Art profs lead by example

Heather Riedel and Heather Riedel

When it comes down to it, the students here at the University should be the most important aspect. At least that is the way Joel O’Dorisio thinks. He is the acting head of the glass department and is participating in the 57th Annual Faculty and Staff Exhibit for the first time.

“This is my first year teaching at the University,” O’Dorisio said. “I think it’s really important for the students to see that the faculty are active artists and are actually pursuing the research that we’re teaching them how to do.”

He thinks when students see teachers display their own art, it is a crucial part of teaching. This is because students can then know that their teachers and professors aren’t just telling them how to make something, but that they’re creating art as well.

For the past 18 years of his life, O’Dorisio has been a studio artist and “teaching is fairly new.” As for the connection between faculty artists and student artists, he said, “it’s a two-way street. We get the energy and excitement of the students and they get to see professional quality work.”

At the exhibit, O’Dorisio will be displaying “Olive Birch,” a sculptural glass piece weighing in at around 65- 70 pounds. He also has work on display in the glass department. He said that he is excited for the exhibit to be open to the public.

Another person who is looking forward to this event is Jacqueline Nathan, BG’s gallery director.

“It’s going to be wonderful,” she said. “There’s going to be all kinds of different media, from video to jewelry to amazing paintings, sculptures and glass.”

Nathan said there will be some installations on display for the exhibit, “so people are building things onsite, here.” She also said how exciting it is to have new people and new pieces of art being shown this year.

“It’s going to be a really diverse and exciting, wonderful show,” she said. “Some of the younger people who are just starting out in their teaching careers are doing really interesting work and unusual work.”

“It gives people a great chance to see sort of the up and coming thing in the art biz.”

Both Nathan and O’Dorisio said they expect a good turnout, between both students and the community, at the exhibit.

“People are really interested in this and so it’s a great opportunity to see really excellent work,” Nathan added.

O’Dorisio said that as long as he is at the University, he will participate in this annual event.

“It’s one of the fun parts of the job; we spend all this time making the work and this is the time that people really get to see it.”

He added: “It’s not really art until other people get to see it. So, it’s not all the way there until the community gets to look at it or until you get some feedback from your peers. It’s part of the whole deal.”

The exhibit runs from Dec. 2, 2006 until Jan. 17, 2007, in the Dorothy Uber Bryan Gallery. The exhibit will close Dec. 17, 2006 through Jan. 8, 2007 for winter break. For more information, contact Jacqueline Nathan at 419-372-8525 or visit the BGSU Web site.