windy, chilly weather, students in professor Bob Dickson's printmaking class worked outside to create a print of an 1891 painting, "The Boating Party," by American artist Mary Cassatt.

Sumayal Shresthal rolled blue paint onto a piece of wood to prepare for making the prints. "Each color goes on a different block," she said, "and they're all put together for the print."

Class members had chiseled the picture into a sheet of plywood. After all the jigsaw puzzle-like pieces were inked, the large roller applied pressure to transfer the design to paper.

Near where the printmakers worked were two life-size wooden depictions of Wilson's founder with face cutouts. "Be Sarah Wilson" allowed participants to have their photo taken as the Sarah Wilson of the 19th century or as the contemporary-looking Sarah Wilson, who had been given an extreme makeover by the Theory of Fashion Design class.

On the second floor of the Paul Swain Havens Science Center, students displayed and explained principles of general chemistry and how they are incorporated into specific aspects of the arts. Their investigations included stained glass, glass-etching, origami, dancing with light, photography, paper-marbling, tie-dying, ceramics and egg-painting.

On display was washi, Japanese handmade paper made from the fibers from the inner barks of native Japanese plants in a 20-step process. The paper is used for origami, calligraphy, bookbinding and other Japanese arts.

Ashley Mudd, 19, a freshman biochemistry and international business major, dyed hard-boiled eggs with solutions made from blueberries, red cabbage, turmeric and red beets. To change the configuration of what colors are absorbed or reflected, she used vinegar as an acid and sodium hydroxide as a base.

"The rods in the eye interpret the reflection," she said.

Mudd also is studying phytochemical interactions with cancer.

"Plants develop techniques to survive, and they pass on those benefits to humans when we eat them," she said.

With assistance from freshman Amanda Price, sophomores Logan Gonella and Mary Miller, and senior Jess Van Camp, visitors to the chemistry lab could use a paste containing hydrofluoric acid to etch designs into small glasses.

"We do a lot of fun stuff in labs," Miller said.

Other Arts Day activities included an architectural tour of the campus; a woodworking demonstration; making batik world maps; a performance by Wilson's Mounted Drill Team; Senegalese director Ouswane Sembene's film "Black Girl;" a performance by Wilson's modern dance troupe, Orchesis; a poetry reading by Chris Christopher; the Drama Club's version of "Whose Line Is It Anyway?"; photographs by Robert Glessner and wildlife and equine art prints.

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