North Texas Daily

Exhibition showcases invited students’ artwork

Exhibition showcases invited students’ artwork

February 21
11:35 2013

Morgan Gentry

Staff Writer


Art is a large part of the North Texas community, and the National Arts Education Association is continuing that growth with its invitational exhibition from Feb. 19 to Feb.21 in the North Gallery. The association will showcase artwork created by 20 artists in UNT’s student chapter of NAEA, presented every semester.

“We put on this show twice a year because art education majors sometimes lose touch with the artistic side,” said Samantha Lawrence, student chapter president and art education senior. “I think sometimes we’re not always viewed as artists as well as teachers. We put on this exhibit to show all the work that we’ve done.”

The NAEA is for visual arts teachers, scholars, researchers, students, administrators and artists to come together around a shared belief in the power of the arts in developing human potential, according to their website.

UNT’s student chapter focuses on advocacy for art education. They work with younger students in the program, especially pre-majors, to help them see if this is what they want to do, Lawrence said.

They choose a new art coordinator each semester, making it a learning process, Lawrence said.

The NAEA art coordinator for this semester is art education senior Stefanie Gallagher who believes they had a strong turnout.

“I can only speak for this semester but we’ve had a really good turnout and some really exceptional work has been submitted into the show,” Gallagher said. “Some students in the foundation class can be wary to enter the show, but we had some sign up and that’s always a good thing because it shows that they are willing to get their name out there.”

Gallagher, who also has several pieces in the exhibit, hopes it proves that art educators are artists and actually produce artwork. She said people often believe that art education majors are getting a degree simply to teach.

“We are as dedicated to art as anyone else, if not more, because we are going to be sharing it with students one day,” Gallagher said.

One artist in the show, visual arts senior Victoria Wheelis, created an atriptic collection – artwork consisting of three panels – with a focus on autism. She is also a psychology major, an interest she incorporates into her work after being inspired by a child she nannies.

“Because of him and my subsequent research on autism, it is now something close to my heart and something that I eventually want to work with,” Wheelis said. “I got to thinking  about Asperger’s and autism and the concept for this painting was born.”

Gallagher and Lawrence said they appreciated the concept, expressing that special needs in art is not often thought about when considering pieces.

“If people want to get into art education, they should realize they’re touching the lives of everyone,” Gallagher said.

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