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Annual Wilson event celebrates art

April 05, 2007|by JENNIFER FITCH

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - With her creations displayed publicly for the first time, Wilson College freshman Sherri Peters stood in the small gallery Wednesday and admitted she had just that day decided to switch her major to art.

"It's always been my passion, but I don't know if I had the confidence," Peters said.

Often at 3 a.m., with her 4-year-old asleep and studying pushed aside, Peters experimented with sketching and collages, finding that art required a certain vulnerability. The new major, Peters knows, will continue to explore that, but the decision is liberating.

"I'd rather have rejection than regrets," she said.

Peters said her professor, Philip Lindsey, has taught her to not tear up work if dissatisfied, but rather to continue to modify it. Upstairs, Lindsey was demonstrating that practice during the seventh annual Wilson College Arts Day.

As people moved through his studio, Lindsey lamented that he couldn't perfect the background in an untitled portrait of his wife as St. Zita, the patron saint of Lucca, Italy. Lindsey had replaced the scene behind Zita several times, and on Tuesday attempted to paint a drape there.

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"Suddenly, I'm very self-conscious," he joked with onlookers.

Lindsey explained how Zita, a servant, was known to steal from the house where she worked and give the items to the poor. Legend says Zita was protected from being caught and, in one instance, the bread she stole was transformed into flowers when confronted by her boss.

Lindsey developed the idea to portray his wife, Jennifer, in the role while visiting Italy last summer, and has been working on the portrait in earnest for about a month.

"I work a lot from photographs and memory," he said.

While about 16 students major in fine arts, the subjects remain one of the most popular minors on campus, Lindsey said.

Arts Day, which was open to the public, included dance exhibitions, comedy improvisation, workshops, exhibits and films. The student exhibition (where Peters is featured) appears in Warfield Hall through May 4.

A Salon des Refuss, or "Salon of Refusals," will be displayed until May 6. It features works not selected for the juried student exhibition.

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