Closed during pandemic, Stein Galleries features ‘Senior Show’ online

By Kristen Wagers, printmaking concentration

When the annual “Senior Show” at Wright State University had to be canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic, the Stein Galleries found an alternative solution to recognize the student artists and their work.

The Stein Galleries is featuring artwork by a participating student every day on its Facebook and Instagram accounts. Works can also be viewed on the Stein Galleries website.

“While we are disappointed that the exhibition is not being displayed how we all imagined right now, we are happy to have certain tools available which allow us to show off the work of our seniors,” said Paige Früchtnicht-Ponchak, gallery coordinator.

The Robert and Elaine Stein Galleries‘ final show of the academic year is traditionally the “Senior Show,” featuring works by graduating students in the Department of Art and Art History. This year’s show includes more than 100 works by 24 students.

The “Senior Show” was scheduled to open on April 1 and run through the end of the spring semester. But it was canceled when Wright State moved all classes to remote delivery and restricted access to campus to essential personnel.

The students’ art had been submitted and were ready to be hung in the galleries when Früchtnicht-Ponchak was informed she would have to work remotely until further notice.

“The students work incredibly hard in the weeks leading up to the show: preparing the work for the faculty jurying process, making their own frames for the chosen work and preparing it for installation,” Früchtnicht-Ponchak said.

With no time either to install the exhibition or document the students’ work, Früchtnicht-Ponchak and the “Senior Show” committee — Danielle Rante, associate professor in printmaking and drawing, and Jeremy Long, associate professor in painting and drawing — found an alternative method of exhibiting the work with no access to the galleries.

“It was incredibly important to us that their efforts didn’t go unnoticed,” Früchtnicht-Ponchak said.

By Kyleigh Tulanko, painting concentration

“I’m also thankful for all of the love and support our students are getting from the community online,” she added.

Participating artists include: Marcus Allen, Jaycen Anspach, Shekinah Brubaker, Katie Burianek, Josh Cigrang, Kristin Cote, Willie Hayden, Bitsy Hildenbrandt, Michael Krieger, Tylecia Parks, Nicholas Peyton, Yuqing Ren, Libby Slauenwhite, Emma Smith, Jackie Smith, Nicole Smith, Ellen Taylor, Shelby Tomasiak, Kyleigh Tulanko, Carlos Vallejo, Kristen Wagers, Bradley Weng, Richard Wilson and William Worley.

The Department of Art and Art History is considering options for showing the work as a physical exhibition in the future.

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