UST Art Alumni Work Featured in Glassell Art Exhibit
Three of the University of St. Thomas’ top art alumni got a chance to spotlight their artwork in the inaugural Glassell Studio School Alumni exhibition. Practice Makes Perfect: Repetition as a Form of Scholarship among Glassell Studio School Alumni.
The exhibition featured UST alumni artists Amy Lorino, Maureen McNamara and David Ubias. Curator Jeff Ward discovered the title of the exhibit when he noticed a theme of repetition.
“The theme that revealed itself to Jeff was the notion of repetition,” said Suzanne Manns, Faculty Chair, Glassell School of Art. “These artists used either repeated motifs or scale or media to develop a large body of work over a sustained time period. It was that notion of repetition that drove their research and scholarship.”
Amy Lorino graduated from UST with a Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art with a concentration in photography. She has five pictures showing in the exhibit. They were taken of St. Pius X High School, where she was once a student and now currently teaches digital photography. Lorino's photographs focus on symmetrical compositions, like those found in school halls and doorways.
“When I was taking the pictures I was flooded with memories and decided this was what I wanted my work to focus on,” said Lorino. “As in the past, I wanted to use my artwork to examine my experiences and, if need be, gain closure. I decided to study the buildings themselves in relation to the experiences I had in each of them.”
2004 graduate David Ubias had numerous small drawings in the Alumni exhibition. Maureen McNamara, also an UST graduate, had a documentary entitled Hot Town, Cool City that was on a continual video loop as part of the exhibit. Other artists featured included Bobbye Bennett, Kathy Brown, Ibsen Espada, Judith Freedman, Emily Grenader, Catherine J. Leachman, and Lillian Warren.
Several candidates were considered for spots in the Glassell exhibit. According to UST associate professor and chair of Fine and Performing Arts, Claire McDonald, the fact that three of the school’s former students were chosen for the 10 featured artists speaks volumes for the program.
“The curator who made the selections for the show did not distinguish between UST grads and others. They rose to the top on their own merits,” said McDonald. “I believe that our liberal arts emphasis on campus combined with the superb instruction at the Glassell School of art supports the creation of outstanding artists.”
UST collaborates with the Glassell School of Art, Museum of Fine Arts Houston to offer a BA and BA/BFA major, a minor and elective courses in studio art. This joint effort provides students access to the resources of the Glassell School, including its professional faculty. Conversely, UST provides the Glassell School with highly motivated students.
“Working in classes with students my age as well as more experienced artists helped my work to mature more quickly. I was encouraged to find my own voice as an artist and to discuss, in my photos, issues that I felt were important,” said Lorino.
Many hoped events like the Practice Makes Perfect exhibit would help focus attention on the UST art program.
“I have noticed that for the most part, people are unaware of the art program at UST,” said Lorino. “I hope exhibits like this will show future students what an amazing program UST has with it’s partnership with Glassell.”
The public response to the Glassell Alumni was positive and may continue in the future. “We hope that we can make an alumni exhibition a recurring event,” said Manns.
The Glassell School of Art is located at 5101 Montrose Ave.