Art lives large on Andrews campus

Published 12:31 pm Friday, February 22, 2013

Universities are rich environments, and Andrews is no different. One of its little gems is the Art & Design Gallery, at the back of the campus, in Smith Hall.  Artist in Residence Greg Constantine describes the gallery as “first rate.”  He weighed in on the design as it was built. He wanted students to have a professional space for their exhibitions, and he wanted to attract guest artists
Constantine, who organizes the gallery’s shows, and maintains a studio on campus, is an accomplished artist himself and taught at Andrews for 43 years, retiring nearly 7 years ago.  He recently held his 18th New York exhibit, “Poetic Licenses,” a series of famous quotes made of old “license plates” that Constantine creates (but that look so real people ask him where he has found them).
The gallery’s primary purpose is educative–students and faculty exhibit there regularly.  Students learn from seeing others’ displays, and they get practical experience exhibiting their own works.  And, every now and then, guest artists are invited to exhibit, lending “star” quality to the mix.
“We bring artists, and their work, from outside the university,” said Constantine.  “They’re invited to exhibit in a proper gallery space. That’s a cultural opportunity for our students and our community.”
One such star is New Buffalo native Scott Covert.  Covert, as he himself describes in a press release, “celebrates life,” committing to canvas the inscriptions he finds on gravestones.  He has traveled the world seeking out the graves of famous and inspirational people to add to his “collection.” Covert’s exhibit, “Treasures from the Necropolis,” is in the Andrews Art & Design Gallery through the end of February (Hurry! It’s worth it.).
Student exhibits start in March.  While they may not be as accomplished as the more seasoned artists, they are no less interesting.  There is a lot of variety to the student shows — required of everyone graduating with a bachelor of fine arts degree.  Each student must exhibit using their primary medium.  Some paint, some sculpt, others create pottery. The possibilities are as endless as the imagination.
The Art & Design Gallery is open weekdays, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.  For information about exhibitions, call 471-3278.