Art tour adventure


Photographer: Shakira Taylor

Students were given the opportunity to learn more about the art on the Hammond campus on March 25 when an art tour was held.

Two tours led by Judy Jacobi, assistant vice chancellor of University Art Collections and Special Programs, were given that focused on the art in SUL and the sculpture path with the opportunity to meet some of the artists afterwards. On the tour, visitors learned about the problems and processes that various artists encountered in their work.

During the tour, Jacobi spoke to around 30 students and members of the public. She explained that various works were donated by many of the artists. There were more than 30 works donated to the university by artist Arthur Lerner, a painter specializing in water and mountains. A few other artists’ works were leased.

Jacobi said that the tours were important because she believes it is beneficial for students to learn about art in college because art can be a great conversation starter and thus differentiate students during job interviews.

One of the artists at the event was Christine Perri, who creates wood sculptures. Her inspiration comes from literature and mythology and she strives to use her art to tell a story. Perri said that her sculptures are usually created with white oak and cedar wood because they are the easiest to work with.

Another artist participants were introduced to was John Habela. Habela had his roots teaching literature at Purdue Northwest and later started doing art after he found teaching unfulfilling.   While visiting Europe, he saw Polish folk carvings and got hooked onto art, particularly sculptures. As for materials, he often picks up wood from the Indiana Dunes. Habela explained that it was difficult to transform literature into sculptures. He showed his “Family of Man” set of bronze sculptures.

“I want to create a piece with mystery. This is about human origins and the theme of survival,” Habela said.

Habela recalled the challenges he faced making wood sculptures.

“When a piece breaks off, I redirect focus and make something new,” Habela said.

Other featured artists included Bob Stanley, Carole Stodder, and Kay Smith. Stanley specializes in color fields, a type of abstract painting style. In the Hammond campus library, a Bob Stanley painting hangs on the wall. It shows Stanley looking at observers.

Stodder works with diagonals. She showed viewers her painting, titled “Jacob’s Ladder.” Smith, who often paints on location, specializes in historical paintings and uses watercolors. As viewers gathered around, she explained one particular painting’s significance. The painting depicted George Washington leaving office and becoming a common citizen.

“Washington wanted to make a statement that the U.S. would be a true democracy,” Smith said.

At the end of the tour, guests mingled with the artists and enjoyed a reception with refreshments.